Growth happens whether you are intentional or not. The direction of your growth, however, is up to you.
Culture is an interesting and fluid concept that has been tossed around the last few years that I have become fond of. By definition, culture, in the noun form, is the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group. Culture is also a verb, which means to maintain in conditions suitable for growth. With the Millennial generation coming into the workforce the last few years, there has been quite a bit of controversy and discussion about this generation. As a result, the theme of culture has been in the conversation of business books, leadership development, career planning, and church growth.
Peter Drucker made this comment that tends to be used often, but rarely paid attention until it is too late. The quote is as follows:
Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.
If you can’t grow a plant without soil, you surely won’t be able to grow a strategy without culture. There are too many organizations that are meeting the dollar goals for the year, but are failing in the cultural aspect of their business. Without clear intentions of culture, you essentially leave it in the hands of a few people. Now, that is dangerous.
On a personal level, culture is important too. Most thought leaders call this your personal brand, but I believe it is much deeper than that. Personal culture speaks to your attitude and mindset toward others. It also determines the kind of people you attract in your space. There is a saying by Jim Rohn that says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. If you have allowed individuals to speak into your environment, they will begin to influence your way of thinking over time. The question becomes, have you allowed someone to change the foundation of your personal culture?
You have to have a solid foundation for core values that you believe in. Core values exuded out of you because they are you. They are the boundaries to protect your integrity and maintain your identity. How are you maintaining those boundaries, in all aspects of your life?
In all areas of life, setting a great foundation is key to growing. Whether it be soil or core values, the results depend upon what the foundation provides. You don’t find pineapple trees in Ohio as the environment or culture is not conducive for that type of fruit to grow.
As we continue to grow this blog, I have had to re-evaluate what I want to focus on (see last weeks post here). In addition to that the quality and depth of the foundation determines how high a structure can go. If Jesus knew how important foundation is (read the passage here), shouldn’t we pay attention to it? In the next week, core values will be displayed for this blog. Stay tuned!
What do you think about this perspective of culture? List your thoughts in the comment section!