Develop plan


   Culture Change Canvas

A framework based on “influence channels” that shape and define an organization’s culture. Helps teams develop an actionable, specific culture change plan for their organization.

Session Length: 60+ minutes Group Size: 4+ people Prep Time: 30+ minutes


Use the Culture Change Canvas any time an organization is facing significant changes in its environment (e.g., financial, technical, competitive) or when trying to establish and foster a new set of cultural attributes.


An organization’s culture influences the beliefs and behaviors of its members, shaping how they see the world, make decisions, and solve problems. Changing an organization’s culture by introducing new principles (beliefs) and practices (behaviors) can help improve the organization’s outcomes. This tool ensures such changes are introduced in a respectful, inclusive, transparent manner. It also helps reduces the time needed to introduce such changes, by identifying the initial steps which can be taken right away.


STEP 1: Assemble a small culture change team. Give each participant a copy of the Culture Change Canvas to use (ideally on 11×17 paper).

STEP 2: Describe the Current Culture by circling the applicable characteristics. Write-in additional characteristics that may not be listed.

STEP 3: Write some adjectives in the “What does the Desired Culture look like?” section, such as creative, compliant, collaborative, speed-oriented, risk-averse, thrifty, creative, etc.

STEP 4: List people, organizations, or groups that already exhibit the desired culture in the “Where does the Desired Culture already exist?” section.

STEP 5: Fill out the four quadrants with specific answers to the italicized prompts. Include existing items that support the desired culture, as well as new items that need to be developed. Write action sentences, such as “Ms. X meets with Group Y and says Z,” or “Increase offerings of Course ABC by X%.”

STEP 6: Identify any contradictory messages coming through these channels. Recognize that enthusiasm in one channel can be contradicted by silence in another.

STEP 7: Circle the concrete actions in each quadrant that contribute to conveying a consistent, coherent message through all four quadrants.

Culture Change Canvas |Worksheet

Download this tool to print out and start using with your team. Each download includes a tool description and if applicable, a template and example.