Co-creating change-enabled organisations

Orgscan Webinar - Below the waterline

The Iceberg of Ignorance model posted on LinkedIn by attracted a lot of interest.  Its essence is that the vast majority of the real problems in organisations are unknown to top management.  This means that they get less attention than they deserve; it also mean that these hidden issues can limit the effectiveness of change initiatives.  One approach to this challenge is to employ innovative discovery methods to establish the ‘current reality’ before trying to change anything.


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The MBSL webinar Below the waterline provides an opportunity for delegates to explore the nature of the challenge for change leaders, and ideas on how to define the start point of the change journey.  They last for about one hour, and normally begin at 09:30 BST  The dates for the next series will be announced shortly.  The number of delegates will be limited to enable everyone to participate fully in the conversation. When the dates are published please click here to reserve your place.


What is it?

OrgScan is a rapid diagnostic that identifies underlying system conditions (cultural, structural, process, resource, capability etc.) at play in organisations, and some of the appropriate levers for change.  The approach is unique to MBSL and can often be completed within a week.

OrgScan Example Output200

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It is a form of discovery that uses structured conversations between a facilitator and individuals drawn from a designed sample of the organisation’s people.  Political responses and other forms of data contamination are avoided by the use of indirect, observational and non-judgemental questions.  The analysis flows not from individual responses to particular questions, but from the patterns in the responses.

When might you use it?

OrgScan is a highly effective way of establishing the reality of the organisation’s behaviours and identifying the drivers of those behaviours.  If an organisation is planning any sort of change / initiative / programme, OrgScan can be hugely helpful in surfacing the pitfalls that would otherwise befall the initiative at some stage down the line.  It has proved to be so valuable to us over the years that we always conduct an OrgScan as the first stage of any assignment we are asked to undertake.  We have learned through experience that ‘the presenting problem’ is rarely the one that needs to be fixed.

Equally, it can be useful in a situation where the organisation is not responding in the way the leaders, or leaders of change, intend.  This is especially true in the case of mergers and acquisitions, and the need for integration – before or after the event.  It addresses the most common cause of failure – differences in the prevailing cultural norms.

What benefits does it bring?

In addition to the expedience and power of this diagnostic tool, every time we complete an OrgScan within an organisation it galvanises the will and the expectation of change in the people involved.  Depending on the circumstances and needs, this ‘intervention effect’ can be ramped up or down.

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