top of page

SIO Culture Model

Understand your organizational culture

Hexagram of the SIO Culture Model Organizational culture
Hexes on the left side read from top to bottom say Client Culture Experience, Permitted Culture, Intended Culture, and Ideological Culture
The hex in the center reads Social Culture
The Hexes on the right side read from top to bottom say Employee Culture Experience, Microculture, Macroculture, and Operational Culture
SIO Culture Model, © 2023 FIC Human Resource Partners All rights reserved.

We know culture.  We understand that culture is a complex system that requires the ability to use multiple models concurrently to develop a NUANCE(D) understanding and approach to fostering inclusive cultures of belonging. Sure, we could use the models that are already out there, but they were never designed to be used together which makes them poorly suited to developing a detailed NUANCE(D) understanding of organizational cultures.  That's why we have developed our own models and the methods to audit organizations to identify the culture qualities present in your organization.  

We use our Social, Ideological, and Operational Culture Quality Audits to measure and understand your organization’s macro and microcultures as they exist today. 

Social, Ideological, and Operational Culture

The SIO Culture Model is a holistic nuanced view of organizational culture.


Organizational culture is comprised of 3 culture dimensions: Social, Ideological, and Operational culture. Within each of those dimensions are 6 culture elements.  For each of those elements there are 4 potential culture qualities that may be experienced. 


Our Organizational Culture Quality Audit enables us to measure and identify the culture qualities of all 18 culture elements.

SIO Culture Model
Organizational Culture encompasses the Culture Dimensions which in turn encompasses Social Culture, Ideological Culture, and Operational Culture.
Social Culture encompasses the following Culture elements: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Authenticity, and Psychological Safety
Ideological Culture encompasses the following Culture Elements: Hierarchy, Authority, Communication, Priorities, Efficiency, and Collaboration
Operational Culture encompasses the following Culture Elements: Innovation, Productivity, Agility, Ethics, Community, and Wellbeing
SIO Culture Model © 2023 FIC Human Resource Partners All rights reserved

Measuring Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture Quality Audit


Intersectional Insights
Holistic, Employee-Based Visibility

Organizations must view culture holistically, taking into account:

  • Social, Ideological, and Operational Culture

  • Employee Culture Experiences

  • Specific microcultures within the macroculture

  • How well microcultures work together

  • How closely the macro and microcultures are aligned to your intended culture.

2 overlapping hexagrams showing the relationship between implicit, explicit, macro and microcultures
The hexagram on the left depicts the Permitted Culture and the hexagram on the right depicts the Intended Culture. 
The hexes read from left to right, top to bottom are: 3 red hexes completely within the Permitted Culture hexagram reading Microculture 6, Microculture 9, and microculture 12. 4 Orange hexes that are mostly with the Permitted Culture hexagram and slightly within the Intended Culture hexagram read Microculture 1, Microculture 4, Microculture 11, and Microculture 13.
One yellow hex mostly within the Intended Culture hexagram and slightly within the Permitted Culture hexagram reads Microculture 7.
5 green hexes completely within the Intended Culture hexagram read Microculture 3, Microculture 2, Microculture 5, Microculture 10, and Microculture 8

The Organizational Culture Quality Audit

Culture Health Snapshot   Hexagon that has a color spectrum that radiates from the center (red) to through orange and yellow to green at the outer. Divided into 6 labeled parts: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Authenticity, Psychological Safety. Each section has a pie wedge representing the health of that culture element.  © 2022 FIC Human Resource Partners & FIC Human Resource Partners, LLC Logo
  • Returns defined values for 18 culture elements across 3 culture dimensions.

  • Establishes a macro-level baseline measure of the permitted culture.

  • Identifies the differences between the macro and microcultures.

  • Brings visibility to employee culture experiences.


All of which  provides you with the ability to clearly understand the contributing factors that result in specific employee culture experiences, identify macro-microculture misalignments, and identify specific areas of need to address. This level of insight and understanding of your organizational culture allows you to implement highly focused initiatives designed for minimal disruption and maximum effect. 

The Organizational Culture Quality Audit is designed to be administered annually so that the progress of the culture improvement programs can be measured.

While you can’t wave a magic wand to gain visibility, you can work with us to: 

  • Measure your Culture Qualities

  • Better understand the culture experience of your employees

  • Build out the policies and procedures that support your desired culture

  • Give your employees the knowledge, skills, and insights to make your culture welcoming and inclusive

  • Map out how to achieve your culture goals

Social
Culture 

Social culture is about identity-based culture experiences: 

•    Diversity
•    Equity
•    Inclusion  

•    Belonging
•    Authenticity
•    Psychological safety

Ideological
Culture

Ideological culture is about the values and principles that drive an organization and its people:

 

  • Hierarchy

  • Authority

  • Communication

  • Priorities

  • Efficiency

  • Collaboration

Operational
Culture

Operational culture is about what, why, how work gets done within an organization: 

 

  • Innovation

  • Productivity

  • Agility

  • Ethics

  • Community

  • Wellbeing

CULTURE COMPONENTS

Intended and Permitted Cultures

Intended cultures are: 

  • Explicitly communicated behaviors and expectations 

  • Company’s governing intentions for interactions between peers and with management 

Permitted cultures are: 

  • Organic and implicitly allowed

  • Real-world behaviors and interactions between peers and with management

  • Allowed across the organization

  • Possibly outside the Intended culture when interactions and behaviors are accepted 

While you may have the best intentions, permitted cultures that exist outside - or even despite - your policies can create unhealthy cultures that negatively impact:

  • Employee wellbeing

  • Employee performance

  • Business opportunities

  • Innovation

Macro and Microcultures

Macro-cultures are the entirety of the cultures existing within an organization. 

Micro-cultures are cultures within the macro-culture. 

When working in harmony, the micro- and macro-cultures are healthy. 
 

2 overlapping hexagrams showing the relationship between implicit, explicit, macro and microcultures
The hexagram on the left depicts the Permitted Culture and the hexagram on the right depicts the Intended Culture. 
The hexes read from left to right, top to bottom are: 3 red hexes completely within the Permitted Culture hexagram reading Microculture 6, Microculture 9, and microculture 12. 4 Orange hexes that are mostly with the Permitted Culture hexagram and slightly within the Intended Culture hexagram read Microculture 1, Microculture 4, Microculture 11, and Microculture 13.
One yellow hex mostly within the Intended Culture hexagram and slightly within the Permitted Culture hexagram reads Microculture 7.
5 green hexes completely within the Intended Culture hexagram read Microculture 3, Microculture 2, Microculture 5, Microculture 10, and Microculture 8

Bringing a nuanced approach to making 
culture work

5 hexagons forming a triangle with a hexagon overlaying the 3 at the center. Pink to purple gradient

Developing the ability to foster inclusive cultures 

Having a diverse workforce isn’t enough. Age, education, gender, nationality, religion, political view, and just about every way in which people differ from one another is an opportunity to expand your organization’s ability to view, adapt, respond, and navigate every aspect of its operations and interactions.  But this can only happen when that diversity is fully included and incorporated into the company and has a voice in shaping its future.

Do you know how to align the permitted microcultures of your organization with your intended culture?

Organizational culture is nuanced and it requires a nuanced culture improvement plan. 

 

A single top-down culture improvement strategy aimed at the macroculture level is difficult enough to implement.  Coordinating an implementation strategy that is tailored to the specific needs of multiple microcultures requires an integrated approach that keeps each initiative moving forward in harmony with the others. 

Our Nuance Culture Consulting™ service is designed to offer that coordination.

Do your policies support an inclusive culture of belonging?

Most policies and procedures are  based on templates or an 'industry best practice’ copied from from another organization. 


When policies and procedures aren’t tailored to your culture and aren't created with an inclusive or equitable mindset they can become roadblocks to achieving culture improvement goals.   

It can be difficult to identify:

  • Inequity in policies

  • Policy blocks to an inclusive culture of belonging.

Our policy audit and creation services can help you achieve inclusive equitable policies. 

Have Questions?
Check our FAQ page for answers!

bottom of page