Creating, developing and transforming organisational culture

Nine Feet Tall were tremendous in motivating and enabling City University to change its way of working and adopt a more proactive culture. They have broken down barriers and increased collaboration between academic and administration staff.

Professor Roberta Williams, Associate Dean Learning & Teaching

How we work with you

  • Organisational culture is a complex beast. Changing it requires clear vision, strong leadership and a pragmatic plan to shape, deliver and embed. We have a best practice approach that incorporates behavioural psychology which aligns culture across an organisation.
  • We don’t just talk about it, we deliver. We work with you to put practical steps in place which address all elements of culture including hiring practices, onboarding efforts, recognition programmes and performance management programmes.
  • Inspiring leadership sits at the heart of any successful shift in culture. We understand that the demands on leaders in your business have never been greater. That is why we work directly with them to build a programme of leadership coaching and culture development that enables them to effectively role model behaviours and constantly reinforce the culture you want.
  • Assessing and measuring culture is a key component in developing strategies that actually do what they set out to do. Using our cultural change assessment tool, covering areas such as values, degree of hierarchy, people and task orientations we uncover inconsistencies, track progress and measure continuous improvement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is organisational culture so difficult to change?

Culture is a culmination of a hundred different aspects that make up why a group of people behave how they do: from rituals to unspoken rules, to the attitudes and behaviours adapted regularly within your company. When you’re a part of that culture, it’s very difficult to label the various elements working together to build it and it is hard to see the bigger picture. An organisational culture is something that is deeply embedded with so many different elements, it is therefore extremely difficult to change. A single-fix change may work for a very short period of time, but people will quickly revert back to old ways of working. Changing a culture is a complex and large-scale undertaking that needs to be planned and executed over time to deliver gradual and lasting results.

Why do cultural changes fail?

Without an aerial and impartial view of an organisation, it’s nearly impossible to detect where and when culture is created and maintained, or how to change it. Changing just one or two aspects of organisational culture won’t create lasting change. Neither will an entirely top-down approach – it’s vital to get buy-in throughout the organisation if you want your culture change to be successful. This means really listening to your staff and stakeholders. Many companies run headfirst into changing their organisational culture without proper preparation, expertise or planning. This creates tension, alienates staff, and is often ineffective.

Is organisational culture difficult to change?

Yes, it is difficult – but it is possible. It’s easy to feel like organisational culture is an unseen, unchangeable force over which you have no control, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When done right, changing organisational culture can be a smooth and successful process with tangible benefits.

Our insights

  • Nine weeks at Nine Feet Tall an employee reflection

  • What are the barriers to cultural change for charities?

  • How will digital transformation affect your company culture?

  • The Impact of Company Culture in the Era of Hybrid Working

  • Hybrid working and the evolution after the revolution

  • Book Now: Building Cross Team Collaboration in Charities

  • How to Operationalise your Values

  • Culture Pioneer Awards 2022 Finalists