Culture And Change

Culture And Change

Culture -have you have been trying to make changes in how your organization works? You need to find out how the existing cultureculture aids or hinders you. Here is Ed Schein on culture. Edgar Schein (born 1928) is a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and is credited with inventing the term “corporate culture.”

Culture Defined!

A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

The only thing of real importance that leaders do is to create and manage culture.

If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.

The process of culture formation is the process of creating a small group:

  1. single person (founder) has idea.
  2. founder brings in one or more people and creates core group. They share vision and believe in the risk.
  3. founding group acts in concert, raises money, work space…
  4. Others are brought in and a history is begun.

…culture explains the incomprehensible, the irrational.

Culture defines us:

what we pay attention to
what things mean
react emotionally
what actions to take when

The deeper issues:

nature of reality and truth
nature of time
nature of space
nature of human nature
nature of human activity
nature of human relationships
nature of reality and truth
what is real and how to determine reality

If you have been trying to make changes in how your organization works, you need to find out how the existing culture aids or hinders you.

In most organizational change efforts, it is much easier to draw on the strengths of the culture than to overcome the constraints by changing the culture.

Understand a new environment and culture before change or observation can be made.

    1. Observe behavior: language, customs, traditions
    2. Groups norms: standards and values
    3. Espoused values: published, publicly announced values.
    4. Formal Philosophy: mission
    5. Rules of the Game: rules to all in org
    6. Climate: climate of group in interaction
    7. Embedded skills:
    8. Habits of thinking, acting, paradigms: Shared knowledge for socialization.
    9. Shared meanings of the group
    10. Metaphors or symbols

How do leaders get their ideas implemented?

acting, by doing, exuding confidence


Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link



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