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Culture is what we are

Culture is what we do in our formal and informal times. Culture is what we do when we are working or playing. Culture is what we follow whether we are fully awake or half asleep. Culture is actually, who we are.

But do we really know, who we are? It is a question humanity has not been able to answer since time immemorial. People feel they are their name, qualification, rank, status, or whatever they acquired after taking birth. But can you be what you acquired? More of that will be out of relevance here.

Keeping this explanation of culture in mind, let us analyze the enterprises’ culture. It is obvious that the culture of founders will rub off on the employees. So, we need to see a very important aspect of the reason for the existence of the enterprise. Or in the words of #simonsinek – WHY? This “why” decides the culture of the company as all employees sooner than later, realize what the enterprise stands for? The culture of the enterprise is mostly, the value system of the founders of the top management, in the beginning. Culture change subsequently is a different and complex matter that we are not going in at this time.

Unless the “why” of the founders transcends their personal aspirations, the enterprises will always look at the culture or value as an external tool to impress the customers, both internal as well as external. Till the founders have a mission beyond themselves, it is difficult to focus on the culture, as they are not bothered about its effect on the society at large, including its employees. What is society if not the sum total of all the employees of different enterprises, whether public or private, in the society?

We need to understand that the founders of enterprises, like every other human being, are governed by the hierarchical needs as defined in Maslow’s pyramid theory. Some are looking for fulfilments of basic needs, some, self-realization, and the balance in between. The culture of the enterprise is thus, governed by Maslow’s theory or the mental state of the founder or senior management or the type of leadership.

The types of leadership are very clearly elaborated in the book “Good to Great” by #jimcollins. The book divides leadership into five types, and it is type 5 leaders that shape the culture of the company in a positive way. So, if you need to find out about the culture prevalent in any enterprise, you just need to look into the management profile of the top leadership.

A redesign of the mission and vision statement can also be a cause of a cultural shift in a positive direction if driven by either the leadership or employees. A combined redefining of the mission and vision statements by both the management and the employees can make the culture more stable and sustainable for a better future.

It is surprising for me to note that despite everyone knowing that people like to be trusted and cared for, rarely does any management treat their employees that way. Most of the organizations that I have seen in my 42 years of work experience were prominent in their blame culture. Rarely do I find that seniors and juniors are happy with each other. Is it that difficult to infer that productivity loss is confirmed in the case of less-than-optimal relations between the teams?

It is time to think seriously and look for a solution. And if you feel there is no solution, let us talk. Fix up an appointment with me.

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