The continually changing dynamics of the operating landscape for business in today’s world means that culture is more important than ever. To stand a chance of adapting to fluctuating market conditions driven by ever more complex threats such as climate change, geopolitical instability, resource scarcity and an increasingly competitive talent landscape, employers need to have a really clear culture that is both known and felt at every level of the organisation. 

Culture is the foundation behind every measure of success or failure and a poor culture is the most reported factor behind talent leaving the business. Understanding your culture isn’t as easy as it sounds. Whilst most leaders have an intuitive sense of their culture, trying to gain consensus on an accurate description is extremely difficult without real thought, constructive conversation and most importantly backed up by impartial analysis.

At Sherrington, we work with employers to help them achieve their desired culture – culture that brings authentic sustainability to the business. By measuring and diagnosing the culture using proven tools and expert interviews, we can develop tailored plans to move towards the desired culture, supporting clients through the journey with leadership coaching and where required, providing executive search to recruit key positions having developed a clear understanding of the cultural requirements of the business. 

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1. Project Scope & Consultation

The first stage of any culture improvement or transformation project is understanding the aims and objectives. We conduct a deep dive into the organisational aims and objectives; financial, environmental, and social, in order to determine what sort of culture is required to deliver measurable improvement. 

2. Measure & Diagnose

Once a clear goal is established, we then need to understand the current reality. Sherrington consultants are certified practitioners of the globally recognised Barrett Values Centre assessment tools. Using the Barrett model to understand your collective values and motivations and diagnose what is and isn’t working, measurable data provides critical insights that enables us to clearly see the positive and negative cultural traits of the organisation. 

We also carry out in-depth interviews with staff and senior managers to provide a balanced picture comprised of qualitative and quantitative data to show where we are now Vs where we need to be. Interviews provide added insights and being involved in the process gives people a voice and makes all parties feel included. 

3. Develop a Strategy

Having gained a clear picture of the organisation’s current culture, we then feedback to our client, interpreting the data from interviews and assessments and consulting in order to determine a strategy for improvement or where appropriate, full culture transformation. Timescales are agreed and key milestones are set with coaching, workshops and reviews. 

4. Execute Strategy

Once the strategy is set, we kick things off with a launch event, including all parties to achieve buy in from the start, clearly explaining the meaning behind the exciting journey we’re about to embark on. Providing clarity of aims and objectives is essential and linking culture to the wider organisational vision helps people connect with the programme. 

Having identified development needs for individual leaders and managers, we provide 1-2-1 coaching as well as supporting with executive search for any new leadership positions, using the aspired culture and values as the benchmark for any new appointments. 

Achieving Sustainability Culture

The case for achieving a culture of sustainability has never been clearer. Simply relying on policy development to achieve sustainability goals is a strategy destined to fail, as without a deep connection to the agenda from leaders and colleagues, achieving real sustainability is simply too complex and requires too much joined-up effort and action to stand a chance of success.  

Bain research on corporate sustainability transformation programmes shows only 2% achieve their aims, with ‘Leadership Support’ being the greatest factor influencing success or failure, followed closely by ‘Employee Engagement and Interest’ (Bain & Company, 2016). So how to create universal engagement and commitment behind sustainability? 

Answer – You need a culture that aligns with sustainability culture.

Working with PWC through 2020 / 2021, Barrett Values Centre developed a definition of sustainability culture, by aligning the BVC Values Model with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Using data pulled from the BVC Culture Assessment, Barrett have developed a report which clearly illustrates how your organisational culture aligns with their accepted definition of sustainability culture, highlighting strengths and weaknesses to consider when evaluating your culture goals in relation to sustainability objectives. 

As with the standard reports provided from the CVA (culture assessment), the Culture Sustainability Report shows both positive and negative elements in relation to the UN 5 P’s (People, Prosperity, Planet, Peace, Partnership).

Example BVC Culture Sustainability Report

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Get in Touch…

By using Barrett tools and assessments, Sherrington consultants supports clients to achieve their sustainability goals by embedding sustainability culture across the organisation, thus achieving authentic connection to the mission from the outset and greatly improving success rates.

For more information, talk with our consultants…

"I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address these problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation.”

- Gus Speth

Former Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme

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