Culture Is Not Enough

Mitch Schneider
October 17, 2019

I just finished recording today’s blog post. It is in many ways a direct manifestation of yesterday’s Patient and Family Advisory Council meeting at the City of Hope and what was discussed.

In all honesty, my understanding of culture is continually expanding. Especially, now that I’ve taken a seat on the Council and see how abstract concepts manifest themselves in the real world.

But, I think we would be wise to take a moment and define this notion of culture beyond simply saying, “This is the way we do things around here.” Because all too often it isn’t. It’s what we say is the way we do things around here, not necessarily the way they actually get done!

Culture is supposed to be the real world, three-dimensional manifestation of an organization’s Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Structures within the context of its relationships with all its shareholders – internal and external.

Just talking about culture, however, is wholly inadequate unless it reflects an accurate picture of the actions taken by individuals consistent with the above. When that occurs… When culture is more than a noun used to describe words on a page and it becomes a tangible representation of what people think and more importantly, how they act, magic happens.

To do that those actions must be assessed, supported and validated throughout the organization.

To do that — systems, processes, and protocols must be developed.

Those systems, processes, and protocols must be integrated, embraced and absorbed by the right people — likeminded people — sitting on the right seats on the right bus headed to the right place. A place everyone wants and needs to go.

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