The Basics of Core Culture
What Are the Organizational Culture Principles?
Core Culture = Purpose + Philosophy + Priorities
The central three Ps of an organization are the Core Culture. Think of the Core Culture as the essence of the organization–and thus, the essence of its culture. Core Culture consists of the vital Purpose, the distinctive and enduring Philosophy and the strategic Priorities. As a unit, these principles and values form the foundation for why the organization is in business and the framework for how it conducts that business.
In successful organizations, there is a clearly defined and shared Core Culture that guides the behavior of employees as they interact with each other as well as with others outside the organization.
The Core Culture is a small set of guiding principles that employees across an organization should know and live by. An organization stands for something and has a character that is core to its soul.
Achieving greatness begins with employees understanding the organization’s contribution and character and its path to success. These principles and values are its Core Culture.
Conduct a Core Culture Assessment to define your organization’s Core Culture. This is the first step in strategic planning and a necessary step in implementing organizational change. You must first define the Core Culture before you can expect employees to practice and project the principles that will deliver success. Core Culture must be a shared set of principles valued by everyone in the company. To build a culture of distinction, you must participate in a process to uncover these prime principles.
Core Culture and Strategy
Core Culture and strategy are intertwined. Your strategy must be aligned with your Core Culture, and your Core Culture must support your strategy. When they are in sync, your organization will be focused and positioned to accomplish the goals you envision. Strategic Priorities are a part of the Core Culture; they are the values aligned with the organization’s Vision and Goals. Incorporating these strategic Priorities into the core of the culture ensure that the culture will support organizational success.
Core Culture provides the foundation and framework for the organization, and strategy provides the pathway for achieving success. If the organization’s Core Culture does not support the strategy, then its efforts to achieve the strategy will be fragmented. Strategy does not succeed if it is not supported by a Core Culture that gives it the capability to execute. This is where most organizations fail. They have the strategy in place, but they lack the culture to nurture its realization. This link is vital and should never be neglected.