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Are Your Leaders Wearing Rose-Colored Culture Glasses?

Are you sure of that? How do you know?

On Monday I will be sharing results of the Culture IQ Test survey that I’ve been inviting people to take.

It asks you to rate your organization on the 8 essential characteristics of a Culture of Ownership that are described in the book The Florence Prescription: From Accountability to Ownership (which has more than half a million copies in print).

We’ve had more than a thousand people take the test. Because of the way it’s set up (to assure complete candor and anonymity) I have no way of telling who the respondents are or what companies or industries they work in.

Before you read my post on Monday, I encourage you to look in the metaphorical mirror and ask yourself if you are wearing rose-colored glasses when you assess the culture of your organization. Ask yourself if your organization’s leaders have a true appreciation for how their people perceive their workplace culture.

The results are not going to be pretty.

But if everyone who sees those results assumes that the disappointing results are due to other organizations, it reflects Lake Woebegone Syndrome where all the children are above average. Which is, of course, not statistically possible.

Research conducted by the University of Iowa College of Public Health shows that the higher one’s position on an organization chart, the rosier the glasses they tend to wear when evaluating the culture of their organization.

As in medicine, so too in organizational culture: the first step to effective cure is accurate diagnosis. Think about that as you read my post on Monday.

Vaughn, Thomas, et al: “Governing Board, C-Suite, and Clinical Manager Perceptions of Quality and Safety Structures, Processes, and Priorities in U.S. Hospitals” Journal of Healthcare Management. 59(2 March/April):110-128, 2014.

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