Culture change programs are famously difficult to sustain. Research shows that 70% of corporate change efforts fail to achieve their stated objectives.

We use the simple, holistic Five Questions Culture Framework to guide assessment and transformation projects. Based on research presented in founding partner Drew Jones’ forthcoming book–Five Questions: How to design a more engaged and adaptive culture– we simplify the culture-change process into five simple questions.

The OWA approach to assessment and change differs from other approaches. We use an anthropological approach. The Five Questions model flips the script of the culture assessment process, and seeks to understand culture from the employees’ perspective. We focus on the tangible, material (i.e. designable) elements of employee experience.

Rather than asking employees to change their behavior...

Rather than asking employees to change their behavior to accommodate the latest change program (that has a 70% chance of failure), we follow a user-centered approach that enlists employee feedback and perspectives on how work can be (re)designed to achieve corporate objectives.

Five Questions Framework

Why are we doing this work? What is the Purpose of the organization?

What exactly are teams working on? Are employees engaged in innovation that leads to Growth or are they only engaged in repetition and scale?

How are teams and individuals accomplishing goals? Are teams self-organizing and committed to high levels of Accountability or are they micromanaged?

Who is steering the ship? Does leadership cascade Trust and a growth mindset in the organization?

Where are people getting their work done? Does the company workplace and workplace strategy facilitate Flexibility, collaboration, and community.

The Five Questions Framework is flexible and adaptable and can be used to address a wide variety of organizational challenges:

  • Transitioning to hybrid working
  • Enhancing employee engagement & retention
  • Increasing innovation and innovation capabilities
  • Integrating new leadership
  • Navigating M&A’s
  • Transforming workspace design & experience
  • Developing a better workplace strategy
  • Improving effectiveness of meetings
  • Improving team alignment
  • Sharpening leadership and management communication

Learn more about our SERVICES.

Ready to start a conversation?