Workplace culture: Just breathe

Positive workplace culture is to success what oxygen is to breathing. You can’t see it but it’s vitally important, and though it’s hard to describe, it makes everything else you do easier. Authors, Paige Hull Teegarden, Denice Rothman Hinden and Paul Sturm, demystify the highly mentioned but rarely discussed notion of organizational culture in their new book, The Nonprofit Organizational Culture Guide.

The authors begin with a helpful synopsis of what is published about culture and build on this foundation with the many factors that influence our deep assumptions about the nonprofit workplace. Historical, economical, political and contemporary business practices are discussed and how they impact the cultures we form. The authors explain how revealing hidden truths through stories provide us with the critical information we need to characterize nonprofit culture. By undergoing this ROC (Revealing Organization Culture) process, managers can leverage their cultural awareness to improve every aspect of their decision making, from marketing to mergers.

We are pleased to feature this helpful guide during June after having read how much culture can affect a nonprofit leader’s role with their staff and board. We hope you enjoy the book as well. In the meantime, here is the first Q and A we shared with the authors in our Page to Practice summary:

CausePlanet: Why should nonprofit leaders care about understanding and improving their organizational culture?

Authors: The work of nonprofit organizations has never been more important than it is right now. Nonprofit organizations are the heart and soul of our society and impact the quality of human and community life in profound ways. Many nonprofit organizations have become the new safety net for countless numbers of individuals and families in communities throughout the United States.

Surfacing the deepest unique elements of their organizational cultures can help nonprofits strengthen themselves as they advance their missions. Once revealed, the elements of organizational culture provide new information for developing more effective organization capacity building and service delivery strategies. The potential for success increases when strategies are designed to take advantage of an organization’s strengths or respond to its limitations. From hiring key staff to recruiting board members to identifying new program partners, understanding organizational culture can help leaders make better strategic decisions and strengthen alignment among key stakeholders.

For more information about The Nonprofit Organizational Culture Guide visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to learn more about this month’s book and future highlights.

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