Culture Shaping at Ohio State
The Five-Step Framework
Many change management and culture shaping models exist. Ohio State has partnered with Senn Delaney, and uses its five-step DURAM© framework seen below.
Diagnose and define is the process of understanding the current culture and defining the desired future culture. The following activities are included in this step:
- Diagnosing the current culture through university-wide surveys, pulse surveys, exit interviews and other data sources.
- Creating a “From – To – Keep” list with behaviors and cultural attributes.
- Explicitly defining the values and the expected behaviors of the desired culture.
Unfreeze refers to a change in behavior based on new thinking. An unfreezing experience is designed to illustrate well-established habits, and help participants commit to new thinking and behaviors that will lead to greater effectiveness. Every unfreezing experience must be specifically linked to the strategic priorities of the college/VP unit and to the desired and expected cultural behaviors. While culture retreats have been the primary vehicle used for unfreezing, many other customizable methodologies and approaches can also be used.
Reinforce includes mechanisms for reinforcing what was learned in an unfreezing experience and to reinforcing the behaviors (lived values) of the aspirational culture. Reinforce is also related to integrating values into meeting dynamics, communication vehicles and human resource systems. Unless the HR systems, policies and procedures are aligned with the desired culture, old behaviors will prevail. HR systems include:
- Recruitment and selection
- New employee orientation and leader onboarding
- Performance management and compensation
Apply refers to applying new tools and new behaviors to create results. Every meeting held is an opportunity to practice new behaviors, and to create a healthy culture. Members of the Senior Leadership Team, the most visible group in any college or VP unit, must live the values and operate in ways consistent with the desired culture. All groups should also be expected to integrate the values and aligning behaviors into their thinking, their meetings, and their contributions to the college/unit strategic priorities.
Measure links directly back to the first step, diagnose. Culture shaping is resource-intensive and is necessary for achieving strategic priorities so assessing progress is critical. Many of the same methods used in diagnosis can be used in measurement. Celebrating successes should be included in every culture action plan.
The five-step DURAM© framework includes essential components of a multi-faceted approach for culture shaping. Identifying and implementing tactics for each step in the framework is an effective approach for sustainable change.
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