Like northern forest fires during dry, hot summers, the conversation about culture at work is running rampant. Conceptually most people know what culture is, but impacting it, especially for the better, is where the waters begin to muddy.
The conversation is tantamount to talking personality. We all have one, but they differ from person to person, and when you ask a person to define his or her personality, seldom do you receive more than a “duh” look or a “you know” quib. We find it difficult to be objective. We each live within our own self making everything we do, think and say so common that it defies definition. It just is, as it is with culture in your workplace.
We are thrilled that Dave Ulrich, PhD, took on the challenge of putting context around culture in this issue. Starting on page 27, he discusses how individuals can be champions but it is a team that wins championships, and to win, the culture of the team must make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. He demonstrates that when organizations create the right culture, it turns external promises into internal employee engagement and organization actions. HR professionals who understand the why, what and how of culture will complement a talent agenda with a more sustainable winning organization.