The location of this short article comes from a city by teacher Walter Scott written in 1808. The full phrase is “Oh, what a tangled internet we weave when first we exercise to deceive”. It way that when you action dishonestly you room initiating problems, and also a domino framework of complications, i m sorry will ultimately run out of control.

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While the city talks about acting dishonestly, in mine scenario ns don’t mean to suggest that the company is corrupt or lying per se. At least not ~ above purpose. Yet organizations have actually a de-facto “culture” comprised of many elements.

Consider currently your organization’s strategy. Is that aligned v the actual strategic intent and also values the the organization? Is it being imposed as expected? If not, what is hindering the company from important executing that is strategy.

In their book Exploring Strategy, writer Gerry Johnson and Kevan Scholes introduce the social Web (see figure 1). In this internet they identify six interrelated aspects that help define the “paradigm” or the version of the work environment.

The six aspects are:


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Figure 1: The cultural Web


StoriesRituals and RoutinesSymbolsOrganizational StructureControl SystemsPower Structures

The paradigm is in ~ the facility of these 6 elements, and also it describes the “taken-for-granted” assumptions and beliefs us have about an organization. According to Johnson and Scholes, the cultural Web “shows the behavioral, physical, and also symbolic manifestations that a culture.” do we truly know and understand the 6 elements, or space we “deceiving” ourselves?

You may have heard the expression “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This renowned quotation is regularly attributed to business management guru Peter Drucker. What walk this in reality mean? In essence it method that society can dominate strategy. In a battle between an organization’s strategy and also the organization’s culture, society usually wins. In fact, culture determines and also limits strategy. Therefore, if the society is no aligned v the strategy, the strategy is at risk.

Culture becomes significantly important during organizational change, digital transformation, or business growth. There have been countless times once engaging with a client on strategy advance or implementation, wherein the client has said me “this is the method we do things roughly here” or “that is our culture.” What does that mean? Is the ok to expropriate the condition quo since that’s the method it has constantly been done?

We deserve to use the cultural Web to analysis the culture of one organization. The details top top each aspect are together follows:

The cultural Web – Stories

“Stories” refers to what civilization talk around both inside and outside the company. The stories have the right to be hopeful or negative. These stories stand for the really or perceived idea about the organization. Because that instance, when using for a brand-new position, nothing we desire to recognize what civilization are saying around a agency or a department? internally someone could say “you don’t desire to work here – they occupational you come exhaustion,” or “this is one amazing ar to work.” Let’s put this in regards to strategy implementation. What if the story is “they have actually tried changing the strategy before and also it failed miserably.” If this is the story going approximately the company, what would the success be for the implementation of however another new strategy?

The social Web – Rituals and Routines

“Rituals and also Routines” describes the daily tasks and behaviors. Are the rituals acceptable? carry out they reinforce or contradict the wanted culture? for instance, a agency is wanting to adopt the Scrum framework. Scrum contains many “rituals” together as daily stand-ups and retrospectives. If the company does not execute these rituals, they are most most likely not embracing the true heart of Scrum.

The social Web – Symbols

“Symbols” refers to the visual representation of the organization including logos, titles, dress codes, or office layout. Say you want to perform a society where everyone’s standing is valued equally. Is the what you’re really saying if you have private offices for some (the proverbial corner office).

The cultural Web – business Structures

“Organizational Structures” mirrors the structure characterized by the organization chart and also the unwritten currently of power and also influence. Walk your organizational structure encourage high collaboration in between everyone, or walk it promote a more formal pecking order with a couple of people in ~ the top and also the rest of the employees taking orders? Or perhaps the organizational structure promotes a siloed vs. Collaborative working environment?

The cultural Web – manage Systems

“Control Systems” refers to the means the company is controlled. This mirrors what is necessary to the organization. Is the profits above everything else (at the cost of high quality for instance)? does the firm control employee performance making use of bonuses that can promote interior competition fairly than teamwork?

The cultural Web – strength Structures

“Power Structures” highlights the genuine power in ~ the organization. Go one person, group, or department have actually the best amount of influence on just how decisions are made? How around the strategy direction? I’ve proficient this fairly a bit where the service side of the company makes the strategy decisions there is no involving, for instance, the it department. This also method the business makes decisions around IT solutions. The IT department is climate relegated come an “order taker” function and go not participate in the setup of strategic direction.

As with most revolution efforts, we can start using the social Web. We can use it to transition the success the strategy, through assessing the current state the culture, determining the wanted state, and identifying the differences between the two. When these differences have been identified, us can build a arrangement for the changes needed to create the culture we want.

Bottom Line

You deserve to use Johnson and Scholes’ cultural Web to analyze your present culture. That can assist you come ask an effective questions to identify what the future society should be, and also identify what requirements to stay, walk or be included to. V these answers, you rise your opportunities to accomplish your strategy goals.

Implementing cultural changes is not going to be easy. It involves reframing values, beliefs and also behaviors. Johnson and also Scholes’ cultural Web provides a good structure for the complicated business of changing organizational culture. Using it, girlfriend can create a cultural environment that urges success, and supports the organization’s objectives and values.

About the author

Mark Edmead is an IT transformation consultant and trainer. End the previous 28 years, the has listed IT revolution and business advancement services that align information an innovation with company goals to journey bottom-line performance and growth.

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Mark’s emphasis is on readjust management, procedure improvement, enterprise architecture, modern technology road mapping, strategic IT planning, IT organization analysis, IT portfolio management and IT governance. Note is TOGAF 9.2 certified and he is a lean IT accredited trainer, a DevOps trainer, a certified COBIT 5 assessor, a certified Baldrige inner assessor, a service Relationship Management skilled (BRMP) accredited trainer, accredited Certified information Systems Auditor (CISA) trainer, accredited COBIT 2019 structure and Design/Implementation trainer, and a member of the Malcolm Baldrige national Quality Award plank of Examiners.