Culture and barrier analysis

The groundwork for a successful implementation

What is a culture and barrier analysis?

Implementation is about making an idea a reality - and a culture and barrier analysis is about taking into account the specific reality in which the implementation is to be realized. Where we want to go is one thing - where we already are is another. Culture and barrier analysis is about creating orientation before we create change. The culture and barrier analysis is therefore the first important step in a successful implementation.

Culture is the glue that binds people and systems in an organization together. Culture is the behavioral habits, manners, attitudes and traditions that are all considered "normal". Therefore, when implementing a change - which is by definition different from normal - culture is the first thing to be taken into account. Hence the name of the analysis: culture can be a barrier to change.

Why is culture and barrier analysis important?

The goal of an implementation process is to change behavior, and culture is what determines the normal behavior in the organization. It is often said that culture eats strategy for breakfast. But it only does so if the strategy is not based on a thorough analysis of the organizational culture. The purpose of the analysis is to ensure that the organization is aware of the cultural factors that can limit the benefits of the implementation process. 

We know from research in the field that when implementing change in an organization, it often happens that the initiatives fail, and that this is most often due to culture. There can be many cultural elements in the organization that are not automatically compatible with the change to be implemented, and these cultural elements can be difficult to spot for the organization itself. Therefore, an external view of the organization can be particularly valuable when identifying potential barriers to implementation.

The purpose of the analysis is first and foremost to create a holistic understanding of the culture in an organization where a given initiative is to be implemented. Culture is often expressed in different assumptions, experiences, attitudes and narratives that are at play both horizontally and vertically. By comparing these cultural elements to the initiatives to be implemented, it becomes possible to identify the elements that can be a challenge or - in the worst case scenario - a hindrance to the implementation process. For example, when implementing a new IT system in an organization that has been exposed to countless new IT systems over the years, the new IT system can quickly become the subject of a narrative that it will only lead to additional hassle rather than simplification. Such a narrative is essential to take into account if the implementation is to be successful.

How do we work with culture and barrier analysis in LEAD?

A LEAD culture and barrier analysis is not just a survey. Our interest in LEAD is always to create a tangible understanding of the reality in which the change is to be implemented. That's why we always base the analysis on concrete observations in the organization. We know that quantitative studies can be beneficial, but the depth of the analysis always depends on a qualitative aspect. Through interviews, stakeholder and attitude analysis, focus group meetings and more, we create a comprehensive overview of the organization's culture. 

At LEAD, we are researchers and specialists, which is why we base our analysis on a solid theoretical foundation. At the same time, we have a lot of experience with this type of analysis, so we know how to apply the theories in the most appropriate way in practice.


We help you analyze your culture

We offer you management and organizational sparring, research-based training and presentations on culture, as well as training courses with a specific focus on giving you and your organization general management skills. Read examples of our services here.


Inspiring research-based presentations on culture analysis for all levels of your organization.


Sparring in connection with an implementation project.


Facilitation of active workshops focusing on competence development at management and employee level.

If you have any questions, write or call one of our experts

Torsten Conrad

Area Director & Partner | Implementation | University Sector | Read more here

Just Bendix Justesen

Director Implementation & University Sector | Read more here

Christian Nyvang Qvick

Partner | Read more here

Ronja Ries Højbjerg

Senior Consultant | Read more here

Kaare Pedersen

Partner | Read more here

Mette Tange Vestergård

Senior Consultant | Read more here

Andreas Fricke Møller

Senior Consultant | Read more here

Mickey Klysner Riis

Management Consultant | Read more here

Michael Søby Andersen

Senior Consultant | Read more here

Contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization

Are you facing an organizational change? Do you need strategic advice or a leadership development program?

Contact us and together we will tailor a process that develops the exact competencies and structures that strengthen and future-proof your organization.

Torsten Conrad

Partner | Area Director for Implementation & University Sector

Mobile: +45 27 50 29 18