Change Your Environment, Enhance Your Culture


Last year, the word "culture" topped Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year list. To compile this list, Merriam-Webster analyzed the top lookups in the online dictionary's website. Thus the word itself inspired conversation around the question, what is culture?

Culture is a fluid, dynamic mix of customs, rules and expectations. In the modern workplace, it is something that has a critical impact on the overall growth and success of an organization. In turn, organizational culture defines the various ways employees think, behave, interact with others, and conduct business. Align to Thrive, an assessment facilitated by Intereum, helps companies understand from its employees perspective, where their culture is, where they want their culture to go, and where the organization may need to improve for optimal growth and performance.

The Align to Thrive assessment is based on the IC-8® - a model that defines eight different cultural styles and how they relate to one another. In turn the assessment helps individuals understand the current cultural identity of their company and the behaviors associated with the culture from their employee's perspective. Leaders are also able to understand (from the viewpoint of its most important asset, its people) what would make the organization more productive and an even better place to work. The assessment, which can be conducted in 15 minutes, has been trialed and tested in 41 markets across the United States and Canada for over 15 years. The assessment is easy, interactive and anonymous.

When implementing new office landscapes, Intereum utilizes Align to Thrive to gain perspective on what motivates and drives individual companies. This helps to gather the true collective cultural knowledge, which helps Intereum to obtain an inside look into the corporate culture and views of staff members. Then with sustainability, flexibility and comfort as a core focus, Intereum is able to support this existing culture and facilitate the changes needed.

Intereum, partnered with Align to Thrive, wants to eliminate the misconception that when a company chooses to change their environment they will also be changing their culture. Intereum understands that culture consists of many different components and the environment is just one piece. According to a prior CEO of Southwest Airlines, Herb Kelleher, "Given enough time and money, your competitors can duplicate almost everything you've got working for you...The only thing they can't duplicate is your culture." Thus with this in mind, the Align to Thrive assessment enables Intereum to discover what inspires employees and what is influencing decisions, actions, productivity and performance.

In a recent Star Tribune article McGough Construction's CEO, Tom McGough Jr., said, "Yet while many owners might have an idea of what type of boss they want to be, they haven't translated their idea of workplace culture into their business plans. They should." By understanding a company's culture, Intereum can implement fluid workspaces that diminish challenges and emphasize strengths.