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Sustainability is deeply about people. About their behaviour, about individual mindshifts and about collective culture change. Sustainability is about culture and your organizational DNA. Therefore, it helps to understand how your corporate culture works, and what place sustainability occupies.

A culture assessment gives insight into the forces that stimulate current (and old) behaviour: the unconscious motives, habits, unwritten rules, routines and patterns of behaviour. An assessment provides the insights and incentives for management to build an organizational culture in which sustainability is embedded. People don't do things for the sake of doing them. Behaviour always has a local origin and is based on solutions that.

Behaviour always has a local origin and is based on solutions that once were useful. Anthropologists search for recurring patterns in organisations, that explain why things happen as they happen. From a solid understanding of sustainability in your organisation, strategies for change can be developed, with corresponding interventions. 

Understanding from the inside out

Anthropologists try to hear the unsaid, see the invisible and understand the unwritten rules. We investigate the internal logics. Neutral and without judgement, but to understand why people behave like they do in the specific social context of an organisation.

Anthropological methods

With structured interviews, but also via informal conversations and ‘hanging around’ the coffee machine. Walking through the hallways picking up the latest gossip, participating in meetings, waiting in the lobby as a customer, joining for lunch. Collecting the minutes after a meeting, analysing the bulletin board and the design of the office and meeting spaces. Searching for hotspots and places with tension, because exactly that’s where cultural information is to be found.

Finding the patterns

Anthropologists seek for recurring patterns in organisations that explain why people do what they do. Behavior always has a local origin and is based on solutions that once were very useful and solved issues. Combining seemingly unconnected events in different places of an organisation, leads to profound insight in the patterns and provide logical explanations for organisational behaviour. Those events show themselves in the stories and experiences of individuals. Together those microstories show the fractal patternsCombining the mozaik of stories leads to a profound understanding of the organizational culture. Small-scale you can identify what is happening at large. This makes it easier to stay on track or to choose a new direction. 

This is what a culture assessment brings you

  • Thorough insight in the cultural patterns, drives, collective behaviour, unwritten rules, expercience, perceptions, and emotions. 
  • Identification of strengths and weaknesses in terms of sustainability
  • Starting point for a change strategy
  • Diagnosis and intervention at the same time

From a solid understanding of the place of sustainability in the organization, developing strategies for change and interventions becomes a whole lot easier. A culture assessment is the starting point for embedding sustainability into your organizations’ DNA.


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