on April 9, 2000
"Our purpose in this book", Cameron and Quinn write, "is not to offer one more panacea for coping with our turbulent times or to introduce another management fad. We agree with Tom Peters that, "If you're not confused, you're not paying attention." Confusion abounds as to prescriptions and proposed panaceas. Instead, our intention in this book is both more modest and, we believe, potentially more helpful. The book provides a framework, a sensemaking tool, a set of systematic steps, and a methodology for helping managers and their organizations adopt the demands of the environment. It focuses less on the right answers that it does on the methods and mechanisms available to help managers change the most fundamental elements of their organizations. It provides a way for managers, at almost any level in an organization, to guide the change process at the most basic level-the cultural level. It provides a systematic strategy for internal or external change agents to facilitate foundational change that can then support and supplement other kinds of change initiatives."
In this context, Cameron and Quinn basically :
* discuss the importance of understanding organizational culture and its place in facilitating or inhibiting organizational improvement efforts.
* provide the instrument (The Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument-OCAI) for diagnosing organizational culture and instructions for how to complete and score it. (OCAI produces an overall organizational culture profile.)
* provide a more thorough explanation of the theoretical framework (The Competing Values Framework) upon which the OCAI is based. (The Competing Values Framework explains the underlying value orientations that characterize organizations.)
* illustrate how organizations designed a strategy to change their current culture to better match their preferred culture.
* focus on the personal change needed to support and facilitate culture change.
* provide an instrument (Management Skills Assessment Instrument-MSAI) that helps managers identify the key competencies they will need to develop or improve in order to foster organizational culture change.
* provide suggestions for initiating culture change in each of four types of cultures (market culture, adhocracy culture, clan culture, hierarchy culture).
* provide lists of suggestions for improving management skills and competencies associated with the MSAI.
I highly recommend this invaluable study to all executives.
I took Prof. Cameron's course on "Navigating Change" at the U of M Business School and this book was used as ONE of the tools that could be used in understanding and managing change in an organization's culture. There are many ways to look at organizational culture. This one gives you a means to measure various aspects and get a view of where you are and where you think you need to be. It can elicit helpful discussion and real insights into your organization.
The book gives helpful background and context for the model (what each quadrant means and doesn't mean), the instrument itself, instructions for administering it, and instructions on how to interpret it. It also provides a condensed formula for organizational change and helpful hints on how to begin change in each of the quadrants.
As we used it in class and our term project it helped us understand the organization our team studied and why it was different than its competitors. I think Competing Values Framework is a powerful model that is backed by up with a lot of research and can be very useful when used seriously. This is a very helpful book.
on March 3, 2004
The model presented is an interesting and for the most part effective one. For an alternative model see O'Reilly, Chatman and Caldwell's OCP Method and in particular the commercially available web tools from ThinkShed ([...]) that leverage the method.
Whichever method you use, culture change is ultimately about the application of a consistent approach...my personal preference is the OCP because of the availability of robust web based tools that enable one to penetrate the organization to a much deeper level than is otherwise possible with a paper based model or an interview based model. This can be important if you are wanting to get at deeply rooted and/or problematic sub-cultures.
on December 11, 2010
True Transformational change (of the ilk we must face to re-position for the next 10 years) requires attention to organizational culture - it is ignored at the peril of Project ROI and Strategy sustainability. We must not be intimidated by the risk rather we must take courage from the imperative.
Cameron and Quinn are renowned for their leadership in the area of Organizational Culture and this book directly addresses culture in the context of Strategic Change. It offers very tactical and pragmatic approach, framework and tools.
Gail A. Severini, CMC
CEO, Symphini Change Management Inc