Organizational culture, what organizational culture?


An organization’s culture is a complex system with a multitude of interrelated processes and mechanisms that keep it humming along.   Sometimes it is hard for the leadership team to really understand the culture of the organization they lead.

This is true particularly if they follow the traditional pattern and don’t move much from the leadership floor!

The leading team may think they determine the culture when they agree a vision and define the values that go with it.

“Oh yes, we are on a mission and we have a mission statement too! It is all in the hands of our Comm’s Director, so I’m sure people understand what it means and reflect it in our culture!”

Really? Unless those vision and mission statements are truly reinforced throughout the organization, they can be meaningless in terms of the culture.

So how do you know what is happening where you are?  Well here are a few questions for you to think about;

  • Are your organization’s vision and values reflected in performance reviews and training programmes?
  • What about you financial reward systems – do they reinforce them?
  • What about memos and communications do they highlight what the leadership team thinks are important.
  • What about management actions — for example, are more junior promotions for people who toe the line or are they for people who go out on a limb to pursue your vision?

In reality, in most organizations the culture develops unconsciously and organically to create a system that, while not always ideal, does work.

Changing a culture is a real challenge!  It is hard to do without losing the good things you have now.

Of course, that assumes as a leadership team, you are clear about the good things you have now!

If you are serious about your vision and you really want to see your values in practice, then you may have some hard work ahead!

But, of course, until you understand the culture you have now, you won’t know what you need to do, will you?

Time to start asking some questions, I think!

  • Vision Statement (
  • Value based leadership (
  • How Does the Quality of Leadership Impact Employee Motivation? (

I am Wendy Mason and I work as a Personal Development Coach, Consultant and Writer I work with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;

  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement

I am very good at helping you sort out what you want, overcome obstacles and handle change.   Email me at for more information