Changing Organisational Culture
What is Organisational Culture?
In short, culture is "the way we do things around here". Whether you are speaking of a company, an ethnic culture, a family culture or a club, all human groups embody this thing called culture. It is that mix of norms, taboos, beliefs and principles that tell us what is normal and ok, and what is not ok.
When we speak of ethnicity, culture is often spoken of as an ancient, sacrosanct feature of a particular group of people – and that which is “in my culture” becomes an un-discuss-able, silencing conversation and debate.
However, if you adopt the definition of culture as “the way we do things around here”, you have the possibility of opening up discussion so that we can debate whether or not a particular organisational culture furthers the aims of the organisation or not. This makes it possible for us to discuss aspects of culture that are positive and life-enhancing for the organisation and all its members – aspects we would want to preserve – and those aspects of culture that are negative and diminishing and which must change.
In this series of articles, interviews and case studies, we are going to explore the concept of culture and what it takes to effectively change "the way we do things around here".
1. Changing Organisational Culture