Template 6.2.5: Cultural Web Exercise
Purpose
To develop an understanding of your service culture in order to increase readiness
for change. This exercise will assist in mapping and analysing key cultural factors.
It contains six inter-related elements that represent the artefacts (what we see), values
(what we attribute intrinsic worth to) and assumptions (beliefs) about your service.
This knowledge can be used to design and monitor ongoing developments, and to
plan how to work with concerns and resistance in the system.
How to use it?
Baseline measure: Identify through an engagement process the prevailing culture
of the team or service and subcultures – see Columns 1 and 2 below. Understanding
culture requires ‘being present’, listening to the lived experiences of staff and service
users and observing how the service actually operates in practice.
Repeat the exercise to describe the ‘desired culture’ – see Columns 3 and 4 as part of
the Visioning Exercise (see 3.3, 3.3.1). This will provide you with a focus for intervention
and assist in describing the vision for your service.
Stories
Symbols
Power
Structures
Organisation
Structures
Control
Systems
Ritual
& Routines
Organisational
Values
The Cultural Web diagram above identies six interrelated elements that help to make
up what Johnson, G (2017) calls the ‘paradigm’ – the pattern or model – of the work
environment. By analysing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture
of your culture: what is working, what isn’t working, and what needs to be changed.
Source: Johnson, G. (2017) [228]
People’s Needs Defining Change Health Services Change Guide
1 Cultural web elements 2 Prevailing culture
Baseline
3 Cultural web elements 4 Future ‘desired’ culture
Future
Listen and gather stories that reect what it
is like to work in the service.
What would service users, staff, other
services be saying about our service
(desired future culture)?
Observe rituals and routines that signal
acceptable behaviour – what organisational
habits/routines are at play?
What rituals would we have?
Describe behaviours that would be
evident.
Examine symbols that visually represent
what the service stands for – what are the
physical environment cues telling you?
What symbols would be visible?
People’s Needs Defining Change Health Services Change Guide
Template 6.2.5: Cultural Web Exercise (continued)
1 Cultural web elements 2 Prevailing culture
Baseline
3 Cultural web elements 4 Future ‘desired’ culture
Future
Determine power structures – who has the
greatest inuence on decisions, direction
and day-to-day operations?
Who would influence decisions?
How would power and influence be
distributed?
Consider the organisational structure, both
the formal and informal lines of power and
inuence – whose contributions are most
valued?
How would new working relationships
be reflected in the structure/service?
How would the structure support
organisational networks as well as
traditional hierarchies?
Assess control measures including
performance indicators, budget
management, rewards, etc. and their impact
on people
How would we manage accountability
and performance for delivering better
outcomes, quality standards, financial
targets etc.?
People’s Needs Defining Change – Health Services Change Guide
People’s Needs Defining Change Health Services Change Guide
Template 6.2.5: Cultural Web Exercise (continued)
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