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Why Culture Matters

In an earlier blog post I talked about how a focus on workplace culture drives double digit business growth. Given a focus on strategy v. culture, I’ve heard it said that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

What do we mean by workplace culture? Michael Henderson, corporate anthropologist and author of ‘Get Tribal’ (a must read if you’re into this stuff) suggest that even anthropologists have difficulty agreeing one one definition. His definition is: “Culture is an active, self-questioning and organising process of shared personal values and beliefs that creates meaning, and it transmitted from one generation to another through learned formal and informal interactions daily”. Workplace culture is shaped by it’s people. It disperses at the end of the day when people go home and comes together again when they pitch up for work. Substitute ‘one generation to another’ for ‘leavers and new hires’ and you can see how workplace culture is at risk of constantly shifting if it is not carefully managed. This means a carefully thought out organisation development (OD) strategy that consistently drip feeds at every employee touchpoint what the organisation and it’s people stand for.

A global survey has shown us how important culture is to successful change management. Check out the interesting statistics in the neat diagram below. Fascinating reading.


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