The Cultural Web

This is my favorite framework for analyzing and considering organizational culture

Photo of Tom Sayer
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Taken from the site:

The Cultural Web identifies six interrelated elements that help to make up what Johnson and Scholes call the "paradigm" – the pattern or model – of the work environment. By analyzing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your culture: what is working, what isn't working, and what needs to be changed. The six elements are:

    Stories – The past events and people talked about inside and outside the company. Who and what the company chooses to immortalize says a great deal about what it values, and perceives as great behavior.

    Rituals and Routines – The daily behavior and actions of people that signal acceptable behavior. This determines what is expected to happen in given situations, and what is valued by management.

    Symbols – The visual representations of the company including logos, how plush the offices are, and the formal or informal dress codes.

    Organizational Structure – This includes both the structure defined by the organization chart, and the unwritten lines of power and influence that indicate whose contributions are most valued.

    Control Systems – The ways that the organization is controlled. These include financial systems, quality systems, and rewards (including the way they are measured and distributed within the organization.)

    Power Structures – The pockets of real power in the company. This may involve one or two key senior executives, a whole group of executives, or even a department. The key is that these people have the greatest amount of influence on decisions, operations, and strategic direction.

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Photo of Jessica Lura

Tom,
This is an intriguing idea. What are your thoughts on how this might look in a school or classroom? I like how it's focused on rituals and routines and is a direction that is different from a lot of the other discovery contributions.

You should add it to the ideate stage--it would give you and others a chance to flesh it out through discussion and prototyping.

Photo of Molly McMahon

Tom! Welcome to the Guild! We're so glad to be in this with you!

Photo of Emma Scripps

Hey Tom!

Love this framework - particularly the stories component. It's interesting to think about the way in which the stories we end up telling each other - and the ones that become a big part of our collective memory - then start to inform our habits/routines. I'm jumping ahead to ideating - but it's making me think about how you might establish storytelling practices within schools to promote more experimentation, risk taking, and the courage to simply to do something brand new.