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​How Fragile is Culture?

How Fragile is Culture??

I believe this is a question all organisations large or small should be asking themselves about their own culture.... WHY you might ask???

In researching this article I discovered this definition for culture that I think is very accurate: "Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts". The word "culture" derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin "colere," which means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture".

Going a a step further you might define culture as shared patterns of behaviours & interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by social interaction. Thus, it can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group. Simply it is a part of the Group Dynamic construct that defines what a group is and is capable of achieving dependent on many factors including the stages of their group dynamic.

So based on this understanding culture can rapidly change by the inclusion or exclusion of simply one individual within a team. In the way a dynamic achieving group of high performance individuals can start to flounder and become less productive by taking one individual out or introducing someone in. The culture changes! In some cases this may be for the betterment of the overall organisation or it can be catastrophic. If this change happens at a high level without the the understanding of how the team will react then you as an organisation may miss the mark. On-boarding and ensuring the correct culture fit then becomes crucial to an inevitable high or low in the group life cycle.

[Reforming - Storming - Norming - Performing]

I have observed many organisations that at all levels introduce or remove someone without ensuring the understanding of their own cultural fragility and seen catastrophic events occur, causing down turns in productivity, damage to morale and team cohesion and staff turn over. On the same note I have also seen a dynamic influencer introduced and within a very short period of time observed greater potential, productivity, mass shifts in morale and team belonging. Simply from the inclusion of one person (not always the leader) that either understands, (or does not), the principles of communication and leadership support.

It is my belief that Culture is actually something any organisation should hold as one of the top aspects of their business, because if you have everyone working together as opposed to working for someone you will achieve so much more.

Unity and belonging is generated through goal setting (individual and team) which in turn defines speed and tempo. If we go back to our latin definition "cultivation and nurture" it tells us what we must do that with our teams. If your team leader in a large company then spend time building your own team culture that aligns to the over arching one of the company/organisation then continue to innovate, nurture and develop it. Be defined by the goals you set yourselves collectively and then reward yourselves as you achieve them. Most importantly take into consideration that all team make up's are different Unique Teams means Unique leadership solutions, with not one size fits all.

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