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Culture Conundrum

October 3, 2017

Culture Conundrum:  From Accidental to On Purpose

By Jeanine Izzo

Talks and writings on culture seem to be on the up rise.  It makes sense since the majority of the workforce has moved from the Baby Boomer Generation to the Millennial Generation.  This combined with the access to information on Social Media has this important topic spreading further than previous decades.

As a GenXer who is interested in company, team and individual development, I have been following the related trends of coaching, culture, employee engagement, innovation and generational differences with keen curiosity.   Within these, topics such as open office space, remote teams and unlimited vacation are included.   Some of the questions I use to seek information are as follows:

  • What is driving the shifts?
  • How effective are they over time?
  • Are the shifts happening too fast…or too slow?
  • Who are the shifts pulling in and pushing away (beyond the sweeping generational generalizations)?
  • Will the shifts continue on their trajectory or have adjustments made?

My early sense was that the pendulum would swing back to balance out long-standing behaviors that have been effective in the workplace with new behaviors important to meet emerging demands of employees and customers.  After all, throughout my career, I have watched the corporate pendulum swing from one extreme to the other…and then to a normalized position.  This relates to people, process, perks, data, etc.

  • Not enough people to grow the company to too many
  • Too light on process to too heavy
  • Regardless of behavior…Perks for some to perks for all
  • Low or subjective data to tons of data

I still think there will be some degree of culture correction (because we are in a time of transition where there is still much to be learned from past/various experiences), yet it appears that access to information and connection is fundamentally shifting the way we approach work and education, among other aspects of life.

With that said, there is not a one size fits all approach to culture.  There are variables in characteristics based on industry, products, regions, leaders, size, rate of growth, strategic goals, stakeholders, workforce, customers, etc.  Finding and designing a culture that works for your defined variables will be the most effective.

Forward moving tips:

  1. Know your variables
  2. Define/refine your values and vision
  3. Evaluate the current state vs. the future desired state
  4. Develop a strategy that makes sense for your situation at this time
  5. Work toward the future state

When this foundation of culture is clear, you can begin to solve the conundrum of a culture that happened by accident with one that happens on purpose.

For assistance with helping you create a culture that works better for your team or company…Contact Viage Partners today.

© Viage Partners 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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