SEMPER effectiveness/integration assessment

SEMPER is a unique whole-of-organisation diagnostic and metric developed by Tetradian. It provides organisations with a quick, simple yet accurate ‘dashboard’ overview of organisational effectiveness: the integration of business purpose, business process, business relations, business knowledge and business performance:


Unlike conventional metrics, SEMPER identifies ‘lead indicators’ that highlight strengths and challenges for future development of the organisation, and point to appropriate techniques to enhance and optimise overall effectiveness.

The diagnostic is described in depth in the book SEMPER and SCORE: enhancing enterprise effectiveness. For details on the book, see the Tetradian Books website.

To view, create or edit your own SEMPER assessments, visit the SEMPER Metrics website.

For suggestions on interpreting SEMPER-assessment results, see the Interpretation and Glossary pages.

See also the SEMPER user-guide pages for a description of how to create SEMPER assessments using the SEMPER Metrics online tools.

  • pick any appropriate theme or issue to assess: a potential merger, perhaps, or the current status of one department within an organisation
  • keeping the context of that theme or issue in mind, work through the set of statements in the diagnostic; for each statement:
    • select, from the displayed list, the phrase which most closely matches your own feelings, or what you hear from others, about how that statement plays out within the context
    • optionally, indicate whether the trend is upwards (improving), downwards (worsening) or steady
    • optionally, add some notes or comments about the context for that statement
  • when you’ve finished, look at the results, either as a table that includes any comments, or as a more compact ‘dashboard’ grid

Conventional metrics such as financial reports or Balanced Scorecard are important, but they can only provide ‘lag indicators’ that show you where the organisation has been or, at best, where it currently is – not where it’s going. By contrast, in focussing on the power-relationships and language in use within the organisation, SEMPER identifies ‘lead indicators’ that highlight strengths and challenges for future development.

Each SEMPER statement is matched to a set of proven techniques to enhance and optimise the organisation’s effectiveness. Because of this, conducting a SEMPER diagnostic is also a way to select appropriate management-processes, which itself improves the targeting and effectiveness of interventions and change-management.

How it works

SEMPER measures the ability to do work, in the broadest possible sense of ‘work’.

‘The ability to do work’ is the physics definition of ‘power’, whereas most social definitions of ‘power’ are closer to ‘the ability to avoid work’, or to entrap others into doing our work for us. Wherever those social delusions of ‘power’ predominate, overall effectiveness suffers, and organisational issues remain intractable. So this dichotomy between power-with versus power-against is central to organisational effectiveness, and to successful change-management.

SEMPER identifies perceptions of these power-issues through the language used in each context. Each level of power-relationships, from destructively dysfunctional to strongly synergistic, has its own distinctive phrases; this provides a scoring system that is both quantitative and qualitative. For best results, the set of phrases used in a SEMPER diagnostic should be derived by narrative techniques from the organisation’s own language and culture, but the standard phrase-set used in Standard SEMPER and SEMPER-5 is adequate for most English-speaking contexts.