Organizational Culture/DNA – details
Organizational Culture is “the way we are” today, including the laundry list of do’s and don’ts that the old-timers share with newbies on their first day of work. It’s “the way we do things around here,” even if we’ve forgotten why we’re doing them. It’s the collection of observable patterns in an organization at the present time. People naturally assume that these patterns will continue into the future. And they probably will, unless the organization experiences a deep, sometimes radical, change.
Organizational DNA is a property of the culture, and is the historical basis of why we behave this way – the genetic code at the root of these behaviors. Like the DNA of birds and snakes, it influences whether our organization will fly or crawl. Although we can change our behaviors radically, our DNA establishes some boundaries. A dog that’s been abused might bark aggressively or bite humans, but it won’t start eating worms, tweeting, or building a nest out of twigs!
Organizational culture is made visible through behaviors, and behavior is driven by assumptions, beliefs, and patterned thinking, in addition to the conscious choices that we make to perpetuate that culture. As Kimberly’s mentor, Dr. Edgar Schein, taught us, organizational culture has both an internal side—how we get along, how we do things—and an external side—what we do to survive and grow, including our strategy and tactics. Culture infuses both the internal and external through the deeper assumptions of who we are, our identity, and our sense of our brand based on our history.
Our organizational culture/DNA workshops help make the “invisible” visible, and shape and strengthen the organization in positive and powerful ways.