February 3, 2016
What Did Isaac Newton Know About Culture?
Gravity is such a constant in our lives that we don’t stop to appreciate its impact. When we drop a book, pour a glass of milk or hit a golf ball we seldom stop to think about that mysterious force that keeps everything on the planet grounded and secure.
The same can be said about organizational culture. Like gravity, your workplace culture is constantly pulling you and your employees to act and think in predictable ways. Whether you know it or not, your culture’s pull and power determine what you can and can’t achieve.
Culture influences everything and everyone that enters its field. In business it determines so many things: who gets hired, how teams collaborate (or not), the way customers are treated, the speed and capacity to implement change, employee productivity, communication, decision-making and much more. For this reason, leaders who ignore their culture’s “gravity” and don’t guide it intentionally are inviting a culture crisis that can drastically impact the company’s bottom line.
Realizing the definition of culture can be the first step to understanding how it works. We at Culture Counts define culture as the group “norm” that influences people’s beliefs, choices and actions. Leaders in organizations, those with authority and “power,” establish these unwritten rules that tell everyone what attitudes and behaviors are acceptable.
What are the behaviors you’ve established as acceptable within your organization?
Do these “norm” behaviors build or undermine your success?
How do these behaviors show up in (and start with) your leader team?
Discovering the answers to these questions is a powerful way to move the needle on culture. It’s not always easy to face the answers, but they do begin to create a roadmap for change and for acheiving the success you really want.
Just as Isaac Newton defined gravity as a force – one that attracts all objects to all other objects – we recognize culture’s force and influence on all aspects of an organization. This is why our work at Culture Counts is dedicated to helping leaders get their heads and hands around this driving influence.