by Anthony Middlebrooks, Scott J. Allen, Mindy S. McNutt and James L. Morrison
In this chapter, you have learned about the importance of culture from how individuals contribute to both organizational and societal culture. Organizational culture was defined, and the elements that make up the visible and invisible parts of culture were outlined. Additionally, we see the differences between individuals based on societal culture.
Individual and organizational values as they define culture and the organization’s vision and mission were described. Finally, changing organizational culture and new tools for facilitating cultural design were outlined.
Culture surrounds you every day in many ways. Personally and professionally you navigate between worlds with values that may or may not be in concert with your own. No two cultures are the same.
Groups have different values; organizations differ in their visions, missions, and values, and most importantly, the people who belong to those groups and organizations differ in the backgrounds, skills, talents, and values that they bring.
Culture is something individuals rarely think about, even though it is everywhere, and its roots run deep. You are affected not only by the culture in the organizations to which you belong, but you acquire cultural roots from your family, groups, as well as society. Your own cultural roots run deep, are difficult to change, and are definitely influenced by where and how you spend your time.
Organizational cultures are crafted by the beliefs and values of founding members, and over time they are influenced by the beliefs and values of organizational members. Much of organizational culture is the visible norms, behaviors, and artifacts, which are significantly influenced by the less visible personal values and the usually not visible at all cultural values and assumptions.
All culture is influenced by context, which influences the differences between and among societal cultures. These differences are vitally important to understand when interacting in either a personal or business setting with individuals from around the world.
Last, individuals want to feel comfortable within their groups. The emotional aspects of culture fit or misfit results from ensuring that your own values align with the organization’s values. When you become a leader in your own organization, it is important to take the time to listen to your followers. Make sure that you understand fully their values and beliefs and treat that culture with the same respect you would hope for your own.