What do you mean, culture? Is there one definition? If you looked up definitions of culture, or you talked to a lot of people, I thought this is interesting at times, you'll probably get different definitions. I found there is no one definition that people will give me when I ask them. But the allegory is important in important organizations. After this video you'll be able to define organizational culture, understand how culture protects organizational strategy in HR practices. I'll give you one definition you'll see here from American Heritage English Dictionary. It says culture is the arts, customs, institutions and other products of human work and thought considered as a unit, especially with regard to a particular time or social group. Glad I'm through that one. If you'll notice that definition is pretty wordy. And when I first read this I thought, somebody's getting paid by the word here. It doesn't meet my needs from an organizational standpoint. So let's look at this. The predominating attitudes and behaviors that characterize a group or organization, from the same dictionary. This gets a little bit more into what we want to talk about. But it's still to me a little bit nuanced. So let's give you a definition here that I think might be good for us. It's how we do things around here. If you look at different people who teach ed culture, they'll often use this as a definition. How we do things around here. Just how things get done, who we are, how we act. Let me tell you a little bit more about some examples here. What does this sign have to do with culture and how we do things around here? Let me suggest this, if I drove into an organization and saw this sign, my impression of the organizational culture, one piece would be, it's a top down. Executives get to park up front and we see a hierarchical organization. What if I change this to employee of the month? How might you look at it differently? I would look at it as they really value employee contributions and they want to reward the employees. What if I went to a third organization and I saw, reserved for customers only? There I would think it's a very customer focused. So you can tell a lot about an organization by some of the things that you observe in there. Some of those are artifacts, this example is probably an artifact or symbol. This will tell you a lot about the culture. You could also, some of the artifacts are what are, what's hanging on people's walls? Are they pictures of the family, which tells you a little about the culture very family oriented or something else? These are things to look for. Rituals, what kind of rituals do they have? Do they have lunch together a lot? Do they go out after work? Things that would tell you team orientation versus if there's no rituals, it might be a little bit of a stark culture. Look at the workspaces, I've mentioned that in the past, workspaces are interesting. Back to the pictures, if you have a workspace that's very customized, you have a culture where people want their employees to feel like individuals and express themselves. If they're very sterile, I worked at one organization where they could put nothing on the walls, nothing in their cubes, they wanted it sterile. That told me a little bit something about that culture too, that they didn't want people to express their individualism. So depending what you look for, you want to create the culture that fits your organization. And finally, just the interactions, I think this is always very interesting. When you walk in the place, are people laughing, are they connecting? If I walk in and the receptionist greets me with a smile, and may I get you a water or coffee? That tells me a lot about the culture, that they're probably pretty inclusive. So there are signs everywhere. And I've told people, just look carefully around, whether you're in an organization or if you're applying to an organization. You can tell it without being a consultant. You can sort of tell what the culture is if you look carefully. Let me give you another working definition that we're going to use in this video and subsequent ones, of culture. I'll think of one as a cell. We think of a cell, you first have the nucleus. In this case, we're going to look at strategy is the nucleus of the organization. This gives the marching orders. What's the mission of the organization? What're the vision? What're the goals? Again, that marching orders of the organization. The material outside of it is the organization itself. This is the people, the practices, the management, the things that make us tick day in and day out. And the membrane on the outside, which is on a cell. And I'm no biologist, but which is a semi impermeable membrane, this let's things in, but protects the organization and keeps things out. So that's the culture. So when we think about our definition of culture, besides how we do things around here, think of this as a metaphor. And another definition we'll use going forward, culture is that piece that keeps the organization safe. Integrity is a value, often you find in cultures. Inclusivity, do we welcome our new employees and other people into our organizations? Corporate citizenship, do we do well in the community or are we sort of enclosed? Values, what are our values, what are our core values? Mores and our ethics, this is the culture that again, protects the strategy, otherwise they'll get eaten for breakfast, as you recall. And the organization so they can do a good job. But let's things in that semi-impermeable membrane lets things in that are appropriate, keeps us from being a closed system. But also keeps us protected from getting away from our strategy. So when you think about strategy, it's really important to think about, do you have that strong membrane that keeps you safe? Going forward, this will be a metaphor that we'll use again and again.