Edgar Schein, the guru of culture research, defines culture as; “A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, which has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way you perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.” When the business paradigm changed, beginning in the 1960’s it meant the traditional “pattern of shared basic assumptions” was being questioned and slowly being replaced by new shared assumptions, such as:
- The reason for the existence of a business is economic performance
- The purpose of a business is to create a customer
- The result of a business is a satisfied customer who is committed to returning and recommending the business
- Everyone is not your customer, so you must know, who YOUR customers are [various kinds of segmentation], what they value [what are they buying vs. what you are selling], and how YOU can enhance what they value [processes, behaviors, technology].
- Team members need to be involved in decisions affecting them
- Contribution is the new work ethic
- People want to work in teams
- Positive emotions at work are important to job satisfaction
- Results are more important than activities
- The difference between good and great is discipline, i.e. having the skills, knowledge, and ability to follow a well-designed process and using technology appropriately to achieve consistent outcomes.
- Personal goals drive business goals, i.e. when the success of a business means personal goals are met or exceeded it creates a high performance organization
- People want to have their strengths developed and utilized
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