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Growing Your Organization #3 Streamline Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is the engine that supports your systems. Without a streamlined culture, systems will only enable people do more that does not have collective impact. When people fail to recognize and adopt the organizational culture, then you have people living out their personal visions within a big vision and in the end you have so many activities but no sustainable impact because you have no track record or patterned way of delivering.

Organizational culture refers to the collective behavior of the people who make up an organization; this includes their values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs, and habits. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders. A strong culture is integral to long-term organizational sustainability and success, and one of management’s primary responsibilities is to both define and communicate this sense of shared culture.
Building a strong culture within a team is at the core of organizational growth. You want a culture that recognizes and embraces shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize the goals of the organization. And it’s a good idea to make sure it suits the people who work at the organization while making a positive impression on customers and anyone else associated with the mission.
Establishing a culture you believe in means having a clear and consistent vision and knowing how you’d like everyone, inside and outside, to view the organization. It’s a good idea to start by sitting down with your board of directors or co-founders to write down what your core values are and how you want to weave them into the DNA of your team. It’s important that the founders uphold the culture from the very beginning. To do so, the culture has to be more than just a shared vision. If you have a vision without a strategy, it will never be more than a vision.
The process of ingraining culture into an organization is simply one of communicating and integrating a broad cultural framework throughout the organizational process. Central to this process is ensuring that each and every employee both understands and aligns with the values and direction of the broader organization. This creates a sense of community among employees and ensures that the broader objectives and mission of the organization are clear.
Organizational culture should be one of the core parts of your on boarding process for new staff and volunteers. Next to communicating the vision and mission, the leaders should endeavor to clearly articulate the organizational values and how that plays out in daily interactions. This should be streamlined in the job descriptions, contracts and review sessions. Not only should managers review performance, they should also review adherence to the organizational culture and over all objectives.

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