The “C” Word…

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?

(Photo Props)

4 Responses to “The “C” Word…”

  1. Renevelarde May 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    Great post man. Keep it up. I’m looking forward to learning more about this.

  2. Adam Ranck July 13, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    the WCA LIFT course looks pretty cool and helpful. the course you mentioned you’re taking “Shaping Culture” makes me very curious about it. I visited the website and got a general idea about it, but what spoke to you throughout the classes? I know in a basic level that culture is shaped by the people themselves, but then again, influential people also shape culture (especially in pop culture).

    • Adam Hann July 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      A big thing in these classes that encouraged me was how encouraging it was. A lot of times people are in situations where they don’t think they can make a difference. This class really encourages you letting you know that you CAN make a difference. On top of that, they give you great practical tools to help doing that. I thought it was an overall good experience.

      • Adam Ranck July 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

        Thanks for telling me a little more about it.