Micro Cultures

by | Feb 21, 2016 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

To me, we have certain cultural consistencies, or at least generalizations that as nations, or states or provinces have regional versions. Like America for example, is generally known Internationally as people who speak their mind, have a lot of self-confidence, and wear sneakers! (The last part was proven to me by a waitress in Amsterdam a few years back, and then re-told to me by a colleague in Tel-Aviv) But regionally speaking, Southerners are generally known for their smiles and hospitality, taking more time in personal relationships than say us “Cranky Yankees” of the Northeast. Then again us Yankees are known for our leadership in innovation. Again……generally speaking. In most cases, like myself, I am proud of my regional culture and love being associated with the land of impatient sneaker wearing innovators. Although I sometimes wish I was “California Cool”.

What about Micro Cultures? With different clients and organizations that I deal with I notice different cultures. Some have a culture of self-concern, whereas if you get YOUR job done, then the company will be fine. Others take a group approach. Some have a better grasp on HR issues from making a “Happier” workplace, to making the independent home-based employee feel comfortable about their arrangements, others are a “Sink or Swim” scenario. I listened to a speaker at IAEE Expo Expo in 2014 said that she thought that the latter scenario was far more common now and that it quickly made the cream rise to identify who the future stars were in the organization. That is people who are self- sufficient and self- starters.

As a leader of a small company I pay attention to our micro culture and try from time to time to reinforce important traits like helping each other out, positivity, and leading people to the right “area” while trying to let them discover the specific answer. It’s not perfect, but we have a micro-culture that in the planning time works good for home based staff, and also helps us come together as an onsite management “Family”. We generally appreciate what each other brings to the table and try to respect it even if we are from different backgrounds and skillsets.

Where am I going with this? I have a couple of former colleagues that are looking for jobs right now and its funny how I am thinking “Will they be able to fit into that culture?” of a company I am referring them to. It used to be “Will they fit into that environment?” I know that environment is a form of culture, and vice-versa, but with the physical disconnect of most organizations today, I believe we are in a professional cultural shift that works for some and not for others. How can you get a work at home person to assimilate into a culture and furthermore, how can they participate and help advance that culture?
Yet while I ponder this, I also believe that it opens up opportunities for the type of person who is not really interested in culture, but interested in producing, unencumbered by their workplace environment. That too is a type of culture. Almost a personal values culture that hopefully adds to the big picture of a larger goal of a company, free of cultural considerations. Does this mean that in this new professional environment, the employer has to work harder to tailor to Micro cultures?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this….