Why in the world would you want a corporate culture in your home? I mean really – our home is our refuge from the working world. Bringing something that sounds so institutional into your home may sound ridiculous, but it can have enormous benefits as well. Let’s look at how a corporate culture can enhance your home life.
Let’s begin with a definition. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Small Business, corporate culture is defined as follows:
Corporate culture refers to the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature.
Using this definition, it’s easy to see that a corporate culture is not limited to the place that someone works. And, if you can get past the notion that corporate means business, then you can extend this into your organization that we call the family.
Then, picking apart this definition, we can begin to address the “why” question in the title by looking at the benefits that a corporate culture in our home can bring. We can begin our decomposition with the first key word that we come to, “shared.” Certainly a person has their own set of values, attitudes, standards and beliefs; that’s what makes them an individual. But, the magic of the corporate culture comes from sharing these traits together so that everyone in the organization knows how to respond.
How can you best share these traits in your family? There are several possibilities – you can write them down, you can talk about them, you can live them out, or you can have your family members talk about how they applied these traits. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, other than to say you should be intentional about it.
But, it is important to note that the formal sharing of this culture is most effective within the home, just as it is most effective for businesses to share theirs inside the corporation. Telling others about your culture outside of the home, honestly, might make you seem a little weird unless you’re asked about it. The way you share your culture outside of your home is by consistently living out these traits.
Next, let’s talk about the four components that make up a corporate culture and describe why those might be helpful for our family.
We want to create the same Values for our family so that each family member understands what things are most important and precious to our family.
We want everyone in our home to exhibit the same Attitudes so that each family member knows how they should respond to different situations and interact with others both inside and outside of our household.
We want to establish a set of Standards so that all family members understand that there is a line between right and wrong, that they have a benchmark to apply to the different circumstances that they will face, and to set the expectation that we will be excellent in everything that we do.
We want to have a shared list of Beliefs so that our family has an anchor to which to attach their convictions, decisions, and morals.
In an upcoming post, I’ll go into more detail about how you can establish this corporate culture in your home. In particular, I’ll go into detail about the values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs to help you come up with your own customized culture for your family. In short, though, be intentional about this. Don’t assume that just because you all live under the same roof that this just happens automatically.
Application Question – Think about the companies that you most admire. What do you think their corporate culture is like? Do you think it just happens or do those companies infuse their culture into everything they do?
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