Vaughan San Francisco Change Experts

San Francisco, CA

Understanding Corporate Culture through Systems Thinking

Organizations Are Comprised of Connected Elements

Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole. In organizations, you can't change one element of the organization without affecting other parts. For example, if you change the strategy, it can change a company's culture, people, processes and more.

To fully understand the implications of organizational change,, Vaughan & Company uses systems thinking techniques to build visual maps to look at how an organization is functioning in all areas.

Seeking Harmony with a Holistic View of the Culture

In order to find an effective solution, you must first find the root cause of the problem. That's what happens when you preesnt a pointed question—"What's the current state of"—and then drill down to 13 areas of an organization from its culture through its communications to get factual examples and data points.

Why Visual Mapping Works

A picture can tell the story faster than a book of reports. When everyone is looking at an organization through a single lens, its easy to identify what's working and what's not, and then you can start fixing it.


With culture pulse tools, you can collect and analyze data from a broad spectrum of people in an organization quickly. Implement actions within weeks, not the three to four months it usually takes before anyone takes action.


Based upon systems thinking and systems dynamics frameworks, visual mapping allows you to see the whole picture to identify issues and test actions making sure things wonít get worse.


The visual display, coupled with real data allows anyone to clearly see the underlying systemic issues in an organization. The visual map identifies the disconnects.


The mapping process can be used in a variety of ways and combined with other, more traditional tools and approaches. Clients have used the process to lead change in many areas.

If you only see part of the organization, you can only provide part of the solution.

Organizations, as the name suggests, are organic, dynamic ecosystems of many moving parts. If you look to solve a problem in one area of an organization without understanding how it affects other areas, you're likely to fail.

Visual Mapping Helps:
  • Align teams/groups around the real issues.
  • Make sense of the complexity of your organization.
  • Collect and present data in a meaningful way that removes emotion and finger-pointing.
  • Look at the whole of the problem versus just a small part.
  • Make better decisions.

Thin slice it.

Find the root of the problem fast, so you can work on the solution.

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