organizational cultureOrganizational culture, or workplace culture, is like natural grass, not astroturf or sod.

It needs daily care and feeding to grow naturally and strong.

You may even need to cut it now and again and weed out bad grass.

Many organizations like to buy someone else’s culture (the Disney Way, Ritz Carlton, Heron-Studer Way, or the Cleveland Clinic Way.)

Industry best practices are important to study and should be adapted and adopted to your own workplace and community…BUT. When you buy someone else’s culture, it’s like you’re buying Astroturf. You bring in someone else’s culture into your organization and you lay it down, and it looks good at first. It’s new, green, and shiny… But it doesn’t grow.

You can water it all day long but it ain’t going to grow an inch! And it never really takes root, because it was not designed by them and their patients, for them and their patients. And staff feel it was imposed on them from up high in the organization’s chain of command. The result is, unfortunately, as soon as leaders turn their back to work on the next initiative, the employees will go right back to doing things the way they used to do them.

So what can you do instead?  You can make them the architects of their own future and their own unique organizational culture. When they own it, they will police it when leaders aren’t around and they will hold one another accountable. This kind of workplace culture is organic, not imposed. And, it’s the ideal environment in which the employee experience and the patient experience can thrive.