On the board’s agenda

Organizational Culture: Recognizing signs of a toxic culture

Welcome to the new issue of On the board’s agenda, a publication where we focus on topical issues of importance to directors.

In this issue

Obtaining a clear understanding of an organization’s culture and mitigating its culture-related risks isn’t easy. James L. Goodfellow, a director of Canadian Tire Corporation and co-author of Integrity in the Spotlight: Audit Committees in a High Risk World and of Disclosure and Certification — What’s at Stake? and Vernoica Melian, Deloitte’s global CulturePath leader, examine the challenges organizations face when assessing their culture and its potential risks, such as:

  • The culture spectrum – Organizational cultures can range from good to toxic. In this issue, we identify some warning signs of cultures at risk of becoming toxic.
  • Cultural indicators –We identify some of the key organizational statistics and other sources of information that together can help provide organizations with a picture of their culture.

Considerations for the board – Boards have an important role to play in guiding their organizations’ culture. Learn some of the practices for directors to consider to ensure their oversight of culture is effective, and how they contribute to the organization’s “tone at the top.” Click here to begin learning how you can gain a clearer understanding of your organization’s culture. 

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