Friday 20 September 2019

Sustaining shared-view in seven areas of significance - part seven - culture

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

This is the final in a series of seven about arguably the most powerful philosophy that I work with my clients on. I call it shared-view.

In the workplace to be remarkable we need a shared-view in what I call seven areas of significance:  reality, possibility, purpose, strategy, execution, progress, and culture.

Today we're exploring culture.

Here's the Reality post and podcast.

Here's the Possibility post and podcast.

Here's the Purpose post and podcast.

Here's the Strategy post and podcast.

Here's the Execution post and podcast.

Here's the Progress post and podcast.

I’ve been referencing throughout this series a short paper that I published recently about shared-view which you can download here. There's also a designated page at my website where there's short videos on each of the seven.


Corporate anthropologist Michael Henderson says "Culture is; “What it means to be human here.” (‘Here’ being wherever you are referring to when talking about a culture.) I have always loved Michael’s definition.

Typically culture is described as "the way we do things around here." I believe this is only part of the story. Who we are as human beings precedes what we do, hence my mantra ‘who before do.’ 

My friend and colleague Steve Simpson created a concept called UGR’s i.e unwritten ground rules.

I very much align with Steve and refer him to my clients where appropriate.

I believe that the key to culture is agreeing to a set of behaviours that demonstrate how we live our values.

Lately I notice conversations about so-called 'traditional values' have entered the mainstream, particularly through religious and political leaders, yet also by citizens in reference to them. I find this all ironic given both religious and political leaders as a generalisation have a lot to answer for when it comes to not living their values!

Most organisations have values described in single words. Only the most remarkable have agreed behaviours about how their words are lived.


Over time and involving every member of your team turn your values (those single words) into virtues ("behaviours showing high moral standards”).

Below are two examples from Netflix and a small Australian organisation The Physio Co that was voted 7 years in a row as a top 50 best place to work.

At The Physio Co one of their values is Be memorable Behaviour wise this means:

At Netflix one of their values is Communication. Behaviourally for them this means:

You listen well instead of reacting first, so you can better understand

You are concise and articulate in speech and writing

You treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you

You maintain calm poise in stressful situations.

Your turn. Your work will lead you to what Dov Seidman calls sustainable values which will set you apart from most organisations who only have situational values.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

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