Which comes first? Culture? Or Behavior?

Does culture drive behavior? Or does behavior drive culture?

Well, the answer, of course, is both. See, culture is determined by the accumulation of all the behaviors in an organization. Every organization has a culture. Culture happens either by design or default. We don’t have to try to build a culture in our organization. One already exists! Behaviors dictate a certain culture. Culture happens. That would make a great bumper sticker, wouldn’t it?

However, culture can also drive behavior. For example, at the Vanderbloemen Search Group, one of their Cultural values is “Radical Responsiveness.”  This cultural value drives their behavior day in and day out. They pride themselves on their radical responsiveness to their clients and they hold themselves accountable to that value. At Church of the Highlands, one of their key values is FUN. You heard me, FUN. They hold each other accountable to having fun, as well as each staff member being a fun person to be around! They don’t allow critical, or negative staff to hang around. I can honestly say I haven’t met a staff person there, that’s not fun to be around there! Culture should be backed up by behaviors!

At the end of the day, a healthy or unhealthy culture will be determined by two things: The first is INTENTIONALITY. We must be intentional about the culture we’re seeking to build or maintain. Second, ACCOUNTABILITY is needed to hold ourselves and our organization accountable to maintaining the culture we’re seeking to maintain! This will requires courage on our part!

What about the culture in your organization? What’s healthy? What’s less than healthy? What parts of the culture have been determined by design? By default? Today, start building the kind of culture God has led you to build. Be clear. Be consistent. Be bold. Be courageous. Before you know it, you (and everyone else) will love being part of your team.

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