Several times each year our firm is hired to assess organizational culture. These culture assessments primarily serve to inform our recruiting efforts, but on occasion they afford us the opportunity to help business leaders get a clearer gauge of their organizational health. We spend time with the senior leadership team, middle managers, front lines, and more, working through the same set of questions. For example, “which of the core values do you resonate with the most and why?” “How would you assess the leadership of the organization?” The responses are anonymous and thus produce some fairly honest feedback. We pool the data and summarize our findings in a report for the senior leadership team. Often, what follows is a significant shift in the cultural trajectory.

As a baseline we have developed a framework for four types of healthy cultures and four types of toxic cultures. Today we’ll focus on the former.