As I started to reflect more on my own experiences and the evolution of culture, I realized that culture done well is more of a verb than a noun. I came across a quote, now one of my favorites, by David Whyte, which says,
“Often, in order to stay alive, we have to unmake a living in order to get back to living the life we wanted for ourselves. It is this cycle of making, disintegration, and remaking that is the hallmark of meaningful and creative work.”
This was indeed the key and has informed everything I do and advise regarding organizational culture. While there are some parts of culture that we have to “undo” and “unmake” as Whyte references, I also wanted to honor the foundation that so many other leaders, academics, and employees across the globe have created and contributed to the work of developing organizational culture. There wasn’t a need to “undo” culture. Rather, as Whyte suggests, there is a need to “remake” it. A remake tells the same story as the original but uses a different cast and may alter the theme or audience.
ReCulturing is the continuous act of re-designing, reimagining, and re-connecting behaviors, processes, and practices to the organizational system.
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