What is culture?
Culture is the everyday reality of organizational life. One cannot restrict its definition to the vision or mission of the organization, nor with profitability and productivity of workforce in isolation. All of these together contribute to creating it. Organizational culture can be defined as a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations. These shared values have a strong influence on the people in the organization and dictate how they dress, act, and perform their jobs. What we do and say, the way we behave, the way we treat each other, our products, our workforce and our community altogether contributes to the culture of the organization. In short, it is the 'personality of the organization.'
Mindset of a culture designer
There is no direct formula for creating a thriving and happy organizational culture. However, it is must to have a mindset of culture design for all top leaders of the company. Ektaa Aggarwal, Former Creative Director at Ideo.org suggested the following four types of mindset are required for a culture designer:
- Emergent behavior mindset
- Gardening mindset
- Experimentation with creative confidence
- Effective communicator mindset
The design process
Though it is easier to build a culture when everything is going well, strong cultures are partially built by what we do during hard times. And if designed well, everyone in the business can do his or her job more effectively. Given below are the steps suggested by Ektaa when it comes to design the process that will help you accomplish your business goals.
- Research - Understand your organization’s DNA.
- Define the problem - Go below the surface and ask Five ‘Why’ questions to define the real problems.
- Gather information - Look inside as well as outside your industry.
- Visioning - Ideate for culture, it is easy to maintain your focus when you have a clear purpose.
- Design practices - Create rituals every day and walk the talk.
Culture is gradually built over a period of time. It cannot be made overnight. For Leaders in organizations, every action they take and every word they speak have an impact on how the organizational culture shapes up. It is much more about what we do. If we don’t live it, it’s never going to play out as we want.
Every Leader in the organization is the critical link between powerful strategy, impassioned people, loyal customers and effectual culture. The most effective organizations and the most solid cultures are where:
- Everybody comes reasonably close to living the culture,
- Have the ability to acknowledge constructively where they err,
- Move ahead actively towards getting better by supporting those who are already doing it better
An organization’s culture grows based on the inputs it receives. If not maneuvered or steered directionally, then you will land up in something never thought of. For creating a great culture, you will need to make a conscious effort to design it. Ultimately, everybody needs to take responsibility to personally live the culture that they want to create. It is all about managing your culture journey. Make your culture as important as results, your values as important as productivity. And move your organization from the status quo to an exceptional corporate culture of excellence.