THE EXPERT CULTURE AND
THE COLLECTIVE CULTURE
Great discoveries and achievements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. Alexander Graham Bell
He who has a “why” to live for can bear most any “how.” Friedrich Nietzsche
orporate culture is the personality of the organization. Just as all human beings have personalities, all organizations have a corporate culture. Whereas personality is the basis for our behavior and decision making, corporate culture is the context for organizational behavior and decision making. Our personalities are the result of a long process of socialization typically begun by our parents, who had a set of beliefs or values that they felt were important for us to learn and use to guide our life’s decisions. Our parents systematically taught us these values through lessons and experience reinforcing those specific behaviors that were consistent with their values and disciplining behaviors that were different from their views of good. 67
leading transformational change
Essentially, our personality is the sum of experiences that reinforce or weaken behaviors that reflect someone’s notion of good and bad, respectively. The degree to which our behavior is consistent with a set of espoused values equals the strength of our personality. A human being should have only one personality; the more personalities a person possesses, the more dysfunctional the individual is in society. The dynamics of personality development shares many similarities with the creation of a corporate culture. CORPORATE CULTURE
All organizations have at least one corporate culture—the challenge is to have just one culture, not multiple corporate subcultures. Organizational behavior defines the culture of the organization. In its simplest form, corporate culture is the way things are done. Healthcare organizations each have a set of espoused values. The degree to which the behavior displayed on a daily basis by all, or most, employees demonstrates the strength of the corporate culture. Therefore more corporate culture is espoused values demonstrated by behaviors. The Walt Disney Company exemplifies a company with a strong corporate culture. Regardless of whether you visit Disney in Florida or California, the level of service of the staff is consistent and predictable.
Behavior is driven by a set of values. If the organization’s values are not strong enough to drive individual behavior, the individual’s value set is the only basis upon which to define and control desirable behavior. Values, manifested by behaviors, define the strength of the culture. However, intangible factors come into play when creating or strengthening a corporate culture.
TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE ELEMENTS
All healthcare factors can be sorted into tangible elements and the intangible elements. Tangibles are those things that are fairly easy to measure. Intangibles are those elements that are more 68
elusive to common measurement but more critical to organizational success. These tangible and intangible factors can be subclassified further into inputs and outputs. For example, on the tangible side, profit is an outcome—you cannot do a “profit.” When the business systems are structured so that you spend less than you make, a profit is realized. Another important dynamic among these factors is when the outputs are not at the level you wish (e.g., profit is less than desired), you must go to the inputs that most affect the particular outcome to discover how to alter them to arrive at the desired level. The same fundamental dynamics are imbedded in the intangibles. Figure 4.1 shows the relationships between and among the
main tangible and intangible elements of an organization. Intangibles have both inputs that directly and indirectly affect outputs. Culture is an outcome. You cannot do an outcome—you cannot do corporate culture. The input elements of mission, values, and vision, as processed...
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