Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Defining Enterprise Culture...

Words mean things. With today's modern process-oriented IT executive constantly using words such as management and leadership interchangably, the meaning of words shift over time. Examples of hijacked words include: agile, innovation, synergy, architecture, etc. Most recently, I have detected that the word: culture is starting to show up in the vocabulary of folks who practice Management by Magazine and figured I should define it before others start to abuse it...

If Culture is the manifestation of leadership then how do we define culture? Culture is more than just a word; it embodies several ideas:

  • Culture refers to the perspectives, practices and products of a social or professional group

  • Culture is the personality of an organization, comprised of the attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and values of a company

  • Culture is shared values across an organization, along with consistent business-related (and to some degree social) ways of behaving that express those shared values

  • Culture is the collective conduct of an organization when outsiders are not watching

  • The key phrase is the last one which many enterprise architects aren't paying attention to. At some level, we believe we must Change the culture of the enterprise but haven't yet embraced the fact that Process is not a substitute for competence and therefore we should really ask ourselves what culture do we practice...

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