Understanding Corporate Culture



By:Debra Thorsen


Culture: n 1. natural phenomenon that is created whenever a group of people come together to collaborate; 2. foundation for all decisions and actions within an organization; 3. the way things are around here.

Every time people come together with a shared purpose, culture is created. This group of people could be a family, neighborhood, project team, or company. Culture is automatically created out of the combined thoughts, energies, and attitudes of the people in the group.

I often compare culture to electricity. Culture is an energy force that becomes woven through the thinking, behavior, and identity of those within the group. Culture is powerful and invisible and its manifestations are far reaching. Culture determines a company’s dress code, work environment, work hours, rules for getting ahead and getting promoted, how the business world is viewed, what is valued, who is valued, and much more.

Culture shows up in both visible and invisible ways. Some manifestations of this energy field called "culture" are easy to observe. You can see the dress code, work environment, perks, and titles in a company. This is the surface layer of culture. These are only some of the visible manifestations of a culture.

The far more powerful aspects of culture are invisible. The cultural core is composed of the beliefs, values, standards, paradigms, worldviews, moods, internal conversations, and private conversations of the people that are part of the group. This is the foundation for all actions and decisions within a team, department, or organization.

Visible Manifestations of Culture
·Dress Code
·Work Environment
·Benefits
·Perks
·Conversations
·Work/Life Balance
·Titles & Job Descriptions
·Organizational Structure
·Relationships

Invisible Manifestations of Culture
·Values
·Private Conversations (with self or confidants)
·Invisible Rules
·Attitudes
·Beliefs
·Worldviews
·Moods and Emotions
·Unconscious Interpretations
·Standards
·Paradims
·Assumptions

Business leaders often assume that their company's vision, values, and strategic priorities are synonymous with their company's culture. Unfortunately, too often, the vision, values, and strategic priorities may only be words hanging on a plaque on the wall.

In a thriving profitable company, employees will embody the values, vision, and strategic priorities of their company. What creates this embodiment (or lack of embodiment) is the culture that permeates the employees' psyches, bodies, conversations, and actions.

The energy fields that make up a group's culture are dynamic and change continuously. Culture is created and constantly reinforced on a daily basis through conversations, symbols, rituals, written materials, and body language. It is the small, mundane actions and behaviors that create a culture and can shift a culture.

Creating and sustaining a healthy, vibrant culture requires reinforcement of the culture through daily and proactive conversations and communications. The failure to discuss the values, purpose, and rules within a group often leads to a culture that is at cross purposes with the stated intention of the group. Poor communication creates a lot of confusion and often a crisis of meaninglessness.

Since a culture is created every time a group of people come together to form a team, a company will have many sub-cultures that exist within its main culture. For example, the marketing and technology teams may have different worldviews, jargon, work hours, and ways to do things. A big challenge for today's company is to create a strong, cohesive corporate culture that pulls all of the sub-cultures together and ensures that they can work as a unified team.

Most companies try to "fix" perceived problems by addressing the parts of the corporate culture that are easy to see. Some quick-fixes include holding Friday beer bashes and company picnics or adding fringe benefits and perks. None of these actions will have a powerful or lasting effect on a company's culture.

So, if the powerful part of culture is invisible, how can you affect it? Through conversation. Conversations have the power to make the invisible visible. Language is not merely descriptive, it is generative. Language and conversations have the power to generate a new, powerful future and to create a cultural energy field that will support and sustain this future.

The CEO and leadership team of a company have a powerful impact on culture through their conversations and behaviors. Business leaders can pro-actively create a thriving culture by understanding what culture is (and is not) and learning how to have fundamental business conversations.

Unfortunately, most business leaders receive little to no education on how to have powerful conversations that generate culture and actions. Culture building can be learned, but it takes an honest commitment from the leadership team of an organization.

Find out how to shift your corporate culture to increase profits and retain employees. Visit www.culturebuilders.com for free articles and white papers on corporate culture.






UNDERSTANDING CORPORATE CULTURE

What are Soft Skills and Why are they so Important?

What are Soft Skills and Why are they so Important?  by: ILead India

Most people are still not clear about what soft skills mean. Frankly, the term itself was coined just a few years ago. In any job, the sole importance was given to the candidate’s resume and what his qualifications were. But nowadays, a lot of stress is being laid on the candidate’s soft skills and if he is properly trained in them.

So what are soft skills? It is hard to be exact in this case, but it essentially is a method to judge a person’s performance, leadership ability, and team spirit. Hard skills constitute your educational qualifications and previous job experience. In fact, a lot of recruiters are now paying more attention to soft skills rather than the hard ones. A lot of candidates with impressive resumes but poor soft skills have been rejected in the final rounds of interviews.

That is why you should enroll in soft skills programs in order to develop these skills better. Soft skills can be classified into these categories:

• Negotiation – This is a very crucial soft skill that you need to possess. The art of negotiating a deal with a client or even negotiating with a co-worker is something that you need to master effectively. There is no hard and fast rule about mastering this aspect but you will be trained to negotiate to the fullest of your capabilities.

• Team building – Instilling team spirit in the members of a team is perhaps the most difficult task ever. Ego, personal rivalry, office politics, and various other factors come into play and you have to overcome all these hurdles and utilize all the resources efficiently. This is known as team building and it requires some training beforehand.

• Communication – Last but not the least, you need to communicate well with your superiors and peers. If you can’t express your thoughts or grievances in the proper manner, then it will soon begin to affect your performance. Honing this particular soft skill is all the more important when you are talking to clients of the company.

Looking for an institute that offers soft skills training in Kolkata There are quite a few reputed ones that are providing such training for extremely reasonable fees so it should not be difficult for you to register your name. Just make sure that the institute has a good name in the market and also if it offers good job placements after the completion of the course.
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