TURNING A SHIP CALLED “CORPORATE CULTURE”

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Corporate culture is one of the most important elements to any organization’s success and prosperity.  Inc. has an excellent definition of corporate culture (http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/corporate-culture.html):

the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature.  Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community.  As such, it is an essential component in any business’s ultimate success or failure.

A valuable exercise is to stop and think about what behaviors you experience in your organization.  In so doing, you must face the fact that the behaviors—good or bad—exist because the corporate culture permits them to exist.  That is a wonderful situation if the behaviors are good.  It is something else entirely if the behaviors are bad.

We are each going to embrace and affirm a good corporate culture or we are each going to embrace and affirm a bad corporate culture.  That is a pretty clear choice in my mind.  Let’s embrace and affirm good corporate cultures wherever they may be found.  When we come upon bad corporate cultures, let’s challenge them and aim to change them.  This is a professional, ethical imperative.

Now, the question arises, how do we change the corporate culture?  And before you even try to answer that question, first you must ask the question, can the corporate culture be changed?  Because the how makes no sense without the can.  Finally, you must assess your role in changing the corporate culture.  You have many factors to consider such as:

How big is the organization?

How large is the inertia?

Who are the influencers?

What can you do?

Should you stay or leave?

In next week’s posts, I will address each of these challenging questions.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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