The Reality Step Always Wins

From the Ask Tom mailbag –

You talk about culture and the importance of culture. How can culture be created? How can culture be sustained?

Culture gets created every day. Whether you intended or not, the culture you have today was created yesterday. Culture is that unwritten set of rules that governs our required behaviors in the work that we do together. It is a cycle.

  • We hold beliefs and assumptions, about the way we see the world.
  • We connect behaviors to those beliefs and assumptions.
  • We test those behaviors against the reality of consequences.
  • The behaviors that survive the test become our customs and rituals.
  • Customs and rituals reinforce our beliefs and assumptions about the way we see the world.
  • Rinse, repeat.

You can start almost anywhere on the cycle to define your culture. Ultimately, the reality step always wins and redefines the rest of the cycle until the next test against reality occurs.

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