Arthur Carmazzi – Organizational Change: Impact of Changing Culture

Arthur Carmazzi – Organizational Change: Impact of Changing Culture

Part 2 of how to change an Organizational Culture in 80 Days

By: Arthur Carmazzi

An updated post on the Organizational Culture Evolution process is at:

Changing organizational culture can have a profound impact on effectiveness, motivation and alignment of personal goals and organizational objectives, but there can be negative effects if you do not understand your current organizational culture before you start.

The first step in understanding culture is to identify the level of “Culture Evolution” your organization is currently at. There are 5 primary levels of Culture Evolution, the first and worst organizational culture is the “Blame Culture”

In this culture people are afraid of making mistakes and are blaming everyone for everything. The culture does not permit mistakes and thus people don’t usually take responsibility so information related to the mistake is lost and it becomes difficult to find the root cause of these mistakes. Since root cause is elusive, improvement is minimal.

NO BLAME ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURECharacteristics of a Blame Culture

  • Little trust
  • Act in self interest
  • do not take many risks
  • do not usually speak their mind
  • do not come up with many new ideas
  • paycheck driven
  • inefficient
  • stagnating growth
  • avoid responsibility
  • high level of fear

Primary values of a Blame Culture are:

  1.  avoid conflict
  2. self-preservation

The next level up the organizational culture evolutionary ladder is the “Multi-directional Culture”.

This culture operates in silos and the issues related to that prevent any unified teamwork or focus on primary organizational objectives. Instead, people focus on internal problems and often blame other departments for their problems.

Characteristics of a Multi-directional Culture:

  • Little communication
  • People involved within their own departments only
  • Loyalty is to specific groups and not to the organization
  • Cliquish
  • Lots of gossip
  • Critical of other departments
  • Little cross-departmental cooperation

Primary values of a Multi-Directional Culture are:

  1. Don’t get involved in other people’s business
  2. Responsibility stops at your own job description

The average organizational culture is the “Live and Let Live Culture”.

People in this type of culture are complacent and usually not passionate about their jobs and innovation is stagnant. The culture has cultivated a sense of security in its people and change challenges that security.

Characteristics of a Live and Let Live Culture:

  • Complacency
  • Mental Stagnation
  • Low Creativity
  • Average cooperation
  • Average communication
  • Little future vision
  • Work in the moment for future goals
  • Monotonous  routine
  • Lacks passion

Primary values of a Live and Let Live Culture are:

  1. Keep the status quo
  2. Don’t complicate matters
  3. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it

The fourth organizational culture nurtures positive emotions and engagement through your products or services; it is the “Brand Congruent Culture”.

People in this culture believe in what you sell and have an emotional tie to maintaining a standard to deliver that. While there will still be disputes and ego may still overcome logic, this culture is one of the evolved cultures that is more effective and people have personal sense of pride.

Characteristics of a Brand Congruent Culture:

  • People believe in the product or service of the organization
  • People feel good about what their company is trying to achieve
  • Cooperation is good
  • People have a similar goal in the organization
  • Use personal resources to actively solve problems
  • Not limited to job description, will actively look for solutions
  • Most everyone is in sales, marketing and PR; they are walking ambassadors
  • No conflict between organizations promise to customers and employees
  • Many are passionate about the product/service

Primary values of a Brand Congruent Culture are:

  1. Believe what you say
  2. Live what you believe
  3. Product/service Improvement is everyone’s responsibility

Finally the most evolved organizational culture is the “Leadership enriched culture”.

This is leadership without ego, people work together to achieve objectives and do not dwell on how it should be done or who is right. People with specific expertise become the leaders when required and tell their manager what to do. Title is only a formality, people are respected and trusted.


  • People view the organization as an extension of themselves
  • People feel good about what they personally achieve through the organization
  • Cooperation is exceptional 
  • Individual goals are aligned with the goals of the organization
  • People use group resources to actively solve problems
  • Not limited to job description, will do what it takes to make things happen
  • Most everyone is in sales, marketing and PR; they are walking ambassadors
  • People are consistently bringing out the best in each other
  • Leaders do not develop followers, but develop other leaders
  • Leadership is contribution driven and not ego driven
  • Very Low employee turnover
  • Most are passionate about the organization and what it represents


Primary values of a Leadership Enriched Culture are:

  1. Everyone has something to offer to you and the organization
  2. By assisting others to be their best, you will become better
  3. Leadership is an identity one must adopt, it is not a skill

Knowing where you are in the culture evolutionary scale, identifies what needs to change to EVOLVE. Knowing the next step on the evolutionary scale provides guidelines to achieving organizational culture objectives. Potential negative impact comes from trying to skip steps without understanding the implications. For example if you are in a Blame Culture and try to cultivate a Leadership Enriched Culture you are missing out on the necessary organizational alignment from the Brand Congruent Culture. And before that we need to get the departments communicating with each other to overcome facets of the Live and Let Live Culture.

While it is possible to jump to higher levels of organizational culture, it is essential that the evolutionary steps are incorporated into the process to avoid any negative after effects that would result from leaving out essential culture building components, components that would inevitably affect the cultures sustainability.

Identify where YOUR ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE IS with the Free Organizational Culture Assessment !



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