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Over the past 35 years, my colleagues and I have conducted a great deal of research using the Competing Values Framework that has produced some interesting findings. For example, (1) almost all organizations have one or more of these quadrants as their dominant culture. (2) Leaders who have developed competencies that match their organization’s dominant culture are significantly higher performers than average. That is, congruence between competencies and culture predicts higher performance. (3) The change strategy that is most effective is predicted by the framework—for example incremental change strategies are best in organizations dominated by the lower left (red) quadrant, whereas large transformation change strategies are most effective in the upper right (green) quadrant. Fast, urgent change strategies work best in organizations dominated by the lower right (blue) quadrant, whereas deliberate, long-term, consensual change is most effective in organizations dominated by the upper left (yellow) quadrant. And, (4) in corporate mergers and acquisitions—most of which are not successful—we can predict with more than 95% accuracy which mergers will succeed or which will fail based on cultural congruence.

In sum, the Competing Values Framework has become a very useful tool for guiding leadership development, organizational culture change, and managing the tensions and competing values faced by most leaders in organizations.