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Only 15% of Organizations Succeed in Transforming their Cultures

New study from i4cp,“Culture Renovation: A Blueprint for Action,”  provides a master plan for initiating and sustaining organizational culture transformation.

Only 15% of global survey respondents reported that their organizations have achieved highly successful culture transformations according to a new study from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), Culture Renovation: A Blueprint for Action. Despite that lack of success, the steps to effective culture transformation are clear and attainable for most organizations.

Nearly 7,700 business professionals representing thousands of organizations took part in the groundbreaking i4cp research, which sought to identify the actions and next practices employed by the 348 companies that have experienced culture transformation success. Through the research, i4cp identified 18 key actions the HR and leadership teams took to plan, build, and maintain success.

Most (78%) survey respondents confirmed that any change to culture needs to be driven by the CEO, although enlisting the support of internal influencers is a critical factor to success. Further, interviews with CEOs and HR leaders from Ford Motor Company, Microsoft, Zumiez, T-Mobile, 3M, AbbVie, Booz Allen Hamilton, and others as part of the study, indicated that renovating a culture was more effective than an entire transformation.  

“You really need to figure out what’s at the core of your culture—what you want to keep and what you want to evolve and grow,” said Pat Wadors, Chief Talent Officer at ServiceNow, one of the many senior HR leaders interviewed for the study.

The 18 HR and leadership actions identified by the research form a three-step process to successfully renovate a culture:

  • Plan - 90% of organizations that were unsuccessful in transforming their cultures did not set clear success measures upfront. The 66% that did so reported successful transformations.
  • Build - 57% of organizations that have had successful culture transformations conducted an Organizational Network Analysis to identify influencers and energizers to champion the transformation.
  • Maintain – Successful companies were three-to-seven times more likely to change core talent practices, such as employee onboarding, performance management, and talent mobility, to reinforce and engrain new cultural values and behaviors.

While the full i4cp report is available exclusively to i4cp members, an executive brief will soon be available for download at along with other culture renovation resources.

About the Institute for Corporate Productivity

i4cp is a human capital research firm that discovers the people practices that drive high performance. i4cp provides its extensive member network of leading global employers and government institutions with the research, peer collaboration, tools, and data essential to developing and executing workforce strategies and practices that deliver higher market performance.