A company’s true culture can never be found in written mission statements, it can only be explored. Imagine your company had turned into a person over night and is just walking through the door. What does this person look like? Is it a man or a woman? How old is this person? What about their personal characteristics? What emotions does s/he evoke in you? You already have an image in front of you that is slowly becoming more and more concrete. You can now also draw the person. Are you smirking or perhaps a little shocked?

Example 1: a dynamic woman, very tough and inapproachable. She finds it difficult to make contact. On the outside everything seems to be right – clothes, make-up – but…
Example 2: a man roughly 60 years old and a little long in the tooth. He behaves youthfully, is fashionably dressed and shows off his wealth. At the same time, he has scruffy hands and holes in his socks.
Example 3: a man in his mid-40s, dressed in a conservative, agrarian style. He has a friendly expression, talks to everyone who speaks English.

What you are trying to explore is your business’s culture – the unwritten laws that are observed by everyone and yet exceedingly blurry. The corporate culture determines how much change is possible because it influences people’s behavior and enables or prevents new behavior. Three things are required to sustainably develop your corporate culture: influential people serving as role models, new forms of communication and, above all, a sense of achievement in business that is attained through a behavior that differs from the previous one.


  1. Together with a group of employees, describe your company as a person. Evaluate the descriptions and pictures.
  2. Organize a half-day cultural analysis workshop with employees from various areas and work on the following questions. How do we behave towards our customers? How does one make career progress in our organization? What is rewarded and what is penalized? How does communication work? What stories are told behind closed doors? What is taboo? Derive the most important commandments governing behavior from these answers.
  3. Compare the findings of your culture diagnosis to the demands of your change project. What about the current culture is beneficial, what is obstructive?