Culture, in my opinion and based upon my own understanding, is a set of norms defined by a group. It creates boundaries, standards, and expectations for individuals who participate within. But, there is one thing we often forget.
The One Thing We Often Forget
Culture. What is culture…really? Does your place of employment have a company culture? (Yes, it does..whether it is recognized or not.) You participate in your company’s culture each day you leave home and go to work. If you work in human resources, you help create, define, display, and communicate the culture. The best companies have an outstanding culture, and I am proud to work for a company with an amazing culture.
So, what happens when you return home? Are you a part of a culture with your own family? Could it be that a culture – a set of norms – exist in most/all groups?
Culture applies to schools, churches, clubs, or any other type of gathering where a group of individuals gather on a regular basis. In fact, the contributors to Performance I Create are not immune. We choose to participate in the culture that we create – no pun intended. Our associations influence us. But, there is one thing we often forget.
Seriously. Think about it for a moment. Do various groups shape how you think or act?
Examples of Cultures
- Home – Does your family eat at a certain time or a certain meal on a particular day? Do you spend Saturdays regularly doing ABC or 123? If so, this is part of your family’s culture.
- Religious Institution – Does your place of worship being service and/or program promptly at a certain time each week? If so, this is part of your religious institution’s culture.
- Company – Does your company expect you to arrive promptly at a certain time each day? If so, this is a part of your religious institution’s culture.
The one constant among all three examples above – YOU.
Choosing the Culture
I believe, as individuals, we choose – for various reasons – to conform and adhere to an organization’s culture. Some are by necessity (work at 8am) while others are by choice (eating pizza on Wednesdays). Regardless, we do so by choice. But, there is one thing we often forget.
I also believe that a key component to being successful is learning to evaluate the cultures to see how they best fit our individuality. While it is important to adhere to the norms of the cultures we choose, it is equally important to not lose ourselves. We are each unique and provide something that no one else can provide. We bring a perspective unlike any other and it is our own – no one else’s.
Some cultures you can change. Some you cannot. You may find that you make them better or the are not a fit for you. Just don’t forget.
There is a common thread that weaves itself across various cultures. That common thread is you. It is me. It is all of us.
So, as you complete your day, think about yourself…because that is the one thing YOU should never forget.
A version of this article was originally written and appeared on PerformanceICreate.com.
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