05 PM | 02 Jul

What is culture?


What is culture? Simply, it is the culmination of shared values, assumptions, and beliefs tacitly and/or explicitly expressed within an organization. Why is it important to understand? Because, it determines how people behave and how work gets done. Let’s consider how values and beliefs drive behavior using a consumer analogy: I need milk. The convenience store is closer than the grocery store (I value my time), but it is more expensive (I’m frugal). The grocery store offers more options (I value choice). I decide choice and price are more important than convenience, so I drive to the grocery store. While there, I evaluate my options: Whole milk is tasty, but I am weight conscious so I eliminate that option. While I am frugal, I am also health conscious. Although soy milk is more expensive it has additional perceived health benefits, so I choose soy. While, at some point, these decisions were conscious, as long as all factors remain the same and the reward for my behavior is greater than the cost, I continue to behave consistently and, eventually, subconsciously. What happens when my grocery store discontinues soy milk, the price goes up, or traffic becomes unbearable? Suddenly, I am forced to re-evaluate my behaviors to stay consistent with my values in order to achieve the outcome I find desirable.

Darci Riesenhuber Transformation Architect tompeters!company


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