Culture is one of the most influential factors in whether or not your organization, program, or team will achieve excellence.  According to ethnomusicologist Dorothea Hast, “Culture is defined as a group’s shared ways of experiencing, participating in, and making sense out of their world.  Culture accounts for why these people over here think and act differently from those people over there.”

The following is an excerpt from Peak Performance expert and author Jeff Janssen on culture.  Credit goes to author Jay Conger for the title of this blog post.

“While it’s largely invisible and [certainly culture is something] you can’t always see, its chemistry and life-supporting qualities profoundly effect and sometimes infect its inhabitants.  Those of you who have owned aquariums before know about water quality – the PH, the ammonia, all those kind of things – you can’t really see them; you’ve got to test for them.  And if they’re not where they need to be, your fish are not going to survive….your program may go “belly-up.”

Murky, dark, non life-enhancing culture

Bright, vibrant, lots of fish thriving culture

What does the water in your program’s aquarium look like?