Recent months and years have again focused public attention more on the value of culture. But what does culture actually mean? According to C. Helman (Culture, Health and Illness. Bristol 1984, pg. 2) it is understood as a system of rules and habits that determine how people live with each other and act. This applies to every group that sees itself as a collective with regard to a specific theme, such as a religion, a country or – in our case – a company.
While we are aware of the differences due to our ancestry, the differences that are due to our vocational background through our employee are often not taken into account. That is why it can become really complicated if different dimensions of cultural differences come together.
What happens, for example, if a rather conservative company A merges with an innovative company B, the new CEO is a Dutch person from company A and the COO is a French person from company B? If the cultural differences are not intensively evaluated and made clear, successful communication will be pretty-much impossible. Because, the spoken and written words will be understood in completely different ways in the two varying company cultures.
That is why it is all the more important to define and describe the company strategy and the path that is to be taken to achieve the company targets. Only if all employees can understand and follow these steps, can they actually be implemented. Just so we understand each other: This is not about standardization but about the professional use of the differences. Because, as is generally known, variety brings success. However, in order to make use of these potentials, they first have to be recognized.
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