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“Culture is always present, it never stops”

Corporate culture is more and more recognised as a force to be reckoned with. “How things get done around here” matters. Culture matters.

Many organisations want to change or adapt their culture – to be more inclusive, innovative, collaborative, successful etc. But changing culture is not an easy task. In fact, it’s complex, as it involves people’s behaviours and feelings.

If you want to change or impact the culture, turn to yourself first. Think about how your behaviours shape the culture you’re in – and think about what you can do differently to shape a different culture.

What is culture then?

Culture is always present, it never stops.

In a way culture is quite simple, it simply determines “how things get done around here”. It is usually implicit rather than explicit and can be hard to pinpoint. It is not the “what”, it is the “how” of business. It is how people react, behave and interact every minute of every day. It is not something complicated or fluffy, it is something quite simple. It is the glue that holds an organisation together. It is however not determined by a framed poster on the wall in reception, it is more complex than that. And this is the challenge with culture, the concept is simple but the implementation can be very complex and habits die hard, and to change behaviours takes time.

The questions to ask, for an organisation that wants to embrace the power of culture, are these:

  • Do we have a healthy culture that drives the organisation forward, that makes it easy to operate effectively and efficiently?
  • Do people enjoy working there?
  • Does the culture deliver results while creating a true picture of an organisation with integrity?
  • Does it create trust and build confidence?
  • Does it attract customers, employees and investors?

These are relevant questions, because it should do all those things. Culture, as we’ve discussed, is “how things get done” and for that reason it should be on every board’s agenda as well as every executive team’s and every leader’s agenda. Leaders at all levels should be setting the tone for “how things get done”.

Culture definitely starts at the top, and at the same time it can’t just be dictated from the top. It needs to resonate with people at all levels, it needs to feel right for people, as something they would “stand for” themselves. It gets propagated by role modeling not just by words.

So think about what are you doing to help and support the culture that you are creating, it starts with you. You can influence it more than you realise. Start today

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leadersDebbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA.

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