For some unknown reason, I’ve always enjoyed making sense and creating order in the middle of organizational chaos. This is where the intersection of my counseling and business background collide. I’ve written in other posts how I believe it is unfortunate that there is not a greater embrace from the business field on human behavior as I believe it would save many companies a significant amount of time and money. But, I digress.
After graduating with my Master’s in Counseling I ran a small private practice for a few years. During that time I entered a doctoral program in Organizational Leadership in which I was required to analyze and provide consultation to organizations on change management needs. The thing with change in an organization is that it involves people having to change, which is often where the problem lies. People are not computers that can have a new code entered into them. There is a process they need to go through to incorporate a new way of functioning. Organizations without systems, patience and processes to allow for humans to embrace change, often find themselves with inner turmoil and failed projects.
I became to love this deviation from counseling individuals or couples to counseling organizations. Sometimes the analysis would be functional – like efficiency or space improvements. However, more often than not, the organizations had underlying cultural issues that was the biggest roadblock.
If you’re not familiar with what organizational culture is, let me define it here for you. Organizational culture is a set of underlying beliefs, assumptions and behaviors that create the psychological and social environment. Every company or group has these unique set of rules.
It is no secret that I am a pretty mission driven individual. I love being involved in things that better the world. I believe that organizations (both for and non-profits) can be real inspirational entities that improve people’s lives. Delving in to and improving the cultural functioning of an organization has a ripple effect that improves the lives of the people within the organizations, their families and that of the community. Therefore, it is worth it to invest time and energy into improving an organization’s culture. Also, an added bonus is that all research suggests that a good company culture equals higher productivity and real bottom line results.