Welcome to the website of Stina Brown (she/they): Artist, writer, and systems thinker. Stina coaches, designs and facilitates because she loves people who are doing their best to change the world and knows some practical ways to help.

Organizational Culture is Alive and Influences Everything

Some organizations are aware of the (internal and external) culture they foster – many are not. Sometimes the promoted “values” or “culture statements” are hugely disconnected from reality – they are more about marketing or branding or putting a positive spin on things. When that’s the case, trust is low because they are not owning what’s real (and everyone knows it). With great care, honest conversations can be initiated to surface and name dynamics that require change and name authentic values that enliven your people and energize your mission.

If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening. Edgar Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership

What Kind of Culture Are You Creating?
You’re either doing it consciously – or unconsciously, but you are creating culture all the time.

How do we create our at-work culture?
Oftentimes it’s just the collective default. Some organizations are friendly because they have friendly people who work there. But something much more powerful is possible. Through considering what individuals in the organization value, you can begin to name what you believe or what matters most to you internally, and externally.

Stina can support your culture creation through:

  • Providing meaningful questions for staff and leadership to consider
  • Designing and facilitating fun, authentic conversations where there’s sharing and new agreement on what matters most
  • Creating structure to come up with actions informed by values to evolve the culture with real tangible outcomes
  • Checking in through coaching individuals or small groups
  • Training on collaboration, skills and relationship building

Make the Invisible Visible with AGREEMENTS in Meetings:
For meetings, simple beginning guidelines can be offered by the designer and refined by the client, co-written with the group or provided by the client or group. Here’s an example of group norms for an online meeting:

  1. Be present here – eliminate other distractions
  2. Be brief and share airtime
  3. Recognize your privilege – hold an awareness and share power
  4. Respect people’s pronouns
  5. Practice sitting with discomfort and non-closure
  6. Respect and be open to new ideas
  7. Take responsibility – for your needs, your contributions, this work
  8. Etc.

By making expectations clear a “container” is created for the group where they practice the new cultural “norms” and discover new levels of relating and collaborating.

Mirror house, outside Palm Springs, CA USA

Organizational Culture Definition:

The shared values and beliefs that help individuals understand organizational functioning and that provide them with guides for their behavior within the organization. ~ American Management Association (AMA): Cultivating Effective Corporate Cultures- A Global Study of Challenges and Strategies 2008-2018

The most significant positive changes can happen in organizations through sustained focused attention on the beliefs held within that organization. Some call this an organization’s “operating system”. Those beliefs will drive structure and behaviour.

A healthy culture is a major factor in any organization’s success. Authentic “organizational values” reflect and amplify what really matters and can be encouraging, inspiring, and even a powerful tool for justice and liberation.

Ask anyone “What is it like to work here?” or “How do you do things?”That will give you a sense of what the culture and social realities are.

Stina invites people to share what they see, feel and experience in their organizations. This can happen through confidential interviews, live online sessions, surveys or (when we are not in the pandemic) in-person sessions. This reality-check is shared back with the organization to make informed choices about priorities going forward.

To read more about culture, head to RELATING: SOCIAL REALITIES AT WORK

About Stina

Stina helps leaders see, study, and support themselves – in service of their visions for what the world can be. She designs and leads processes to create new human capacity and well-being, new shared awareness, new relationships, new trust, new vision, new clarity, and new plans. Read more about me here

Let’s hang out

Trust. Clarity. Artistry.

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