Audit and cngage using the Situational Outlook Questionnaire®
The Situational Outlook Questionnaire® (SOQ) is a two-part questionnaire that measures people’s perceptions of the climate for creativity, innovation, and change within their immediate work environment. The SOQ assesses nine dimensions using 53 questions and includes open-ended questions to provide more meaningful information on what is working, what is not, and what needs to be done to make the climate better.
The nine dimensions measured by the SOQ include:
- Challenge and Involvement – The degree to which people are involved in daily operations, long-term goals, and visions.
- Freedom – The degree of independence shown by the people in the organization.
- Trust and Openness – The emotional safety in relationships.
- Idea-Time – The amount of time people can, and do, use for elaborating new ideas.
- Playfulness and Humour – The spontaneity and ease displayed within the workplace.
- Conflict – The presence of personal and emotional tensions (a negative dimension – in contrast to the debate dimension).
- Idea-Support – The ways new ideas are treated.
- Debate – The occurrence of encounters and disagreement between viewpoints, ideas, experiences and knowledge.
- Risk-Taking – The tolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Key features of the SOQ®:
- Valid and reliable evidence based tool
- The SOQ is based on more than 50 years of research and development, and has shown its value in helping teams, leaders and organizations improve their ability to produce results.
- Benchmarking drives desire
- Benchmarking creates a sense of desire for change, and comparison to the most innovative organizations offers inspiration.
- Fully validated against measures of organizational innovation.
- Multi-method questionnaire offers immediate, usable insights into your organization
- Combines narrative data and quantitative data to create transformative change – means this can be used to begin a positive transformation process.
Research has examined the relationship between people’s perception of the organizational climate and the organization’s ability to: develop original products and services, expedite delivery of these products to the marketplace, and commercialize original and successful products.
Organizations were categorized as innovative, average, and stagnated based on their product performance and commercial success. Innovative organizations developed more new products and services and moved them to the marketplace quickly, and were commercially successful overall. Stagnated organizations were unable to control development of new products and services, had difficulty getting them to market in a timely and cost-effective manner, and were commercially in trouble. Average companies fell in the middle.
The scores below show the differences on the nine climate dimensions in each group. The scale ranges from 0-300 with significant differences being around 25 points. People in innovative companies perceive more of each dimension – except for Conflict since it is a negative dimension.
These results demonstrate how people in innovative organizations differ in their perceptions of the working climate from those in stagnated organizations.
The SOQ® also generates answers to three key questions:
In order to provide you with a deeper understanding of the working environment, three open-ended questions allow participants to provide more specific detail about:
- What’s most helpful and supportive to their creativity?
- What’s hindering their creativity?
- What specific recommendations or concrete actions would improve the climate?
This way, results fit the specific situation and context and specific concrete actions can be taken. Clear targets for improvement can be established.
Administering the Situational Outlook Questionnaire®
Only those who are qualified by the Creative Problem Solving Group can administer, interpret and apply the SOQ®.
Participants complete the SOQ® on-line. The SOQ® can be completed in 20-25 minutes. The data is then processed to provide group results for presentation and interpretation. Feedback is then prepared for:
Leadership Development – Individuals receive their personal results and those from selected observers.
Team Effectiveness – Team members receive their group results so they can improve their team performance.
Organizational Improvement – Leadership teams receive results so they can assess the readiness, willingness, and ability of the organization to implement and sustain change efforts.