Our Moral Compass: Culture Above Anything Else

“Culture goes much deeper than a mission statement….culture is how group members actually behave, repeatedly and habitually.”

-James Hunter

Culture is a word that is often discussed within organizations in that it is what gives life into whether they are successful or not. As an official definition culture is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups. As American sociologist James Hunter states in today’s quote that culture is something that is beyond simply a mission statement that is posted on a wall. Culture essentially lives through its members in how they conduct themselves, their interaction with one another and the customers they serve. I believe in the field of education in which I serve each and every day it is culture that either makes or breaks a school. You cannot fake great culture. It is built form within and it is not one person that embodies it as it takes everyone. In my min it all comes down to the relationships we have with one another.

The question is how can an organization or a school maintain or improve their culture? Bonusly wrote an article/blog post in 2015 that listed 10 Dead Simple Ways To Improve Your Company Culture:

1. Embrace transparency: trust, constant communication through sharing success and challenges about what the organization and its members is going through

2. Recognize and reward valuable contributions: identify specific behaviors and results aligned with your company’s goals and values, and recognize and reward those behaviors as frequently as you can. Let anyone in the organization be able to do this. Peer recognition can be very powerful.

3. Cultivate strong coworker relationships through team building activities

4. Embrace and inspire employee autonomy: don’t micromanage and help lead them to embrace accountability

5. Practice flexibility

6. Communicate purpose and passion

7. Promote a team atmosphere: everyone matters

8. Give and solicit regular feedback

9. Stay true to your core values: these are your North Star

10. Give culture building the effort it deserves

All of these are important and can help guide your organization in refining or defining their own culture. Culture is something that can never be overlooked and should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards developing your relationship skills?

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