It's one of those fascinating terms that conjures different meanings for different people. We all filter it through the cultures in which we've worked. For some people, it's a wonderful term equated with teamwork and comradery and accomplishment. For others, it may mean drudgery and distrust.
I've always been fascinated by culture, especially being a consultant. I've been exposed to numerous cultures inside and outside my home town. I've watched cultures shift over the years... some for the better, others for the worse. My current client has an amazing culture, and much of the credit is due to the fact they make their employees aware of the culture and their individual impact on it.
I think awareness is a key aspect of any organizational culture. I recently sent copies of my books to a friend. He's been reading my book, GUST, about office politics. Before he started, he offhandedly remarked that his organization was free of politics. Now that's he's halfway through the book, he's aware of the some of the signs of office politics he never noticed before. Sometimes, you need to be able to look at your own culture through an outsider's eyes.
I've also written before about toxic cultures, where people are blindsided by sneak attacks. If you're not paying attention, you miss a lot. The signs of your culture are there for you to read and interpret.
What is your corporate culture telling you? If you were to look at your coworkers, your furniture layout, your dress code, your meetings, your policies and procedures, and your general vibe through fresh eyes, what would you see?
Just some thoughts to start out your work week.