The culture of organizations feels important. We ascribe all manner of causalities to the elusive phenomenon we call culture, from the ways people learn to the ways they interact and perform. We talk about culture being more significant than albeit not a substitute for strategy and structure. What is it that defines a culture? Can culture be mandated or measured into existence?
How people feel is one of the bellwether signals of culture. Do people feel free to be transparent, initiate, innovate, collaborate and inquire? Culture can be measured in degrees of freedom.
We can look at any ritual or artifact in an organization and immediately sense the degrees of freedom present or absent by observation or implication. More open cultures allow more freedom. People feel more free to engage, dream, connect, share, act, discover, innovate. In closed cultures, people feel less free in these possibilities. And yes, culture is a significant differentiator in the potential of an organization’s significance and thrivancy.