Culture. It’s this word that I’ve been obsessed with since high school. In college I tried to figure out how it worked on one campus (with so many cultures coming together). Now at an organization I’m trying to figure out how to influence it.
It’s hard to describe, but you have it.
About a month ago I came across an opportunity to be a part of a WCA LIFT course. Check out the link for more info, but essentially these courses are 7 week intensives for ministry leaders. Online classes for them to take while “in the trenches” doing work, learning, discussing with others who are doing the same or similar things, and then bringing it to your context.
So far from my experience, it works, and the content is rich.
I decided to take the Shaping Culture course and it has been extremely challenging and stretching for me. I’m currently in the middle of it and have a few more weeks yet. So, back to culture.
One thing that has stuck out to me more then anything over the past few weeks is that I’m responsible. I’m responsible for the culture. You are responsible for the culture where you work. And, it’s something that’s there now. It’s always there. It can be healthy, it can be sick, or somewhere in between.
Here are a couple things that might be helpful for you.
I came across this quote last week.
Brand is simply a lagging indicator of the culture – @DHMovementCEO
Are you taking the time to look at your organizational/staff culture and not just your “brand” or perceived culture?
Are you doing anything to influence your organizational culture in a positive direction
Try to create some space in your schedule, step away for part of the day, bring your team, and evaluate. Ask good questions. Start the discussion.
Here are some discussion starters:
- What does your organization value?
- How does it add to or take away from the organizations mission?
- Is your staff healthy? Is there trust in your organization?
- Do you have honest, open relationships with people throughout the organization (think different levels in chain of command) to know what the culture feels like from the top to the bottom of your organization?
What’s your organization’s culture like?