Culture, Satisfaction, Pain Points, and the Outside World

There will be elements of your current state that you need to understand that will not be so straightforward or easy to assess as services, people, process, and technology. These include culture, satisfaction, pain points, and the outside world. Here are some questions for you to ask to get you started.

Organizational Culture

  • Is innovation encouraged or is conformity more important?
  • Is my organization organized hierarchically with everything coming from the top and going down, or is my organization more organic with units working together horizontally?
  • How does my organization approach diversity — barely accepting, tolerating, or welcoming of diversity?
  • Is there a channel for suggestions to bubble up and will they be paid attention to? Are the suggestions encouraged?


  • How do my people feel about their work lives? Are they happy, or hate their lives? Do they feel like they are working in a safe environment and that they are valued for what they bring to my organization?
  • Do I have the authority to change my employees job descriptions and job expectations?
  • Do my employees feel like they have work/life balance?
  • How do my customers feel about the services or products that we are providing to them — are they happy?

Pain Points

There is a reason that you are thinking about making a change and that might be because something is very wrong right now.

  • Are my pain points related to services, people, process, or technology?
  • Where are my issues — is there a precise problem that needs to be addressed?
  • Do I have control over the point where there is pain, or is it outside of my authority and ability to influence?

Outside World

  • What does the world around my organization look like and how does it affect me?
  • Is the economic climate good, or a concern right now?
  • Do I have the ability to operate in a free-market manner, or do I have regulatory and other restrictions imposed on me?

The soft side questions will help you to recognize how much control and direction you will actually be able to have over the change

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