Monday, June 6, 2016

Climate&Culture

In organizations of any kind - whether families of two, nations of millions, or any size in between - there are two constructs that give us insight into the organizational mindset, its ways of thinking, its ways of behaving.

The first is called "climate."  Climate is the vibe an organization emits.  Most of us can relate to the different sensation we experience when we are at the division of motor vehicles office (regardless of what state we live in) versus that of a locally owned business that serves our community.  One treats us an an inconvenience, knowing we are a captive audience.  The other (the latter) treats us as a valued friend upon whom their very livelihood exists, and as such, engages with us accordingly.  We can absolutely feel that difference in climate when we walk in the door of those establishments.  

"Culture" is the other dimensional construct of organizations.  It is the underlying beliefs, values, principles, and norms that drive the thinking and the behavior of that organization.  It is the heart and soul of the organization.   

Climate is the tangible expression of the culture.  What we feel when we engage with an organization - the climate - is the manifestation of the deeper, cellular make-up of that organization.  

Leaders must pay attention to both, and must diligently work to shape both in a positive and tightly aligned way.

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