Two people sitting together discussing organizational culture

Organizational Culture

Most leaders recognize how critical a high-performance culture is to their organization’s success. Most also struggle to achieve it.

Developing the right culture is essential to achieving sustainable competitive advantage: Companies with a purpose-driven organizational culture outperform their peers. They attract and retain a diverse workforce with the highest-caliber skills. They empower employees to collaborate and innovate in agile ways—and inspire them to go the extra mile. They align workers and resources to advance strategic goals.

BCG helps clients articulate what their organizational culture should be.


Our approach, based on cutting-edge behavioral science, helps leaders understand how they can personally activate a new culture—and permanently embed it within the organization using our proven change management strategies and tools.

What Are the Characteristics of Organizational Culture?

Organizational culture is how your people behave within your company’s context:

  • Who gets hired? Fired? Promoted?
  • How do you set goals?
  • What do you talk about in key meetings?
  • Which heroes do you celebrate?
  • What projects do you fund?
  • What behaviors and outcomes do you measure, encourage, and reward?
  • How do you react to failure or setbacks?

Aligning Strategy, Purpose, and Organizational Culture

To achieve a high-performance culture, BCG’s organizational culture consulting experts ensure that a company’s purpose, strategy, and culture are closely interconnected.

  • Purpose is an organization’s WHY. It articulates why the company’s work matters to the world. It is the foundation on which the company’s mission, vision, values, and business culture are built.
  • Strategy defines WHAT the organization must do to succeed. An aligned business culture supports strategic goals, whereas a fragmented culture undermines them.
  • Culture determines HOW work gets done: What do people say and do around others? What traits and behaviors does the organization signal as valuable by rewarding and reinforcing them through promotions, funding, and incentives?

With these forces aligned, a company gains the vision it needs to remake itself through cultural change. Driving diversity and inclusion is a critical component of this journey to change organizational culture.

Featured Client Work in Organizational Culture

How Changing Culture Put an Insurer on a Growth Trajectory

BCG helped a global insurance company design a new functional operating model and identify a portfolio of initiatives. By embracing change management principles and focusing on culture, the company lowered management costs by 20% and reduced overall costs by approximately $500 million.

Explore our expertise on Change Management

" "

BCG’s Latest Insights In Organizational Culture

The Importance of Diverse Boards

Ulrike Schwarz-Runer, a managing director and senior partner and BCG's general counsel, shares three key reasons why diversity in the boardroom is so important.

Jim Hemerling on Corporate Culture

Jim Hemerling explains four steps to achieve organizational culture change and break down the myths.

RBC’s Dave McKay on a Future-Focused Culture

Cultural transformation is difficult—but not impossible. RBC CEO Dave McKay explains how a shock to the system can deliver change.

How Leaders Can Fix a Flawed Approach to Diversity

BCG’s Matt Krentz explains why leaders who set the budgets for and lead the efforts in diversity and inclusion must be engaged and educated to help expand the impact of these programs.

protected by reCaptcha

Leadership by Design: Navigate the complexities of today’s leadership and management environment.