“Culture is a collection of high-level principles, norms and values. For culture to work, it needs concrete behaviors that clarify and actualize those norms and values.“
Translation: Culture = Fluff X Actions
Let’s look at the culture of “taking ownership”/“accountability.” A concrete action to clarify this fluffy value could be:
“Bring up issues to others swiftly when things start to go FUBR*.”
Here’s a crowd favourite- “Great teamwork.”
How might great teams behave?
– They disagree and debate on ideas rather than personalities.
– When a decision is made, everyone goes all-in to execute decision, regardless of his/her initial point of view.
We can define culture “top-down” by spelling out the specific behaviours of the values and norms. We can also reconstruct culture from “the ground up” by investigating into existing behaviours:
– Managers always pick up the trash on the floor. Why? Because we take pride in being detail-oriented.
And one of the behaviors that tells you a lot about a team is cursing:
“When do people swear? How come?”
“Is it a terminable offense? When is it not? To whom it is not?”