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Optio Software Inc. provides software solutions that enable organizations to increase speed, accuracy, functionality and quality in their document processes. These processes include procure-to-pay, order-to-cash, manufacturing and various healthcare processes.
The company was founded in 1981 as Technology Marketing, Inc. and later changed its name to Xpoint Corporation. Xpoint developed FormsXPress, one of the industrys first leading forms automation products. In 1997, Xpoint changed its name to Optio Software, Inc. During the next year, it established a European subsidiary in Paris. Since then, Optio has established branch sales offices in the United Kingdom and Germany.
According to the Organization Culture Inventory (OCI); Optio Software Inc. has an overall Passive/Defensive Style. This Cultural Style is geared towards Promoting People/Security Behaviors. During this analysis, Optios most influential cultural traits included Approval, Competitiveness, Convention and Dependence.
According to OCI Descriptions, “an Approval culture frequently avoids conflicts and interpersonal relationships are pleasant–at least superficially. Members feel that they should agree with, gain the approval of, and be liked by others.” As an employee of Optio Software, I see the effects of this Cultural trait everyday. There seems to be a sense of fear to disagree with “system” at Optio. Employees have concerns but there is no constructive method of voicing these concerns available. Frequently, employees are prompted to submit ideas and recommendations for change and improvement, by these requests are usually not met, due to the Approval Culture that exists with Optio. Employees are not willing to face the repercussions of going against the “system.”
The second highest OCI trait of Optio Software was Competitiveness; located within the Aggressive/Defensive Styles. According to the OCI Descriptions, “A Competitive culture is one in which winning is valued and members are rewarded for outperforming one another. Members operate in a “win-lose” framework and believe they must work against (rather than with) their peers to be noticed. (Turn the job into a contest; never appear to lose)”
I believe this trait is destructive to the work environment at Optio Software. This particular culture was implemented by a VP of Sales. Although this organizational trait maybe successful in Sales, it is not conducive to the growth of an Information Technology Team. Frequently, Sales Personnel work alone with an objective to individually meet a particular amount of revenue dictated by a Sales Manager. However, in I/T, employees frequently work together to accomplish team goals set by a manager. Therefore, having a competitive organization trait in a team oriented environment can be very destructive towards meeting a particular team goal.
The conventional culture also ranked high for Optio Software. According to the OCI description, “a Conventional culture is descriptive of organizations that are conservative, traditional, and bureaucratically controlled. Members are expected to conform, follow the rules, and make a good impression.” Optio definitely has a mold they would like their employees to fit into. It is very recognizable that if an individual fits a particular mold, they will be put in situations where they will advance within the company. This is something I learned early on, when I witnessed an employee not as qualified as others, advance to the Optio Consulting group, which is similar to a corporate fraternity. This individual fit a particular mold that Optio prefers. In essence, fitting into Optios cultural mold is more powerful than obtaining valuable skill sets.
Finally, the Dependent culture also ranked high in the OCI results for Optio Software. According to the OCI descriptions, “a dependent culture is descriptive of organizations that are hierarchically controlled and do not empower their members. Centralized decision making in such organizations leads members to do only what they are told and to clear all decisions with superiors.”
I have witnessed this cultural trait though Optios I/T management team. Although there are two Technical Support teams, which individual managers, most of the decision-making comes from the director of Information Technology, Mark Webb. Although Mark is the director of I/T, which encompasses a variety of support teams, consulting and various management teams; he is frequently, too involved in decision making for I/T Support Managers. At times, members of I/T Support forget that we have a manager, or view Mark as our manager because he makes most of the decisions. This prevents our manager, Rene Coney, from making managerial decisions. As the description of dependence mentions, Optio tends to be hierarchically controlled and does not empower its members.
TARGETS FOR CULTURAL CHANGE GRID
According to the OCI results, the largest gaps and targets for cultural change at Optio Software is Approval, Dependence and Power. As mentioned above Approval is one of the highest cultural trends at Optio software. Since approval is so highly regarded at Optio Software,