American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Characteristics of the Desired Organizational Culture

The following statements outline our expectations about the type of culture we want to foster in the National Office. They were initially developed in 1996 and they've stood the test of time with only minor revisions. In the simplest terms, we want everyone to feel good about being part of the ASHA National Office. We feel strongly that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect and we want this to be a place where everyone can do his or her best work.

  • Managers are seen as coaches and team leaders. They are valued for these skills. Leadership is participative and flexible.
  • Organizational policies and procedures are developed to help people get the job done and to protect the long-term health of the Association. They are readily reviewed and changed as needed.
  • Joint decision making occurs routinely. Information is readily shared. Problem solving is highly pragmatic. People work informally and are not preoccupied with status and territory. Conflicts are addressed openly and respectfully.
  • Productivity is measured by the results achieved.
  • Common objectives are widely shared and energy is channeled toward meeting the objectives. The responsibility is shared.
  • Nonconformity is accepted. People are expected to present innovative ideas. People feel free to brainstorm.
  • There is a high level of trust that people will do the right thing and policies and procedures reflect this. Problems are dealt with by the supervisors when they occur.
  • Collaboration is freely entered into. Competition is fair, open, and in pursuit of a shared goal. Relationships are honest.
  • People get on-going feedback about their performance in a constructive, helpful manner. Poor performance is confronted and a resolution-oriented action plan is put into place.
  • People are highly motivated. They seize opportunities for personal growth. People view work as important and fun.
  • Risk taking is supported as a part of growth and change.
  • Mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning and re-examining the process.
  • The organization is future-focused and adapts quickly to changing demands. People can articulate common goals and are aware when organizational goals are achieved. These achievements are celebrated.
  • Communication is frequent, informal, interactive, and multi-directional. People feel well informed.
  • People experience the organizational culture as being customer service driven. Our commitment to our members is demonstrated in everything that we do. Our structures, processes and interactions are built to assess and fulfill our member needs.
  • Strategies are data driven. Member needs and issues are tracked and the wider environment is routinely scanned. The data is collectively analyzed and strategies and operational plans are developed from what is learned. There is a on-going cycle of gathering, analyzing, and making changes as needed.

We work hard to assure this is the way staff experience working in the National Office and we move quickly to address any situations that appear to fall outside of these expectations. If you ever feel we are off the mark, we want and expect you to bring your concerns forward. You can talk with your coach, cluster leader, a member of the facilitating team or anyone in human resources to explore a concern.

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