Please see below selected recent culture-related change.
- What's New? - Culture
- What's Changing? - Culture: Arts
- What's Changing? - Culture: Design
- What's Changing? - Culture: Education
- What's Changing? - Culture: Humanism
- What's Changing? - Culture: Ideas
- What's Changing? - Culture: Religion
- Workplace culture is a vague term that is most easily described as being an organisation’s “DNA”. It is a short-cut to talk about the way an individual employer functions and the principles it lives by. A healthy internal culture has long been seen as a building block of performance, belonging and success. As companies head into hybrid working patterns, employers are worried this magic will disintegrate when we are not under the same roof, having dynamic conversations in real life and absorbing the culture, warned the FT.
- Despite the often extreme differences between individuals, many elements of our existence are shared by almost everyone. We all shiver in the cold, sweat in the heat, and sometimes dream while sleeping, and have similar facial expressions. Researchers from UC Berkeley and Google Research used machine learning and YouTube videos to compare common facial expressions to the situations that prompt them. These videos were made by people from 144 different countries representing all corners of the Earth and featured various situations and subjects. The algorithm searched the videos for 16 facial expressions commonly associated with amusement, anger, awe, concentration, confusion, contempt, contentment, desire, disappointment, doubt, elation, interest, pain, sadness, surprise, and triumph. All 16 facial expressions popped up in similar circumstances. Everybody tends to cheer, cry, concentrate, and celebrate in similar ways. No group of people smiles when startled, shrugs when surprised, or frowns with joy. The findings suggest that 70 percent of the expressions we use to show emotional reactions are shared across cultures, reported Big Think.
- Rapid and large-scale changes forced on companies by the coronavirus pandemic could prompt a longer term shift in corporate culture, some leaders claimed, The Financial Times highlights several corporations that have found employees’ skillsets are more flexible than expected: Danone, for instance, found its team in Mexico could learn remotely from Italian technicians, reprogramming machinery with no need for travel. Working from home also means employees can communicate with and seek help from people besides their normal "desk buddies", helping to form new links across teams and hierarchies.
- Harvard Business Review claimed that while much has been written about multicultural societies and groups, not so many studies have been done on multicultural individuals and what they bring to organisations? Yet such multicultural individuals - such as Chinese-Canadians, Turkish-Germans, or Arab-Americans - commonly think, perceive, behave, and respond to global workplace issues in more complex ways than monocultural individuals.
- Culture, which is often thought of as a company’s most precious asset, is increasingly a liability for companies that don’t tend to it. Continued advocacy around #MeToo, new levels of scrutiny from investors and regulators, and increased activism on social media are forcing boards and CEOs to be accountable for culture in ways they haven’t been before.
- The UN cultural agency UNESCO added 29 new sites to its World Heritage List, including iron-age furnaces in Burkina Faso, a wine-growing region of Italy known for Prosecco, the city of Jaipur, India, and eight major buildings designed by the US architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Overall, UNESCO has granted special status to over 1,100 sites of "outstanding universal value."
- Harvard Business Review claimed that empathic workplaces tend to enjoy stronger collaboration, less stress, and greater morale, and their employees bounce back more quickly from difficult moments such as layoffs. Still, despite their efforts, many leaders struggle to actually make caring part of their organisational culture. In fact, there’s often a rift between the culture executives want from the one they have.
- The School of Life advocated "cultural mining" the process by which the most valuable parts of culture - the arts, humanities and philosophy - are recovered and made useful for our own times. In cultural mining, the refined and practical essence of culture is carefully extracted, cleaned, blasted and remoulded – and then used to manufacture the utensils and mental resources that will help us navigate contemporary life; work, relationships, family, self-knowledge and so on.
- Gallup believes that organisations should start by giving their employees the chance to define the best of your culture as it is, right now. What is currently working? Identifying the reality of the current culture provides a starting point. After that, the organisation can gauge how realistic a future aspirational culture is. Is it a major departure from what's working now? Is it a minor tweak? Is the aspirational already happening in pockets across the organisation and simply needs to be scaled?
- Identifying the growing trend of cultural individualisation, TrendWatching noted that global mega-platforms like Netflix and Spotify empower users to pick and choose ever more unique and diverse blends of content than ever before. At almost zero cost! Indeed, when launching this initiative Spotify highlighted how 1 in 4 of its users “actively listens to artists from a culture (or country) different from their own”.
- TrendWatching added that if you want to jump on this trend, but you’re worried about becoming the target of the next cultural appropriation scandal, one could learn from Spotify, which is celebrating local artists and producers, rather than exploiting them. And don’t think this trend isn’t relevant just because you’re not in the digital media business. IKEA recently partnered with Design Indaba to bring African design to the world.
- Data can be a powerful tool, and a risky one. Having the right corporate culture to tackle data responsibly is critical. The latest issue of the McKinsey Quarterly, “Why data culture matters,” explored how companies can cultivate their analytics efforts with culture in mind.
- Further reading:
- How is your office culture really made, asked Quartz? It believes it starts with little decisions that have a big impact, like replacing email with a new collaboration tool. A new interactive explored different employee perspectives.
- In an entertaining and persuasive podcast series a few years ago, Melvyn Bragg examined various aspects and definitions of culture.
- Knoco provided a series of observations around knowledge and national culture, comparing for example the open Australian sharing culture with the more reserved Eastern cultures and the impact that each has on how knowledge is shared.