ORGANIZATIONAL CHARACTER INDEX

Complete each item by circling the choice that comes closest to your assessment of how your organization actually operates, using the 1 - 4 scale.  The degree or strength of your choice is as follows:

1 = Distinctly (or usually) A

3 = Somewhat (or often) B

2 = Somewhat(or often) A

4 = Distinctly (or usually) B

Do not agonize too much about your answer.  If in doubt, go with the first thought you had when you read the question. 
Make sure you answer each question - leave no question blank.

Question

Rating

1.

Does the organization pay more attention to the demands of its customers or to what it knows how to do best?

Customers

What it does best

1

2

3

4

2.

Is the organization better at producing and delivering established products/service or at planning or creating new ones?

Producing/Developing

Planning/Creating

1

2

3

4

3.

Which is more important to the organization; its efficient systems or its dedicated people?

Systems

People

1

2

3

4

4.

Does the organization spell out the details of its policies and procedures, or does it avoid such detail in the name of letting people work to their own best style?

Spell out

Avoid too much detail

1

2

3

4

5.

Can employees see the organization's inner workings fairly clearly, or is decision making invisible to most people - with decisions simply appearing mysteriously?

Very open

Very hidden

1

2

3

4

6.

Does the leadership base its decisions on detailed information about situations or on general trends and a big picture or concept of what is going on?

Detail information

Big picture

1

2

3

4

7.

Does the organization ask of people that they fill their official roles effectively or that they exercise their individual talents fully?

Official roles

Individual talent

1

2

3

4

8.

Would you say that the organization emphasizes reaching a decision quickly or considering things from every angle, even if it takes quite a while?

Decisions

Look at every angle

1

2

3

4

9.

Are decisions more often made because of market data or because of internal factors like the beliefs of the leaders or the capacities of the facilities?

Market data

Internal factors

1

2

3

4

10.

Does the organization more often steer its course by the actualities of the present situation or by the possibilities it perceives in the future?

Actualities

Possibilities

1

2

3

4

11.

How are the organizational decisions really made - with the head (tempered by humanity) or by the heart (balanced by information)?

Tempered head

Balanced heart

1

2

3

4

12.

If the organization has a fault, is it that it locks into decisions too quickly or that it keeps too many options open for too long?

Too Quickly

Too many options

1

2

3

4

13.

Do the organization's people and component units collaborate naturally and from the beginning of a project or somewhat uncomfortably and after their seperate positions have been established?

From the beggining

After the fact

1

2

3

4

14.

When changes are being discussed, which gets more attention - the step-by-step plan for getting to the destination or the vision of where things are going?

Steps

Vision

1

2

3

4

15.

Which are taken more seriously in dealing with personnel issues - general principles and standards or individual circumstances and situations?

Principles

Circumstances

1

2

3

4

16.

Does the organization more often act on the basis of set priorities or because of opportunities it discovers in its external environment?

Priorities

Opportunities

1

2

3

4

17.

Is it the influence of cometitors, regulators, and customers or its own sense of identity and mission that is more likely to dictate the organization's actions?

Relations

Identity/Mission

1

2

3

4

18.

Is the organization better at producing reliable products and data or at coming up with innovative ideas or designs?

Reliable Products

Innovative Ideas

1

2

3

4

19.

At the organization, does communicating mean giving information to or staying in touch with its constituencies?

Giving Information

Staying in Touch

1

2

3

4

20.

Does the organization rely on carefully established procedures or on "playing it as it lays"?

Procedures

As it lays

1

2

3

4

21.

Which usually determines the organization's direction - the external challenges it faces or the internal resources it possesses?

Challenges

Resources

1

2

3

4

22.

Is the organization's leadership better described as solid and down to earth or as intuitive and visionary?

Down to Earth

Visionary

1

2

3

4

23.

Which more accurately describes the way managers are supposed to act - following rational plicies or acting sensitively and humanely?

Rational Policies

Sensitive & Visionary

1

2

3

4

24.

Does the organization more often choose to reach a decision or look for more options?

Decide

Look for more Options

1

2

3

4

25.

Is the organization fairly open to influence by employees, customers, or even the public, or is it a pretty tightly system?

Open

Closed

1

2

3

4

26.

Do the organization's values emphasize acting pratically and reliably or ingeniously and inventively?

Practically

Ingeniously

1

2

3

4

27.

When people in the organization talk about "the right thing to do," are they referring to the logical and rational thing or the humane and sensative thing?

Logical/Rational

Humane/Sensitive

1

2

3

4

28.

Which better describes the organization's style - stick to solid ground or ride the river of change?

Solid Ground

River of Change

1

2

3

4

29.

In terms of strategy, is the organization driven by its clients' needs and its competitor's actions, or by its functional and professional capabilities?

Client/Competitor

Functional/Professional

1

2

3

4

30.

When big changes must be made, does the organization prefer to deal with them incrementally (broken down into little steps) or holistically (as one integrated transformational leap)?

Incrementally

Holistically

1

2

3

4

31.

Is the organization better described as a structure of task-based positions (where the relationships are secondary) or a system in which relationships are almost as important as tasks?

Task-based

Relationship-based

1

2

3

4

32.

When projects are being planned, are they usually tightly scheduled on a fixed timetable, or flexibly scheduled on an itinerary that can change with circumstances.?

Tightly Scheduled

Flexibly Scheduled

1

2

3

4

33.

Does the organization work well with suppliers, joint venture partners, and professional associations, or does it prefer to go it alone?

Works with Others

Goes it Alone

1

2

3

4

34.

Which better describes the organization - sticking to the tried and true or undertaking bold new ventures?

Tried and True

Bold New Ventures

1

2

3

4

35.

Which better describes the leader(s)' style - criticism or encouragement?

Criticism

Encouragement

1

2

3

4

36.

Is the organization more likely to plan ahead, or make it up as it goes along?

Plan Ahead

Make it up as it goes

1

2

3

4

 

Scoring the O.C.I.

Put the numerical ratings you selected for each of the 36 questions in the spaces after the numbers below. Then add up the numbers in each horizontal line and enter the totals to the right; then convert your total to a letter according to the directions (e.g., 22 or less is an E, 23 or more is an I).

 

1___5___9___13___17___21___25___29___33___ Total___[22=E; 23=I]

2___6___10___14___18___22___26___30___34___ Total___[22=S; 23=N]

3___7___11___15___19___23___27___31___35___ Total___[22=T; 23=F]

8___8___12___16___20___24___28___32___36___ Total___[22=J; 23=F]

 

According to the Organizational Character Index,
this organization's character is

 

©1992 - William Bridges