Culture is our bread and butter; it is at the core of what we believe and do at Vision Takeoff.  When Merriam-Webster announced culture as their number one word of the year, we of course had to agree.  There is no question that culture is important in all aspects of business, defining who we are individually and as an organization. In 2014 headlines were filled with “celebrity culture”, “rape culture” and “company culture”, driving interest in the word and subject.   Culture, as Merriam-Webster describes, can be either very broad (as in "celebrity culture" or "winning culture") or very specific (as in "test-prep culture" or "marching band culture"). Broad or specific, culture was the it word this year and we see that trend continuing through 2015.

At Vision Takeoff we address company culture, which we define as collectively learned behavioral patterns, based on our common values, attitudes, assumptions and norms. We use our own unique methods and tools to create insight and develop strategies for our clients on how to use core values, vision and mission as a guide in their daily work. We work with our clients to create sustainable and business savvy behavioral changes, turning their culture into business.

In 2014, there was a move away from the concentration of the individual aspects of behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, and artifacts shifting to a holistic image of culture.  Today, we are pinpointing how these elements work together.  This reversal of focus, allows for identification of who we are, and gives greater meaning to those individual aspects.  For example, playfulness is an important part of the Vision Takeoff culture, enough so that we have included it as part of our core values.  The playfulness in and of itself is not culture.  Identifying a person or groups of people as playful does not give us great meaning and makes it difficult to relate to business function and profitability. If we further define who we are and why do we do what we do, we are able to combine single elements, such as playfulness, into a larger more significant way that can motivate and guide employees and the business as a whole. 

We see 2015 as another great year for the word culture and, more specifically, company culture.  Companies will look at the relationship between their perceived or desired culture and the one that exists.  This will continue to move “company culture” out of the fluffy topic zone into center focus, relating it to a healthy, profitable workplace.

Was culture a hot topic in your company this year?  Are you able to define your company culture? Does the company culture your organization desires align with the one that exists?