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During a recent conversation about managing organizational change at our Annual Organizational Development Roundtable this question was raised. I am wondering what is your answer to this question?

Tags: chage, change, culture, define, definition, leadership, managemet, organizational, question, roundtable

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To get the ball rolling, here are the top ten ways I would define the culture at my organization:

  • Values Based
  • Focused on the Customer - understanding the needs of the customer and delivering results based on what we hear
  • Virtual - We have a team of people around the nation and access to people around the world
  • Focus on Delivering Value - everyone is interested in doing things that make a difference
  • Honest - with our clients, partners and ourselves
  • Values Making Things Happen - many talk about making things happen but we value action
  • Loyal
  • Practice What We Preach - we use the tools we recommend
  • Based on Partnership - we try for the win for our partners, contractors, SPI and ultimately what is a win for the client
  • Nimble - because of our size and structure we are able to adjust to changes in the marketplace and respond to client needs

Visionary and mission-driven

I define culture as the mores and norms associated with a given office or organization.  This can be anything from a dress code to what's acceptable as a cube decoration to telework options.  

We define culture using this framework:

  • Our Attitudes: 
  • Our Values: 
  • Our Goals:
  • Our Everyday Practices: 
  • Our Yearly Traditions: 
  • Our Weekly Rituals: 
  • Our Everyday Norms: 

My own organization does not have a defined culture, but is an amalgamation of separate cultures. I have to say that I envy Zappos, which has a solid culture built on 10 Zappos Family Core Values. They publish a "Culture Book" each year, which is full of quotes from employees about how they live these core values. Truly inspiring!

Check it out at the Zappos Family Core Values website, including a video of Tony Hsieh, the Founder and CEO.

Culture: establish “committable core values”…

Every employee is asked to live & breathe the core values and inspire the culture in others.

1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More with Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble

Great question.  I'm dong a research project on this topic as we speak.  More so I want to discover how the culture of the individuals within an organization affects the ability to build capabilities overall.

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