The Basics of Culture


What is operating culture anyway?

Simply put, operating culture is the genome of an organization.  It is the way “things get done around here”.  As DNA is the building block of a gene, behaviors – what people say and do – are the building blocks of culture.

Why is culture important?

Culture is the catalyst that drives operating performance in an organization.  It provides alignment and integration between people, processes, technology, data, and physical assets.  Other things being equal, an organization with a better culture outperforms those with weaker cultures.  Put another way, organizations with great cultures overcome other deficits to outperform competitors.  They “punch above their weight”.

What does great culture look like?

In great cultures, the predominant behaviors of people across regions, sites, functions, levels of hierarchy, and even tenure in the organization highly align. This alignment creates a productive environment where people apply themselves more fully to their work.  The result is greater operating performance that organically reinforces behavioral alignment – thus creating a virtuous cycle.  Organizations with great culture live their values and live their brand promise.

Can culture be advanced?

Absolutely!  Step one of the journey is to build a shared understanding across all the people in an organization. That requires measuring the current culture, defining the desired culture, and clarifying the gaps.  Armed with these insights, leaders can set expectations, build a roadmap and deliver the right messages.   The CultureLens Assessment – a self-administered, low cost, and easy to use SaaS tool – is the best way to develop these insights. Let us explain how.