Organizational Success Depends on Culture

The OfficeThe behavior of the people working in an organization is a reflection of the organization’s culture. Whether an organization is functioning in a healthy or unhealthy manner fundamentally comes down to its culture. By definition, organizational culture is what people in the organization believe and how they behave base on those beliefs.

Organizational culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations. These shared values have a strong influence on the people in the organization and dictate how they dress, act, and perform their jobs. (John McLaughlin)

The challenge for many organizations, particularly within the church, is that they are not really clear on what is the culture of the organization. Many assumptions are made by people within the organization, often because they are only given a job description without any direct information about the organization’s culture. They are often left to figure out the culture on their own.

In some organizations, leaders assume that people want to work; they will work hard, give their best, seek the goals of the organization above their own, and be good team players.  But when things begin to regress rather than progress, a person or group is often identified as the problem rather than the organization’s culture, which is, in fact, encouraging a particular type of behavior. In other words, the problem may be how things are done in the organization and what values guide the organization.

In other organizations, people know what the culture should be because they have identified the behaviors and values that reflect the culture they desire. Unfortunately, although they know these things, their behavior does not reflect the desired outcome. Integration of values and behaviors is lacking.

Identifying, establishing, and ensuring a healthy culture is crucial for the success of an organization.

The culture within an organization is very important, playing a large role in whether it is a happy and healthy environment in which to work. In communicating and promoting the organizational ethos to employees, their acknowledgment, and acceptance of it can influence their work behavior and attitudes. When the interaction between the leadership and employees is good, the latter will make a greater contribution to team communication and collaboration, and will also be encouraged to accomplish the mission and objectives assigned by the organization, thereby enhancing job satisfaction.

If culture is so important to the success of the organization then an immediate question arises: Who in the organization is responsible for taking the lead in identifying, establishing, and modeling what the culture should be?

Without question, this is the responsibility of the leader. Organizations are usually a reflection of their leaders. Even in the context of the Church where Christ is the head, churches usually reflect the leadership style and culture of their leaders.

What is the current culture of your organization? Is it healthy or unhealthy? Are your people working as team to achieve the goals of the organization? Are they happy working for and with you? Do they enjoy their work and are they fully vested in the vision and mission?

If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.

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