I’m regularly asked to define culture and more specifically to define what defines a High Performance Culture. Both questions require a fairly long and wordy answer as culture is complex.

However most of the people who ask me to define culture are working inside busy complex organisations in which they already feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that they are asked to absorb and understand.

So how can we define culture in simple terms without losing the depth of understanding necessary to truly understand it? After considering that question for a while now, I have developed the following two part definition of culture and a statement of what I believe defines a High Performance Culture.

Culture is;

“ What it means to be human here.”  (‘Here’ being wherever you are referring to when talking about a culture.)

“ An unwritten social contract that turns a person into a people.”

A High Performance Culture is;

A culture that clearly defines and inspires people to be at their best, perform at their best and serve others.

Cultural Question To Consider? 

How does my definition of culture and High Performance Culture compare with how your leaders would define culture?

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