What is an Organizational Culture Study?

An Organizational Culture Study reveals a collection of themes** that highlight an organization’s strengths and weaknesses and formulates the data into actionable initiatives that will improve the overall organizational health. Interplay Coaching does this through one-on-one interviews with the very people who work within the organization’s culture: the C suite, management and all levels of employees. Leadership and managers have good ideas when it comes to changes that can bring about a healthier organization. The true art is in breaking through the barriers to change and making change stick. 

The Process: 

The process for this study is relatively straightforward.  Interplay Coaching works with the organizations' appropriate leadership to write four to five open-ended questions designed to uncover the organization's cultural strengths and areas for improvement. The leadership then creates a list of C-Suite leadership, management and employees with whom Interplay Coaching conducts one-on-one confidential interviews.  That qualitative information is then mined for clear themes - including both strengths and areas of improvement - and a thematic report is written which includes actionable suggestions for change from those interviewed.


Interplay Coaching compiles all interview information and looks for “themes” regarding the organization’s cultural strengths and areas for improvement.  A theme is present when there are 3-5 or more comments along the same line of thinking.  Samples of some common themes that may surface are as follow:

  • Too much time spent discussing what needs to be done versus doing it
  • ‘My leader is very supportive, but is always too busy to meet on important topics’
  • Communications from leadership are always the same and don’t hit on topics that are important to employees at the lower levels
  • There is too much double speak from leadership; just tell us the truth and let us decide how we want to handle it
  • Leadership is too focused on managing upwards rather than downward
  • ‘My development plans and education always seem to be low on the list of priorities’

Cultural Study involves: 

  • Interplay Coaching and key leadership people co-author 4-5 open-ended questions that ask specific employees about the strengths and areas of improvement of the organization’s working culture
  • key leadership people create a list of people to be interviewed by Interplay Coaching. It is important and required that this list include a broad range of employees, at multiple levels, within the organization

Interplay Coaching will:

  • conduct confidential interviews with employees regarding the inner-workings of the organization. Interviews last approximately 45 minutes to an hour and are conducted in an atmosphere that lends itself to complete candor so that the interviewee can share responses, opinions, and beliefs in total privacy and confidentiality
  • compile key themes garnered from the interview process  
  • write a report (Organizational Culture Study) summarizing the key themes extracted from the interviews.  The cultural themes that show up as strengths are highlighted in the report and will be encouraged through a set of strengthening initiatives.  The cultural themes highlighted as areas for improvement will include actionable suggestions from the interviewees
  • work with the organization’s leadership to craft an implementation plan for instituting new cultural initiatives deconstructed into strategies and tactics with benchmarks to track the progress of the organization towards these objectives
  • share the final Organizational Culture Study with the key executive(s) in the organization
  • work with leaders of the organization to support the new cultural initiatives and to hold employees at all levels accountable in order to achieve stronger organizational health

Interplay Coaching Deliverables: 

  • Completed Organizational Cultural Study Report, thematically based and derived from interviews with multiple sources within the organization
  • Prevailing themes extracted from the employee interviews
  • Actionable initiatives, broken into strategies and tactics, based on input and ideas from interviewees
  • Coaching sessions based on a predetermined agreement with the client

Every organization can create real clarity and be re-energized when qualitative data gathered from its own employee base informs the key decisions going forward. The 360 Organizational Cultural tool and follow-up coaching is an extraordinary investment in you, your team, and your organization. Our whole purpose is to propel your organization to its highest level of effectiveness.

Contact us for more information on how we can structure our Organizational Culture 360 tool to suit your needs.