Corporate Culture’s Missing Piece

Culture, culture, culture.

Culture is a hot topic in business and leadership circles these days. A quick Google search reveals dozens of articles, blogs and blurbs on the subject. Even though this Forbes article is from 2015 (Culture: Why It’s the Hottest Topic in Business Today), it could be easily argued that the “culture conversation” has only become hotter and MORE important in the intervening time. See this article, or maybe this one, or here’s another...

Discussions abound on work spaces, leadership development, employee engagement and empowerment, perks and compensation, time off and flex schedules, mission statements and value propositions.

BUT…something BIG is missing from this conversation.

Something massively important is missing, and perhaps it is implied in some cases, but I’ve yet to see it discussed directly.

To illustrate, imagine something of a junior high “social studies” definition of culture, which would include a group’s shared characteristics, art, knowledge, social habits, music, cuisine…and LANGUAGE.

Shared language is perhaps the most basic and foundational building block of culture. And cultivating a “shared language” is THE missing piece in discussing organizational culture.

Are you cultivating “shared language” in your organization? Every organization has at least a small measure of shared language, or at the very least some slang, usually around products or services. Especially thoughtful organizations may have gone so far as to have shared language around mission, vision and core values.

But what about shared language around individuals’ internal lives, including their most deeply held beliefs, strengths and motives? Or conflict? How often have organizations intentionally developed shared language around navigating conflict?

The upsides to creating shared language around strengths, motives and conflict are immense. Think of the improvement to intra-  and inter-team relationships and clarified communication. And the time saved managing conflict. And the increased employee engagement. And better retention…and on and on and on it goes.

Creating a strong organizational culture is far more than just ping-pong tables and beer in the fridge. By engaging with A Million Stories and working through the TotalSDI suite of assessments, you can radically boost your organization’s culture by providing everyone a shared language around strengths, motives and conflict resolution. Building culture through shared language will absolutely lead to greater effectiveness.

When do you want to get started?