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The challenge

To drive strong organisational culture you first need to be able to measure it

In 2019, Keogh Consulting identified a strong need to help organisations find ways to identify their current culture, articulate their aspirational culture and identify suitable interventions.

(L-R) Sue Robson (Innovation Facilitator), Margit Mansfield and Alexis Gaman (Keogh Consulting)

Strong organisational culture underpins successful organisations. It attracts top talent, boosts productivity, and in doing so, a company’s bottom line. But finding ways to measure organisational culture in a tangible way is not always so clear, with most tools on the market only benchmarking employee engagement.

Business transformation and leadership development specialists Keogh Consulting were interested in developing a set of tools and interventions that would help businesses develop the best culture within their company as well as lift bottom-line organisational performance.

They identified a need for an all-encompassing behavioural model to underpin this, requiring an amalgamation of psychology, research, analysis and coding skills that were not readily available within the company.

Our response

Developing an evidence-based toolbox to measure organisational culture

Supported by the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs' Programme, Innovation Connections service, facilitator Sue Robson helped Keogh Consulting were able to recruit Alexis Gaman, a recent psychology honours graduate from the University of Western Australia for six months in 2021. Her unique skillset assisted in the development of an easy-to-use survey to quantitatively measure organisational culture.

The Cultivate model jigsaw.

The survey measures the frequency of behaviours to map the current organisational culture and includes elements that are key to high performance and flourishing such as agility, collaboration, and diversity. The results feed into the behavioural model, which then automatically recommends a series of actionable insights and organisational development interventions. Alexis leveraged her data collection and analysis skills, whilst also providing key recommendations for commercialisation of this product.

Keogh named this evidence-based toolbox Cultivate.

The Innovations Connection Grant allowed us, as a small business, to perform R&D to develop a new product for the market without huge capital outlay. We were well supported by facilitator Sue Robson throughout the entire process.

— Margit Mansfield, CEO, Keogh Consulting

The results

Taking this product to commercialisation

Since the end of the research phase, Keogh Consulting was able to commercialise the technology in November 2021 as part of a soft launch, which has been deployed in multiple organisations to help their leaders implement changes that improve culture. These organisations include a major WA energy company, a state health department, and a global engineering services company (among others). The company expects to officially launch this product later in 2022.

Alexis’ research has also allowed Keogh to extend their leadership diagnostic capability, with the development of a leader 360 assessment and culture fit selection tool – all grounded in their culture model. Recognising Alexis’ work, she was offered a contract to continue working full time at Keogh.

Since the completion of this project, Keogh has already invited more university placement students into their workplace to further study leadership behaviours and their impact on organisational culture. These insights contribute to Keogh’s growing suite of tools used to identify and address organisational culture issues.

I have been able to extend my capabilities and research skills with Keogh. I have also been offered a wonderful opportunity to create a new product that could improve workplaces all across Australia.

—Alexis Gaman, Graduate Placement Researcher, Keogh Consulting

 

The Innovation Connections service is part of CSIRO SME Connect, which connects Australian small to medium sized businesses with Australia's research sector, facilitating and enabling innovation-driven partnerships through funding, support and resources.

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