Building Blocks of Organizational Culture

While most people think of organizational culture in broad, sociological terms, field experience has shown that one of the fundamental building blocks of organizational culture is patterns-of-interaction between small-groups of 2s, 3s, and 4s. Most managers in an organization know that effectively leading a work-group takes an enormous amount of time and energy because they have to maintain a balance between conflicting or competing interests in a complex system of coalitions of small-groups of 2s, 3s, and 4s who see themselves, others, and the world very differently.

The complexity of these interactions increases exponentially when moving from small-groups of 2s, 3s, and 4s, to groups of 20 or more people because the amount of information processing needed to keep track of the patterns-of-interaction becomes enormous. For example, in a group of 20 people, a manager has to keep track of nineteen relationships between them and others, plus 171 third-party relationships.


Culture Talk™

Learn what organizational culture is and why it matters by watching Culture Talk™ – an on-line video series that explores key questions about organizational culture and how it powerfully affects day-to-day operations and the bottom-line in your organization.

Culture Talk™ Video Series

For more information on the Breckenridge Institute’s unique approach to improving your organization’s performance and sustainability go to or contact us at

Organizational Impasse Indicator™

Does your organization find it difficult to make key decisions, and once made do they go unimplemented or get reversed? Do projects that seem to have the full support of top managers and key personnel die a slow death and no one knows what happened to them? Does your organization’s culture act like an Invisible Bureaucracy™ that prevents you from getting the results you want? These are some of the signs that your organization has reached an impasse. The Breckenridge Institute’s free Organizational Impasse Indicator™ will show you what this may be costing you in squandered time and energy – hidden costs that don’t appear on Balance Sheets or Budget Statements.

Free Organizational Impasse Indicator™

Just click on the link above, complete the questions in 2-3 minutes, and your free Organizational Impasse Indicator™ report will be sent directly to you. This is the first step to making invisible bureaucracy visible and to moving beyond the organizational impasses that prevent your organization from getting the results it wants.

HBR Editor’s Blog

Every month, the senior editors of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) invite internationally recognized organizational theorists and practitioners to raise issues and answer questions about leadership and management issues on the HBR Editor’s Blog. This month, we provide Pinnacle readers with links to two important and interesting discussions (see below).

Andrew Hoffman, Trusting Your Gut: What They Don’t Teach You in B-School

Umair Haque, Strategy’s Golden Rule

We encourage you to join the conversation on the HBR Editor’s Blog and voice your opinions, commentary, and insights on these and other important topics.


Mark Bodnarczuk’s book, Making Invisible Bureaucracy Visible: A Guide to Assessing and Changing Organizational Culture is available at on-line world-wide at locations like

Mark Bodnarczuk has been invited to speak about his book, The Breckenridge Enneagram at the upcoming European Type Conference in Berlin in May 2010. For details on attending this exciting international conference go to

Mark Bodnarczuk has been invited to speak about his book, Making Invisible Bureaucracy Visible at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna in June 2010 (see

For a more complete listing of on-line videos, books, articles, and white papers from the Breckenridge Institute® go to

Breckenridge Institute®

If you would like information about the Breckenridge Institute’s research activities, portfolio of assessment tools, or consulting services, visit our website at Also visit

Copyright © Breckenridge Institute® 2010. All Rights Reserved
Underwater Photo: © Annie Crawley, 2010,


Culture Corner

“The most obvious manifestations of culture are common language and common ways of thinking.”

Edgar Schein, The Corporate Culture Survival Guide


The Breckenridge Culture Indicator™ (BCI™)

The new Breckenridge Culture Indicator™ (BCI™) is used to baseline organizational performance and culture and to help define a performance improvement strategy that includes both the “hard” technical side of integrating business systems with the “soft” human side of an organization. Because it can be used to baseline the performance and culture of an entire organization or a work-group, the BCI™ is typically used by top managers, business owners, and middle-managers when they are anticipating or experiencing significant change due to, substantial growth; reorganizations; changes in leadership; change in strategic direction; decline in business performance; mergers and acquisitions; sale or spin-off of business units; or major IT implementations. It can also be used as an effective alternative to 360-degree reviews because it allows you to evaluate a manager’s leadership and management skills, within the context of an organization’s structures, systems, and culture. The BCI™ is now available to qualified users 24X7 anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

Contact Elin Larson for details on how you can begin using this exciting new tool in your organization or with your clients (970-389-4666 or

Books and Articles

Gerald Driskill and Angela Laird Brenton, Organizational Culture in Action

“What is organizational culture? And how might knowledge of culture improve our organizational performances? Authors Gerald W. Driskill and Angela Laird Brenton have created a simulating workbook to guide students through data collection, analysis, interpretation, and application of organizational culture data using a practical five-step process. Organizational Culture in Action: A Cultural Analysis Workbook begins by explaining theories on which organizational culture is based. It then provides ‘how to’ guides for gathering information to help improve organizational performance. ‘Connections’ sections present the practical value of theory and concepts discussed throughout. Based on more than 20 years of experience in using this approach with hundreds of students, the authors help students apply cultural insights to fostering diversity, supporting organizational change, making leadership more dynamic, exploring the link between ethics and culture, and making organizations more effective overall.” Organizational Culture in Action, is published by Sage Publications and is available on