Dave Gray tweeted a question: What’s your one-tweet definition of culture?

Christopher Parsons:
“Rationalised or unspoken group norms of attitude and behaviour.”

G. Dustin Staiger:
“Individual behavior over time = habit.
Group behavior over time = culture.”

Roy Scholten:
“Not mine, but I like: “the *signifying system* through which a social order is communicated, reproduced, experienced and explored.”
(Raymond Williams, Culture, 1981) via David Hesmondhalgh’s The Cultural Industries, 2019.”

My answer:
“Culture is an emergent property of complex relationships, which are dynamic. Thus culture is not static. Management can influence corporate culture, because it is part of the complex system, but it can’t dictate an ideal culture incongruent with other policies.”

In a September 28, 2018 Insights by Stanford Business article, Tom Peters says,
“CEO job No. 1 is setting — and micro-nourishing one day, one hour, one minute at a time — an effective people-truly-first, innovate-or-die, excellence-or-bust corporate culture,” Peters says. He reminds us that Lou Gerstner, IBM’s turnaround CEO in the ’90s, said that when it comes to shaping the behaviors and attitudes of thousands of employees, “culture is not just one aspect of the game — it is the game.”

Tom Peters is the author of The Excellence Divided.

Dave Gray, founder of XPLANE, is the author of…

Liminal Thinking: Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think (2016)
The Connected Company (2014)
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers (2010)
Selling To the VP of No (2003)


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