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

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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