Who Cares About Organizational Culture?

photo of a team of workers putting their hands in the center of a circle

You’re good at what you do: designing software, healing disease, constructing buildings, whatever. You’re so good at it that you get promoted to management, put in charge of a growing practice, assigned to launch a new team, or awarded contracts that mean your firm has to grow exponentially.

The point is, you’re in a position of leadership. But has anyone taught you how to be a leader? Excelling at the concrete, specialized aspects of your job is great. Likely it’s what got you where you are! But it may not have adequately  equipped you to manage people, processes, and systems.

As a leader, you’re in charge of creating a healthy organizational culture, whether for a business unit or the organization as a whole. Yet you might not be sure you know exactly what organizational culture even is.

Or maybe you’ve been in a leadership position for a while, and you’re reasonably good at managing people, processes, and systems. But new challenges arise, and you realize that old ways of working aren’t working any more. You read and hear that success in today’s business environment is all about culture: a culture of creativity, of innovation, of accountability, of feedback. Those all sound good, but how exactly do you go about creating a culture—or even deciding what kind of culture you need to create?

If any of that sounds familiar, our new venture, Creating Culture on Purpose, is for you.

Creating Culture on Purpose is designed for leaders at all levels, from mid-level managers to entrepreneurs, leaders of mid-size organizations, nonprofit leaders, and C-suite executives. 

Our goal is to help you take this amorphous idea of “culture” from concept to action. Though there are no cut-and-dried recipes you can use, there are practical steps you can take to define, create, and maintain a culture that works for your organization.

For now, Creating Culture on Purpose consists primarily of this blog and coaching work with individual leaders and teams. Next year, we’ll offer classroom training and webinars on how to improve your organization’s culture. 

Throughout, the focus will be practical: steps you can take, things you need to think about, resources you can use to create the culture your organization needs.

Of course, we have to do some conceptual work first. The first few blogs in this series will define what we mean when we say “culture.” Even at this early stage, we’ll share first steps you can take toward creating culture in your organization. Then we’ll explore a wide variety of topics, always with a practical focus:

  • Managing systems, processes, change, and growth
  • Setting priorities — both strategic and tactical — to help you reach your goals
  • Empowering your people to do their best work
  • Establishing shared values, goals, expectations, and mental models

Taking an intentional approach to organizational culture is the “on Purpose” part of Creating Culture on Purpose. If you don’t pay attention to culture, it will grow on its own, like a colony of feral cats or the algae that threatens to choke the garden pond. If you pay attention to culture, you can create the culture you want—one that will enable your people and your organization to grow and thrive.

What you can do today: Write down three reasons you’re interested in organizational culture right now.

Questions for discussion: How about you? What excites you about creating culture? What makes you pause? What do you most want to know about how to create culture in your team?

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One Comment on “Who Cares About Organizational Culture?”

  • Jan Gallagher November 11th, 2019 2:22 pm

    I’ve worked in more dysfunctional organizations than I can name. I’m looking forward to learning from you about creating culture on purpose!

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