Organizational Culture
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A MESSAGE ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE

from Jack Pachuta

In today's global marketplace, companies and organizations operate in an environment where opportunities are tempered by unpredictable events and uncertain futures. They have new challenges and a need for accelerated change. Progressive, innovative organizations with vibrant cultures will survive. Others will not.

Just as families and communities have unique looks and feels, organizations have distinct images, internal operations, and methods of doing business that determine who they are and how they are perceived by others. All of these factors are the bases for the formation of a "culture" which has the same impact internally that ethnicity or religion has in social groups.



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Phone: (262-573-1403

Organizational culture, then, is the set of beliefs, values, norms and rules (both written and unwritten) by which an organization functions. Taken together, they establish the environment in which employees interact with each other and with the marketplace.

Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about Organizational Culture . . .
 

Why is Organizational Culture important?

Within an organization, individuals who best conform to, and believe in, the culture are more likely to be promoted and placed in positions of power. The culture, therefore, becomes both an indicator of past performance and a predictor of what the organization will accept as true in the future.

When an individual's personal belief system is in line with the belief system of the organization, that person feels comfortable and "at home" in the work environment. When personal and organizational beliefs are at odds, the individual feels restless and insecure within the organization.

Why should I focus on Organizational Culture?

Within an organization, individuals who best conform to, and believe in, the culture are more likely to be promoted and placed in positions of power. The culture, therefore, becomes both an indicator of past performance and a predictor of what the organization will accept as true in the future.

When an individual's personal belief system is in line with the belief system of the organization, that person feels comfortable and "at home" in the work environment. When personal and organizational beliefs are at odds, the individual feels restless and insecure within the organization.

What should I look for to help me evaluate our Organizational Culture?

To quickly evaluate your organizational culture, ask the people within the organization to answer questions similar to these:

What ideas and beliefs do the people at the top of the organization hold as true and inviolate?  

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How do your coworkers feel about sharing their ideas among themselves and with management?

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How are employees evaluated and promotions given? 


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What is the organization's image in the marketplace?

What would it take to implement change?

The answers to these questions provide directions for analysis and improvement. It is only by accurately gauging the existing situation that revision and renewal can take place.

What type of Organizational Culture should we be striving to create?

In the fast-paced, ever-changing marketplace of the 21st century, it's imperative that an organization be structured to facilitate the implementation of new processes, and changes in operational methods.

This means that the "culture of control" that permeated business in the 20th century needs to evolve to a "culture of communications" in which the opinions and ideas are shared openly and freely.

Today, many organizations are attempting to transform themselves internally to open channels of communications among all staff members, so that opportunities for improvement can be discussed and implemented.

What role does management play in determining Organizational Culture?

Management plays a critical role in determining the culture of an organization. The values, beliefs and outlook of the person at the top filter down through all levels and create an operational environment that affects all staff members.

Promotions and the "chain of command" are determined by how closely aligned individuals are with the prevailing norms of the organization as determined by management.

This means that changes or improvements to existing methods need "buy-ins" from management or they are, in most cases, doomed to failure. While change is sometimes painful and difficult, managers who understand the need to constantly renew the organization
position themselves for success in the marketplace of the 21st century.

How can I figure out what to do if my Organizational Culture needs improvement?

The primary action is to understand what's really happening within your organization. This requires talking to and listening to staff members at all levels to get a real handle on what they are thinking and feeling.

Once that's done, management must be committed to making things better. Only then can true improvement take place.

On this website, you'll find information about my perspective on Organizational Culture. After more than three decades of working with many diverse organizations around the world, I'm sharing my experiences and my perspectives. If you feel that my experience and ideas can help your organization, contact me and let's determine if we have the basis for a rewarding working relationship.  
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