IPA – Culture
(Culture analysis)

– Focus on the culture of the job and the department

Specialist Culture

Result Culture

Dialog Culture

Change Culture

Culture analysis

for understanding company culture

IPA – Culture (Company Culture). A company culture is first and foremost a product of the employees’ personal values combined with the company’s history, position in the market, ingrained habits and shared meaning-making narratives and assumptions. Culture is created in this meeting between something that comes from within the individual (values) and something that comes from outside, i.e. the environment and history in a broad sense.

The basic function of company culture is to support the optimal problem-solving and learning process in order to adapt and grow, and thus culture can leverage the company’s overall value creation. However, a company culture can also be a near-destructive obstacle to unleashing shared resources.

IPA – Culture (culture analysis). A company culture is first and foremost a product of the employees’ personal values combined with the company’s history, position in the market, entrenched customs and shared meaning-making narratives and assumptions. Culture is created in this meeting between something that comes from within the individual (values) and something that comes from outside, i.e. the environment and history in a broad sense.

The basic function of company culture is to support the optimal problem-solving and learning process in order to adapt and grow, and thus culture can leverage the company’s overall value creation. But a company’s culture can also be a near-destructive obstacle to unleashing shared resources.

New employees encounter the current company culture with their own personal values. The experience can go from feeling immediately at home, to feeling an edge and alienation from their own standards relatively quickly.

Thus, the current company culture is a crucial player, both in terms of the company’s interests and in terms of the new employee’s performance and motivation.

The culture scales are developed as a test-within-the-test. This means that the individual culture dimensions are operationalized by selecting the statements in the IPA JobMatch questionnaire that score on the definitions of the individual scales.

Researcher Flemming Olsen talks about IPA Culture

THE 4 IPA CULTURE SCALES

Cultural traits # 1

SPECIALIST CULTURE

The Specialist culture is characterized by a high degree of predictability, a calm and stable daily rhythm, and a desire to minimize risk. The tasks are defined by their strong sense of measurability, and often there is only one correct result.

The efforts are managed in a clear and structured way, and the individual employee must adjust their approach to fit the systems, rules and routines that characterize the way tasks are solved. The culture and communication are case oriented, and the approach has a strong focus on the professional content. The organization is defined by a clear division of tasks and specific qualifications, and aspects such as professional skills, diligence, and precision in the way tasks are solved are rewarded.

The Specialist culture expects people to behave correctly, follow the rules, and keep their work in order. People approach tasks with diligence and are good at what they do. Emotions are kept away; there is no time for complaints; and everyone accepts their place, sticks to their own tasks, and tries to avoid causing problems for others.

LOW SPECIALIST CULTURE

The working environment and culture in the company is characterized by few fixed guidelines, an absence of routines and almost no opportunities to check whether you are on the right track. The vast majority of tasks are of such a nature that it is not possible to plan the task from start to finish in advance.

In general, there is no stable and fixed daily rhythm, but rather a rather risky and uncertain daily routine. External control, both through the way tasks are organized and managed and through fixed rules and routines, is almost non-existent.

There’s not much help to be had from that side. This means that there is very rarely a clear path to the final result. It’s mostly up to the individual employee to find the path themselves.

The tone of the company is free, there are few rules, and you are measured more on your results than on whether you do things correctly.

For this reason, the communication and tone of voice is more task-oriented than case-oriented.

HIGH SPECIALIST CULTURE

The specialist culture is characterised by a universe of high predictability, a calm and stable daily rhythm and the pursuit of minimising risk. The tasks are characterised by measurability and there is usually only one correct solution.

Efforts are managed in a clear and structured way, and individuals must adapt to the systems and common rules and routines inherent in the way tasks are handled.

The culture and the way of communicating are case-oriented and the approach to the tasks is sober and characterised by a focus on the professional content. The organisation is characterised by a clear division of tasks and competences, and rewards professional excellence, thoroughness and precision in the execution of tasks.

In the Specialist culture, it is important to behave properly, follow the rules and keep things in order. You make an effort and are good at your job. You keep your emotions in check and do not complain, and you accept your place, look after your things and avoid causing problems for others as far as possible.

Cultural traits # 2

OPERATIONEL RESULT CULTURE

The Operational Performance culture is a goal-oriented culture that has a focus on individual performance and success. The output is important, and people are rewarded for strong performance and delivery. For that same reason, the organization is characterized by large degree of freedom and responsibility, clear goals, and a competitive environment. The individual employee is challenged by high demands and a focus on results, and determination and risk-taking is rewarded. This is a culture that focuses on practicalities and what is realistic. The problem solving is based on experience, facts, and evidence. It is a clear and principled culture, dominated by an unmistakable and exact way of communicating.

In the Operational Performance culture, the individual strives for personal growth and success, and everyone tries to achieve as much as possible for oneself. This means that one has to be fast on the trigger and exploit the opportunities that arise. A big part of the identity in this culture is the ability to perform, be noticed, and make a difference through the results that are achieved. In the Operational Performance culture, there are high demands, both individually and towards one’s surroundings, and there is a desire to fulfill the set goals.

LOW OPERATIONEL RESULT CULTURE

The culture is clearly more focused on the community and what you do together than on individual performance.

There are clear limits on the price each individual has to pay to achieve a certain goal, and you are rewarded primarily for what you contribute to the shared task, rather than what you achieve as an individual. For the same reason, there is a reluctance to highlight certain people at the expense of others, and you don’t measure yourself against each other at all.

There are clear and explicit limits on what can be expected of each individual, and it is possible to say no to tasks where you feel insecure. People adapt to each other to a great extent and find a set of common ground rules that form the basis for collaboration and task solving in the company.

The culture and tone of voice is somewhat characterized by mostly relying on each other, sharing responsibility and accepting the space and tasks you have been assigned. You adapt to your colleagues rather than going your own way, and it’s important to try to meet the expectations of those around you.

HIGH OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE CULTURE

The Operational Performance Culture is a goal-oriented culture where the focus is on individual performance and individual success. It is output-oriented and rewards you for delivering and performing.

For this reason, the organization is characterized by a high degree of individual freedom and responsibility, clear goals and a competitive environment. Through this, individuals are challenged by setting high expectations for results and rewarding determination and the courage to take calculated risks.

It’s a culture oriented towards practicality and realism, basing problem solving on experience, facts and evidence. It’s a clear and principled culture, dominated by a clear and unambiguous way of communicating.

In the Operational Performance culture, individuals strive for personal growth and success and strive to achieve all that they can. Therefore, you need to be quick on the trigger and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. A large part of your self-perception lies in what you can achieve, and you want to make yourself visible through your results and make a difference. In the Operational Performance Culture, you set high standards for yourself and each other and strive to be the one who always completes what you set out to do.

Culture trait # 3

DIALOG CULTURE

The dialog culture is a trust-based and process-oriented culture. It can handle more complex tasks characterized by a lack of factual measurability and nominal facts. The environment is characterized by a high degree of openness and tolerance. This is one of several prerequisites for effective, targeted collaboration.

There is a high level of respect for each other’s skills. There is a social inclusiveness that is necessary to embrace each other’s differences. It’s a work environment that emphasizes social skills. You support each other. The relational aspect is seen as a crucial quality of life and motivation for the individual’s efforts. You work in groups and teams where you complement each other’s skills. Helping each other in critical situations.

Dialogue culture believes that empowering each other and complementing each other’s skills produces a result that is greater than the sum of the individuals. Each individual sees themselves as part of a greater whole through involvement, knowledge sharing and ongoing communication. You invest in people and their skills and develop them both personally and professionally.

LOW DIALOG CULTURE

The culture is largely driven by the fact that there are clear rules and principles to follow.

There is a fairly matter-of-fact approach to the world and tasks, and people rarely talk about emotions and more personal things, but rather deal with each other in a more case-oriented way. In general, you don’t spend much time on social activities and idle chatter, and it’s okay to be skeptical of the motives and attitudes of those around you.

In general, there is a high respect for sobriety and realism and an appreciation for in-depth professionalism and skill. It is accepted that in some situations you need time to think long and hard about things, and you don’t rush into tasks until you are well prepared.

It’s very much a no-nonsense, case-oriented culture, where you take care of business and get by on your professional skills. It’s important for individuals that their colleagues believe that what they’re doing is okay, and they should abide by the rules and principles that are shared as clear knowledge in the company.

HIGH DIALOGUE CULTURE

The dialog culture is a trust-based and process-oriented culture that can handle more complex tasks characterized by a lack of factual measurability and nominal facts. The environment is characterized by a high degree of openness and tolerance, which is one of several prerequisites for effective targeted collaboration.

There is a high respect for each other’s skills and a social inclusiveness that is necessary to embrace each other’s differences. It’s a work environment where social skills are emphasized, where people support each other, and where relationality is seen as a crucial quality of life and motivation for individual effort.

You work in groups and teams, complementing each other’s skills but also helping each other in critical situations.

Dialogue culture believes that by empowering each other and complementing each other’s skills, the result is greater than the sum of the individuals. Each individual sees themselves as part of a greater whole through involvement, knowledge sharing and ongoing communication.

You invest in people and their skills and develop them both personally and professionally.

Culture trait # 4

CHANGE CULTURE

The culture of change is characterised by a fluid and uncertain context for the performance of tasks, and the organisation. Individuals must find their bearings in an unpredictable world with no framework and no fixed, measurable reference points.

The organisation is characterised by a freedom of method and thought, few rules and constraints. The individual is rewarded for inventiveness, creativity and the ability to handle complex tasks. People must be able to find their own way. You are highly development-oriented and constantly on the move towards a new standpoint, new technologies and new ways of perceiving the world. You work towards the achievement of long-term goals, and results, often at a strategic level. It is a culture of freedom to create the framework and content of tasks. Individuals must be able to navigate and find their way in a changing and uncertain world.

In the culture of change, individuals must be able to navigate largely on the basis of their own inner world of imagination. They perceive the world from their own personal perspective. People are rewarded for thinking outside the box, for ingenuity and creativity.

In the culture of change, the individual is oriented towards wanting to realise his or her full potential and being given the opportunity to use all his or her talents.

LOW CHANGE CULTURE

The culture is heavily influenced by the need for exact facts and figures, and in some tasks there is only room for a very small margin of error. In the vast majority of tasks, solutions must be based on the tangible, the measurable and the certain.

It’s a distinctly professional culture where you have to base your solutions on what you know works in practice. There is no room for experimentation and fleeting ideas and thoughts.

There is a preference for avoiding or avoiding conflicts and anything that can disrupt and distract from the real task at hand. In general, everyday life and the work environment is characterized by objective discussions without major disagreements, and people tend to bend over backwards to avoid conflict.

The culture is very much characterized by a focus on doing things right and without errors and shortcomings.

It’s clear that a lot of effort is made to avoid unnecessary conflict, and it’s very rare that people feel the need to get tough with each other.

Overall, they prefer a calm and stable daily rhythm with a high degree of repetition and familiarity.

LOW CULTURE OF CHANGE

The culture of change is characterised by a moving and uncertain context for the performance of tasks, and the organisation and the individual must orientate themselves in an unpredictable world with no framework and no fixed and measurable points of reference.

The organisation is characterised by a freedom of method and thought, few rules and constraints, and individuals are rewarded for inventiveness, creativity and the ability to handle complex tasks. People need to be able to find their own way, and are highly development-oriented, constantly moving towards new positions, new technologies and new ways of perceiving the world.

You work towards the achievement of long-term goals and results, often at a strategic level. It is a culture of freedom to create the framework and content of tasks, and individuals must be able to navigate and find their way in a changing and uncertain world.

In the culture of change, individuals must be able to navigate largely on the basis of their own inner imaginations, perceiving the world from their own personal perspective. People are rewarded for thinking outside the box, for resourcefulness and creativity. In the culture of change, individuals are oriented towards realising their full potential and being able to use their full talent.

Kontakta IPA Nordic: