John Grubbs - When Training Matters

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Many businesses talk about culture, or they aspire to create or achieve a particular culture.  What does this mean anyway? Don't all organizations already have a culture?  It may not be the culture they desire, but something is already present as an individual personality.  There is no such thing as an absent company culture.  What is triggering this conversation inside so many businesses?  I believe the trigger is a desire to change at the organizational level.  Or, it could be a new book (or speech) on the topic that triggers a CEO to question her company's culture.  This need is rooted in a desire to understand current organizational reality to change for the better.

Indeed says corporate culture is an organization's values, ethics, vision, behaviors, and work environment. It makes each company unique, impacting everything from public image to employee engagement and retention. If employees share a company's ethics, vision, and other cultural elements, it can positively affect a company's bottom line. Companies with exemplary corporate culture often have high workplace morale with a highly engaged, productive staff.

Like personality, you already have a culture.  Changing your culture requires an understanding of your current culture.  My friend David Friedman's book "Culture by Design" is a testament to being intentional about your culture - culture by design, not chance.  Corporate enlightenment occurs when you know yourself organizationally.

Technically, the word culture comes from cultivating.  More specifically, from Latin cultura "a cultivating, agriculture," figuratively "care, culture, an honoring," from past participle stem of colere "to tend, guard; to till, cultivate."  Is this too much information?

We are going to examine the word differently.  Cultures are usually noticeable when uncommon. Texas A&M University and the fighting Texas Aggies, the Marine Corps, and Apple are cult-like organizations.  You know these organizations when you encounter them.

Guess what?  The word cult, according to Merriam-Webster, shares an origin with culture and cultivate, comes from the Latin cultus, a noun with meanings ranging from "tilling, cultivation" to "training or education" to "adoration." In English, a cult has evolved several meanings following a fairly logical path. The earliest known uses of the word, recorded in the 17th century, broadly denoted "worship."

The best definition of a cult is the object of such devotion, usually a group of people characterized by such passion.  Now, we are getting to something useful.  A common denominator for all cults is devotion.  People are devoted to something.  Or, an organization becomes dedicated to something.

So, defining your culture may be as simple as...

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