Culture hacking

In our experience, culture hacking is a data driven carefully managed process to transform your actual culture to your aspired culture.

By Tone S. Ringstad , Founder and CEO of Culture Intelligence


Culture Hacking is increasingly drawing attention. In the Gartner’s 2018 CIO Survey, 46% of respondents named cultureas the biggest barrier to scaling digital transformation. In the same event, Culture Hacking was introduced as a way to nudge an organization to make small changes to cause big scale change.

Both establishing actual and aspired culture will require a customized process, it will be systemic, not linear, and involve both rational data, emotions and change processes. There is nothing “soft”, small or simple about it, but it brings engagement and energy to a team!

Culture hacking will equip a company with hard facts about their own culture. They will get insight on which values people prioritize and want to put into action from a culture hack. From that resulting dataset, the team is enabled to analyze which of the actual values will benefit them the most, and also identify the values they miss the most. The culture gap will be identified, and the team will go into hacking on the gap to eliminate the barrier it represents. What can we do to put the new values and actions into our daily work? An action plan can be carefully designed and put into the budget process and planning for the coming year.

Culture hacking gives the benefit of knowing, not dreaming, about values and culture in a business. It also leaves every participant in the culture survey with an individual culture map, identifying their personal scoring in the aspired culture. We experience this to be extremely helpful in the implementation of the new culture. Knowing where you fit in and what your personal change project is in the corporate new culture creates nothing but ownership and accountability.

Culture hacking is nothing new, but can now be supported by increasingly better datasets and processes. It is, however, more important than ever to have as a part of the annual corporate management processes. Agility and success are documented to be correlated to having the right culture. Knowing the team alignment to the aspired culture is a leadership responsibility. Learn fast and end up with a culture strategy your team owns.

Referring to Gartner; “Culture is big, unwieldy and hard to change.” We don’t see it as neither unwieldy nor hard to change, but we have a deep respect for the processes required to gather the right data to be doing it with quality.