Cultural Due Diligence
In my previous post, I talked about a couple of tools to do a culture audit, specifically a Culture Observation Inventory and an Archival Checklist. In this post, I’d like to discuss using surveys.
Culture Surveys, when used appropriately, provide valuable, quantifiable data regarding culture. Surveys are a snapshot that can help identify areas of cultural difference for future exploration. A survey is a quick means for getting information from multiple global locations, assuming these locations are large enough to protect respondent anonymity. Surveys give those in remote locations an opportunity to have input. The survey does attempt to quantify cultural dimensions and gives those leaders with a penchant for numbers an idea of where there are some potential cultural gaps. One caveat – surveys should not be used as the only instrument for assessing culture as no survey can get at all the cultural nuances. Plus, if overused, the survey reinforces a numbers-driven culture.
Surveys, if designed right, are probably the most time-consuming and costly to do in-house. If you really want to use a culture survey, the quickest approach is to use an off-the-shelf product. How do you choose off-the-shelf products? Well, that’s the subject of another article.