Before we get too deep, it would be good to create a foundation for our discussions.
We all have some sense of what a culture is – but sometimes it can be hard to express (“I know it when I see it” ?). Perhaps the description is hard for many of us, since it is complex and has multiple dimensions.
Here is a Google definition:
noun. cultivation – civilization
verb. cultivate – grow – raise
OK – that works for a culture of people, as in civilization. But we are specifically interested in culture in organizations. How about this definition of company culture from Entrepreneur ?
So, it does appear that several of the common definitions have multiple aspects to consider. Let’s save that for future posts and consider dimensions of culture.
One of my friends and colleagues, has suggested that “culture is ‘where people go when it gets tough’”. This is certainly an interesting perspective – and does intersect well with a personality profile test I took several years ago that was called the “Birkman“. One element of this personality assessment is to consider how people behave during times of stress and provide proactive recommendations to deal with stress.
For now, let’s consider having two global dimensions for company culture: normal and stress.