When I think of the word ‘culture’ I imagine a community of people living and working together to form a unit that has shared values and traditions. The Oxford dictionary defines culture as; ‘the customs and beliefs, art, way of life and social organisation of a particular country or group’. There are many types of cultures, good and bad, but they are all built by many, not by a few.
Whether it’s the culture of a country, a community or an organisation we’re referring to, it is the responsibility of everyone involved to ensure that it becomes something positive to support all who are part of it. Leaders of a community or an organisation have a responsibility to drive the culture they want to see. They cannot build it alone, but leaders do have to be visible in living and working by the values they want to promote in order to inspire others to follow suit.
Corporate culture can be difficult to nurture and even more difficult to change when it becomes something undesirable. Culture can and should be nurtured at all levels within an organisation. The leader of every team at every level has the ability to inspire and build their own mini culture. Members of each team should be able to articulate what it means to be part of that team and indeed part of the larger organisation. When culture is nourished at every level, it becomes engrained in every individual and is unavoidable.
Don’t assume that buidling a positive culture is someone else’s job. If we want to work in a positive environment, it is everyone’s responsbility to nurture that environment. Particularly in larger organisations, it’s all too easy to say ‘they’ rather than ‘we’. ‘They’; the unknown, unseen leaders at the top, rather than ‘we’; who have chosen to work in and become part of that community. Play your part and start to build the culture you want to live and work in.