Transforming Culture through Teams: A Step-By-Step Guide

October 12, 2023

by Pam Boney


Transforming organizational culture by targeting key team climates is a complex and multi-faceted process. In the previous post, I compared the dominant culture patterns of organizations described by  the Tilt and Competing Values Frameworks. In this post, I will discuss how targeting team climates is the key to larger culture change, and has the added benefit of enhancing team and organizational performance. 

Why Target Team Climates 

According to Tilt365’s research, and supported by MIT Sloan Management Review, targeting team climates is perhaps the most efficient approach to driving organizational culture change. A team climate refers to the shared perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors within a specific group of people working together. These climates can have a significant impact on an organization's overall culture. Using personality assessments as a tool in this process can be beneficial for understanding the underlying team dynamics to improve communication, reduce conflicts, and align team members with the desired cultural goals.

The intricate interplay between organizational culture, team climates, and individual personalities represents a complex web of influences within any organization. While the dominant organizational culture sets the overarching tone and values, it is at the team level where transformational shifts truly take root. Through this lens, it becomes increasingly evident that shaping team climates is the key to driving significant performance and identity changes in organizations. Team climates, formed through the collective personalities, identities, and interactions of team members, wield remarkable influence. They provide a space where the principles of the larger culture meet the daily realities of the workforce. 

When key teams develop climates that support the strategic goals of the organization, they not only thrive but also become beacons of possibility for the broader culture. In an era where organizational agility and adaptability are paramount, the ability to cultivate agile team climates that align with evolving goals–Intentional Tilting–is incredibly valuable. As such, team climates can serve as catalysts for cultural transformation. When teams prove successful, their influence can ripple outward, challenging the status quo of the dominant culture and prompting broader shifts in thinking and identity. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Step 1: Evaluate Individual Team Members' Personality Patterns

  1. Select a Personality Assessment Tool: Choose a reputable personality assessment, such as the True Tilt Personality Assessment™, that is designed for helping people better understand and shift their personality patterns.

  2. Obtain Consent: Gain the consent of team members to participate in the personality assessment. Explain the purpose of the assessment and assure them that the results will be used for constructive purposes only.

  3. Administer the Assessment: Distribute the selected personality assessment to all team members. They should complete the assessment honestly and at their own pace.

  4. Collect and Analyze Data: Once team members have completed the assessment, collect the data and analyze the individual personality patterns. Identify common traits, strengths, and potential areas for improvement among team members.

Step 2: Review and Analyze Aggregate Personality Patterns

  1. Identify Trends and Patterns: Review the aggregated data, such as the Team Climate Profile™ report, to identify the dominant personality patterns and makeup of the team. Look for trends related to communication styles, decision-making, problem-solving, and interpersonal dynamics, with their relation to the team’s objectives and work context.

  2. Engage a Coach or Consultant (Optional): Consider involving an I/O psychologist, laser coach, or some type of organizational culture consultant to provide expert insights into the data. They can help you interpret the findings and identify areas for improvement.

  3. Meet with Team Leaders: Share the dominant personality patterns with team leaders, and facilitate a discussion around the findings. Encourage leaders to reflect on how these patterns might be impacting team dynamics, productivity, and overall culture.

Step 3: Plan and Implement Culture Transformation Strategies

  1. Set Clear Goals: Collaboratively set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for transforming the team's culture. Determine which culture pattern best aligns with the organization's current objectives.

  2. Tailor Interventions: Based on the team’s personality patterns and identified areas for improvement, design customized interventions. These could include team-building activities, training workshops, Agility Labs™, or individual coaching sessions.

  3. Engage Team Members: Involve team members in the process of culture transformation. Explain the goals, benefits, and expected outcomes of the transformation towards agility and generativity. Encourage their input and feedback.

  4. Implement Change Initiatives: Roll out the interventions, ensuring that they align with the specific objectives identified from the personality assessments. Monitor the progress by having the team members retake the personality assessments at determined intervals to measure progress, and make adjustments as necessary. 

  5. Measure and Assess Progress: Continuously assess the impact of culture transformation efforts. Use both quantitative (personality assessments) and qualitative (feedback) methods to evaluate progress.

  6. Provide Feedback and Support: Offer regular feedback to team members and leaders on their progress and the impact of the team climate transformation efforts. Provide additional support or resources as needed.

Step 4: Sustain and Reinforce the Transformation

  1. Integrate into Organizational Practices: Embed the desired personality traits, character strengths, and work styles into everyday practices and decision-making processes.

  2. Celebrate Successes: Acknowledge and celebrate achievements and milestones related to the desired team climate shift. This reinforces the importance of the new culture.

  3. Evaluate and Adjust: Periodically revisit the personality assessments and culture transformation strategies to ensure they remain effective and relevant.

  4. Monitor Long-Term Impact: Assess the long-term impact of the culture transformation on team performance, job satisfaction, and organizational success. Make further adjustments as needed.


Transforming an organizational culture is a multifaceted process that can be initiated by targeting the personality patterns of key team climates through individual team members. This approach, starting with personality assessments and progressing to the analysis of aggregate personality patterns, provides valuable insights into team dynamics and communication styles. With these insights in hand, leaders and organizations can craft tailored strategies for culture transformation, fostering an environment where team members thrive, collaborate more effectively, and contribute to the overall success of the organization. This step-by-step guide serves as a foundation for building a culture that aligns with an organization's mission and values, ultimately driving sustainable growth and enhanced workplace satisfaction.