Corporate Cultures – Supervisor Initiated, Documented Processes Controlled Environment

The Supervisor Initiated, Documented Processes Controlled Environment represents a move toward standardized, centralized control. This culture set benefits from greater local control than the leader initiated organization while still maintaining a degree of oversight that enhances standardization and centralized direction setting. Subsequently, organizations where work activities are supervisor initiated and controlled by documented processes tend to exhibit a very limited degree of creativity and flexibility.[wcm_restrict plans=”61109, 25542, 25653″]

The following characteristics, benefits, risks, and risk mitigators are representative of the Supervisor Initiated, Documented Processes Controlled Environment.

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures How Work Gets Done Model

Figure 1 – Supervisor Initiated, Documented Processes Controlled Environment


  • Strategic vision held by a few executives
  • Focus on standardization (organization, process, and technology), process compliance, and workgroup results achievement
  • Culture where supervisors are responsible for engaging and motivating the workforce
  • Trust in supervisors
  • Processes and procedures drive supervisors who drive individual contributor behaviors
  • Administrative procedure compliance is emphasized regardless of organizational benefit
  • Supervisors embrace established policies and procedures
  • Leaders define overarching organizational priorities and performance policies
  • Supervisors independently make day-to-day decisions
  • Supervisors independently resolve tactical issues
  • Supervisors set tactical, day-to-day priorities and schedules and coordinate workgroups
  • Robust organizational design (organizational structures, positional authorities, roles and responsibilities, job descriptions)
  • Organizational processes are well defined and documented
  • Organizational results and process performance are monitored by well-structured, highly refined metrics
  • Executives and senior managers hold supervisors accountable for process compliance
  • Procedures govern most/all activities
  • Supervisors hold individual workers accountable for process compliance
  • Supervisor driven rewards systems reinforce leadership defined goals, standards and expectations
  • Supervisors determine what skills and knowledge is required
  • Careful selection of supervisors
  • Integrated technologies are used extensively and to aid cross-functional process implementation and performance monitoring


  • Supervisors empowered to resolve local issues
  • Local decision-making enables more rapid situational response
  • Elevated process driven execution consistency
  • Supervisors are well-aligned with leadership
  • Ownership and accountability at the supervisory level
  • Cooperation and teamwork between supervisors
  • Accountability for procedure compliance and results achieved
  • Job satisfaction among supervisors


  • Some inconsistency between work groups as to when action is taken
  • Loss of supervisory skills and knowledge resulting from strict procedural governance
  • Workgroup performance is limited by the ability of the supervisors
  • Long-term performance sustainability dependent upon supervisor stability (positional and organizational retention)
  • Knowledge, skills, and experiences of workers is not fully leveraged
  • Workers becoming alienated from managers

Risk Mitigators

  • Careful selection, promotion, and recruitment of supervisors
  • Supervisors selected based on leadership and technical ability
  • Leadership training provided to supervisors
  • Processes and performance monitoring mechanisms (metrics and reports) contain clearly defined action triggers to align action initiation to organizational goals
  • Use of skip-level meetings to ensure the ideas of individual contributors are unfiltered

Note that organizational execution of one or more culture characteristic tenants may be flawed. In these instances, elimination of the deficiency often serves to significantly improve performance.[/wcm_restrict][wcm_nonmember plans=”61109, 25542, 25653″]

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