What Makes a Culture?

Video Transcript:

Hey everyone. It’s Jessica with Revela. H.M. Enzensberger once said, “Culture is a little like dropping Alka-Seltzer into a glass – you can’t see it, but somehow it does something.” When you think about the culture of your organization, what comes to mind? You might say, “We have a culture of trust and accountability.” Or maybe, “We have a friendly group of people. We care about our employees, and they care about the company.”

But ask yourself this: Do the words you choose to describe your culture truly demonstrate where you are, or do they demonstrate where you want to be?

Culture is a shared set of attitudes, values, and practices that characterize your organization. And here’s the best part: it’s ever-changing. With different personalities coming and going in a company, we have to strive to keep our culture the way we intend it to be. For instance, it only takes one person’s poor behavior or bad decisions to go unnoticed to start a shift in your culture.

You can have a company with a fantastic mission statement that when read, makes you feel all warm and toasty inside…but do you think those words really define your company? Not necessarily. Instead, it’s about the employees within the organization and whether or not they believe in your company’s mission and behave according to your company’s values. Yes, even you.

Alka-Seltzer works because once the tablet is dropped into the water, it dissipates, leaving only the active ingredients behind. Aspirin, sodium bicarbonate, and citric acid. While you can no longer see the tablet, you know it works because the ingredients are still there. Think of your mission statement as your “tablet.” Once it dissipates, you should still have those key ingredients left behind: trust, loyalty, respect, transparency. The list goes on and on.

So the next time you walk into your office and feel that “vibe,” maybe people just aren’t clicking or people always seem to be in a bad mood…maybe you should ask yourself this question:

What’s in your company’s Alka-Seltzer? What are you going to do?

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