Understanding Organizational Culture
Free PDF Download|
Stay Employed In A Down Economy - By Roger Ingbretsen
Culture is the set of values, norms, practices and behaviors that an organization uses to define and shape its day-to-day activities. Culture conveys the feeling of a pervasive pattern of organizational life and a set of acceptable norms. These patterns of organizational culture and values emerge and manifest themselves in three complex levels: (1.) The level of deep tacit assumptions, the shared, unconscious beliefs, thoughts and feelings that are the very essence of the organizational culture; (2.) The level of espoused beliefs such as the written company values statement, which most often reflects how the organization wants to present itself; and (3.) The actual day-to-day behavior or how the organization typically presents itself, which is a complex compromise between the deep tacit assumptions and the espoused beliefs, modified by the requirements and pressures of the immediate business situation.
The overall complexity of these three stated levels are colored by all of the organizational and individual beliefs, feelings, emotions, wants, desires, dreams, talents and opinions – expressed and suppressed. All of these factors contribute to the chaotic nature of what we call “organizational cultural behavior.”
An excellent approach to understanding the “real” organizational culture is to see it as the language of day-to-day feelings expressed through the individual and collective beliefs, gestures, words and actions of its members. This real organizational culture does not occur or evolve simply as the result of prominently displayed words. Culture evolves because of the actual behaviors and actions of all members of the organization – particularly those in leadership positions.
A carefully thought-out set of cultural values, lived, taught and orchestrated by all individuals especially those in leadership positions, is key for enhancing the organizations ability to realize its true potential. However, an excellent culture is only sustained over time when the majority of stakeholders in the organization demonstrate the desired behavior by setting the example. To that end, it is the responsibility of leadership to grow and evolve the organizations’ culture along with the full participation of those they lead.
Culture is very much about the values and behaviors that show up in the conversations we have with our customers, our co-workers, and ourselves…“when no one is watching.” They form the essential definition of who we are collectively and individually. That is, there is no such thing as the private person and the public person –the person we are away from work and the person we are at work. The person we bring to work – our attitude, behavior and action – is the way we show up at work. It is that person, who must be aligned with the purpose of serving the customer (both internal and external) like no one else.
Our individual cultural values are not simply a “suit of clothes” we put on, but rather who we really are. Our cultural values are the personal and powerful messages we send when living our values rather than merely stating them. This is the reason it is so important bring into an organization only those people who possess the values, behaviors and attitude, which supports the organizations desired culture.
A guiding purpose of an organization should be to deliver genuine value to the customers they serve. They should do this by providing innovative solutions and solid customer service in a manner that rewards the customers, employees, investors and other stakeholders. An organization should be grounded in the fundamental belief that they must consciously and consistently treat every customer and every person associated with the organization with utmost dignity and respect.
Above all, an organization must believe in the talent and leadership of its employees at all levels to create and deliver solutions that will set the standard for excellence and customer value, now and in the future. To that end, the organization must commit itself to fostering a culture that is at the same time both open and disciplined. The organization must be disciplined enough to develop a work environment that encourages a pioneering spirit, embraces the full meaning of diversity, recognizes and rewards dedication and inspires high performance. Such an environment serves the needs of customers, employees, their families and the communities in which they live.
Related ArticlesSo, What Is Culture?
Is your leadership effective?
The Importance of Organizational Cultural Values
You Get What You Reward
Five Essential Steps for Creating a Coaching Culture
Building your Leadership Culture for Today’s Business Climate
Developing a Cultural Hermeneutic to Conflict Resolution
A HEALTHY COMPANY CULTURE FOR A HEALTHY BOTTOM-LINE
A simple structure in a complex world is stupid
Creating a Culture of High Performance
Organizational Leadership Communication
Five Benefits of Leadership Development Coaching
Eight Excellent Cultural Values to Reward In Your Organization
Environmental Leadership Part 1
Seven Change Management Secrets to Creating a Winning Culture of Change
Overview of Human resource management factors
How to Develop Organizational Culture in an E-Business
Seven Drivers of Organizational Success
Culture Creates Your Brand's First Impressions
Shame Leadership - Communicating Across Cultural Boundaries
Free PDF Download|
Stay Employed In A Down Economy - By Roger Ingbretsen
About the Author: Roger Ingbretsen
RSS for Roger's articles - Visit Roger's website
Roger has a Masters degree in Organizational Leadership, from Gonzaga University, a dual undergraduate degree in Economics & Business Administration, from Park University, an AA degree in Business, as well as 1,500 certified hours of training in technical disciplines. He’s had over forty articles, numerous white papers and two books and two eBooks published.
Roger is a member of the International Coaching Federation. Additionally, he has completed many professional training programs attaining numerous certifications, a few of which include: The Harvard Law School “win-win” negotiation process, the Center for Creative Leadership “360-Degree Feedback” evaluation process and “Coach the Coach” program, the Zenger Miller “Team Training Certification Seminar” and “Executive Coaching” practices from the Professional School of Psychology, California. He is also a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality inventory.
Click here to visit Roger's website.
More from Roger Ingbretsen
Parents A 14 Step Guide For Preparing Your Children For The Real World
The Most Effective Method for Executive Coaching
Building A Business Dream Team
Continual Process Improvement
How to be a Successful Project Team Leader
Related Forum PostsHRPreneur
English teachers learn Japanese as Interns
Re: Newbi here
Global Ad Agency Seeks Senior Sales Account Executive
Re: Global Ad Agency Seeks Senior Sales Account Executive
Share this article. Fund someone's dream.
|Today’s Profiles of Entrepreneurship in Africa: Aliko Dangote|
|Is Your Business Tough Enough to Survive Recession?|
|Features of Kall8 Phone Service|
|Catch Someone Doing Something Right|
|How to Listen like a Detective|
By: Evan Carmichael
||Like this page? PLEASE +1 it!|
Get advice & tips from famous business
owners, new articles by entrepreneur
experts, my latest website updates, &
special sneak peaks at what's to come!
Five keys to business success
5 traits of a successful entrepreneur
10 Tips On How To Interview Anyone
Email us your ideas on how to make our
website more valuable! Thank you Sharon
from Toronto Salsa Lessons / Classes for
your suggestions to make the newsletter
look like the website and profile younger
entrepreneurs like Jennifer Lopez.