In branding or marketing, we sometimes talk about, “sticky.” We want to make our information, our products or services, sticky. Have you considered the concept of having a sticky culture?
Sticky implies, something that lasts, it hangs around, it stays or sticks.
Organizational culture is the foundation of our reputation and brand. We often hear about the great cultures of organizations like Google, Microsoft, or Aflac.
One commonality about culture, or even change, is that we want it to stick. Should it last forever? Probably not, it should be fluid, because at the same time successful organizations will need to navigate the ebb and flow.
Has the culture changed at Ford Motor Company, Harley Davidson, or IBM? All are more than 100 years old?
I’m not a historian, yet I believe it is safe to suggest that they have changed. Perhaps they are still grounded in some long-standing roots, but societal changes, or even government regulations may require some shifting to survive.
What makes a culture sticky? It probably isn’t about material things. Think of the start of Microsoft, HP, or Harley-Davidson, they all started in a garage.
Buildings and infrastructure may give the historical perspective. They help to tell the story; they are certainly noteworthy. The cities and towns where they emerged, also noteworthy.
However, across time the buildings change, the locations typically broaden, and the number of employees grows larger.
People create the feeling and atmosphere inside and outside of those buildings and infrastructure. People create the legacy, the history, the stories, and make things sticky.
There are many components that make up the culture. Perhaps the most important component is the people.
What is the importance or value of your culture? Is it sticky?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.