[This post is the first in a series called Exploring Cultural Intelligence written by David Arnowitz, co-founder of Arnowitz Culture Agency. The series will explore the problem and solution spaces that encompass the field of Cultural Intelligence]
Today we will investigate corporate culture through the view of organizational psychologist Roger Schwarz.
Failure to improve your company culture can often be traced back to a poor understanding of what company culture is. The problem starts with the misunderstanding that corporate culture is a single monolithic culture. In fact, corporate culture consistents of a number of subcultures. The problem is illustrated in Rogers’s Harvard Business Review article on company subcultures. Any culture change project must account for how to align these subcultures.
The subculture problem is often identified as the need to break down company ‘silos’—getting people talking outside their group or department. The problem is more complex. In addition to these subcultures, there are many cultural divides: gender, class, nationality, religion, and ethnicity, to name a few.
The layering of these divides makes unpacking the ‘artifacts’ of the culture factions difficult.
It is important to use a development and ROI framework to design a culture program that will produce improved individual and corporate performance.
In future series posts, we will look into what these frameworks might look like and how companies have benefited from their use.