What is Organization Culture?

In the societal context, Culture may be defined as the mortar that holds a Civilization’s Foundation together.

In the organizational context, Culture is better expressed as the core Values, Beliefs and Norms that the organization has embraced and strives to live by.

in ether example above, Culture is the bond, the glue that holds the rest of the environment together.
In a societal context, we are constantly reminded of how our culture dictates our values, belief and the norms that we live by. The rituals we embrace in worship, the age old processes we follow in traditional cooking methods, how we choose our spouses in marriage, and indeed in the clothes we wear, the books we read and even to the music we choose to listen to and enjoy. All are facets of Culture as we know it.

At the organization level, Culture manifests itself in the hiring behaviours we employ, in our position toward Diversity, how we support (or negate) the LGBT community, our stance on the Environment, what we worship as ‘Holy Cows’ never to be touched or changed, and in the overall Values that we look up to and strive to live up to always.

Culture is the ever present veneer that we are almost able to identify with at the  sensory and less physical emotional level. We immediately sense when we are in the presence of a cultural ritual or process that has the ability to silently and unequivocally shape how we behave in the given context…without the need for a word or a command to be issued (do you find yourself whispering in certain environments, and conversely…shouting and screaming and laughing in others…all simple examples of how this thin veneer of culture has the power to shape our very behaviours). No small wonder than, that some of the greatest organizations we have come to know, all have unique, and identifiable Cultural markers…that play a significant part in that organization’s overall profile and Brand.

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