What is culture? If you asked 100 executives, you’d probably get 100 different answers consisting of a wide variety of explanations. Though there may be some debate about what it is or isn’t, here are three basics about organizational culture every leader should know.

#1 A Simple Definition

A simple definition is culture is the shared beliefs, assumptions, and norms of an organization’s team members. In essence it is the rules people in a group actually live by whether written or not. 

#2 Always in Motion

A company culture is not static—it is constantly evolving. This means if a company has a strong culture today, it doesn’t guarantee it will always have a strong culture in the future. The opposite is also true. Surprisingly, company cultures can change for the better or for the worse much quicker than most leaders realize.  

#3 Can be Crafted

A company culture can be crafted and cultivated. Though leaders can’t force a certain kind of culture into existence, they can certainly do a lot to shape it and refine it.

What a leader says and does has perhaps the biggest influence of all on culture. Thus, leaders must constantly be striving to create the culture they desire by word and deed.

Systems, policies, and other common practices within an organization also sway culture. Thus, leadership should consider carefully how polices, procedures, and systems are or will be impacting their culture.

If you believe your culture is less than ideal, the good news is you can change it. Remember, a culture is constantly evolving and can be fashioned in a way that will enable you to bring about amazing organizational results. Developing a plan and taking the right steps today can help you have a culture everyone is proud to be a  part of.

So, how will shape your culture today?   

(To learn how to better shape your culture, check out my book Be An Awesome Boss.)

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