For a change effort to truly last, the overall culture must change as well. Spurlock and Johnston have created a wonderful matrix to help organizations assess to what extent their culture is truly changing. The Measuring a Culture of Evidence matrix provides descriptors of what to observe in five areas: intentionality, perspective, critical linkages, initiatives & directions and planning processes. Based on those behaviors, individuals can assess where the organization falls:

  • A Culture of Good Intentions (people have a sense that they are doing good things)
  • A Culture of Justification (people can describe what they are doing)
  • A Culture of Strategy (people can describe what they are accomplishing and how it relates to mission and goals)
  • A Culture of Evidence (people can describe why they are doing things and what they are accomplishing through them)

Too often people declare success because they feel like they are doing “good things” but without understanding and a strategic path, there is little opportunity to measure the success or to replicate it. The “good things” may provide short-term progress but will fail to achieve transformation or permanent change.

It’s much easier, and initially more fun, to create some changes and show them off. But only with planning, measurements, systemwide operational changes and continuous evaluation will significant differences occur. Utilize the Measuring a Culture of Evidence rubric to take a hard look at where your organization falls in its change efforts and take steps to change your internal functions before you attempt to change your output.

Sources:  Tweet by Matthew D. Pistilli @mdpistilli 6/15/19 — Spurlock, R. S. & Johnston, A. J. (2012) Measuring a Culture of Evidence. In M. Culp & G. Dungy (Eds.), Building a Culture of Evidence (p. 65). Washington, DC: NASPA.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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