“If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.”

Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at MIT Sloan School of Management


Culture is one of those terms which is used a lot in the media, quite often when something goes wrong at an organization, council or sporting club. There are a number of tools and frameworks that can be utilised to measure and focus the organization on culture and whilst it’s not perfect (no tool ever is), I do like the approach that the Human Synergistics framework does bring to the topic.

In workshops I quite often ask people:

“do you want to work in an environment where…….

  • There are realistic but stretch goals
  • That mean something to you
  • You get feedback along the way (both in what you are doing well AND where you need to improve)
  • And it’s a good team environment?”

Overwhelmingly the response is YES!

Fundamentally, that’s what I think the Human Synergistics Constructive behaviours are actually capturing.

When first exposed to the language of the Human Synergistics Circumplex (isn’t it a circle?), sometimes it can be a bit confusing……..there is jargon, the scales do vary between behaviours and some of the labels are a bit open to interpretation – what does “exciting to know” actually mean?

However, the benefits are difficult to dispute and what Human Synergistics do do very well is link constructive culture to business outcomes in a way which is very compelling.

Their analysis of over 2,000 organisations in Australia & New Zealand showed organisations with more Constructive Culture have staff who are:

  • 26% more satisfied
  • 32% more motivated
  • 19% clearer on what is expected of them
  • 26% less stressed
  • 25% more likely to stay with the organization

At the group level, these staff also report:

  • 28% more effective teamwork
  • 30% better inter-unit coordination (less silos)
  • 25% greater commitment to producing a quality result

From an organization wide perspective, they also feel that the organization is:

  • 32% more adaptable to changes in its external environment, and
  • Produces 32% higher quality performance

Really, it’s about outcomes.

What the Human Synergistics tools and frameworks do is help define, measure, inform and ultimate enhance leadership capability, team effectiveness and culture.

That’s one of the reasons that OMC Group has introduced the constructive styles of behavior to over 400 Supervisors, Managers and Executives over the last 4 years.

OMC Group is a small organisation with a big goal – we want to work with individuals, teams and organisations to enable effective change, to achieve outcomes.

For more information about Human Synergistics and Culture, attached is a great summary article: “Cutting through the noise: what is culture?”  What is Culture?