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Follow Up Post: Designing for the Competing Values of Company Culture

A few weeks ago, we wrote a blog post about the competing values of company culture. In that post, we explored the framework that identifies four culture types that span across two primary dimensions:

  1. Internal vs. External
    1. A company which places focus on inward collaboration, integration, and unity as opposed to those organizations which have an external focus on competition, differentiation, and rivalry.
  2. Flexibility vs. Stability
    1. Organizations which emphasize order and control versus adaptation and dynamism.

Along this spectrum, there are four major culture types:

Collaborate Culture- An organization that focuses on long-term internal development and team building and supports a work environment that demonstrates flexibility, concern for people and sensitivity for customers.

Create Culture- An organization that concentrates on doing things first by differentiating itself externally with a high degree of experimentation and individuality.

Control Culture- An organization that focuses on doing things right through internal procedure with a need for stability and control.

Compete Culture- An organization that focuses on doing things fast through external competition with a focus on results.

 

Research is pointing to the need for a shift in the paradigm. Design needs to function less like a machine based on commodities, and more like an ecosystem that requires adaptability and accommodates multiple culture types within a broader organization.

 

To encourage change and positive growth, the first step an organization should take is to identify the existing culture. Lay out the values, assumptions, and artifacts of a company into a framework that reveals it’s basic beliefs.

 

Organizations always have a dominant culture. But many subcultures also exist within any given organization. By understanding and accepting various cultures, an organization can harness these differences for success.

culture-competing-values-framework-grid-haworth

How to Design for Each Culture Type:

Collaborate Culture-

  • Low ratio of individual to group space
  • Informal Spaces
  • Medium enclosure
  • Very flexible environment
  • Organic layout

 

Create Culture

  • Low ratio of individual to group space
  • Informal spaces
  • Low enclosure
  • High flexibility environment
  • Organic layout

 Control Culture

  • High ration of individual to group space
  • More formal spaces
  • Higher enclosure
  • More of a fixed environment
  • Structured, symmetrical layouts

Compete Culture

  • Medium ratio of individual to group space
  • Mix of formal/informal spaces
  • Low to medium enclosure
  • More structured, symmetrical layouts

 

For more information on this framework, click here.

 

Katie Boova

Katie Boova is Marketing Manager at Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers, a real-estate consulting firm that provides owner’s representation and project management services. More about Watchdog Real Estate Project Managers as well as additional blog posts can be found here.

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