Sunday, April 17, 2016

“Digital Valley” Book Preview Chapter 5: Culture Wisdom


Culture wisdom is cognitive intelligence to bring in the profound understanding of the problems, global viewpoints, and workforce harmony.



Although culture is invisible, there are many vivid culture descriptions and metaphors. Generally speaking, culture is the “mindsets, attitudes, feelings, values and behaviors that characterize and inform a group and its member.” The word “culture” stems from a latin root that means the tilling of the soil. A company’s culture helps to define what a company is like - what it means to be part of the organization, how to act as a team, what people in the company believe and strive for, and what is the business brand, etc. With the emergent trend of digitalization and globalization, culture wisdom is the type of intelligence for tolerance of ambiguity, a set of capabilities such as cultural cognition, learning agility, handling complexity, empathy, and flexibility, etc. It is the wisdom to bring in-depth understanding, cognitive intelligence, global view, and workforce harmony.


Global mindset: Global mindset is a worldview that looks at problems or issues in such a way that a solution emerges through a collaborative multicultural approach involving global psychological capital, intellectual and global social capital. Being global is about crossing, not just borders but also cultural divides between business, nations or social sectors. A global mind has good cultural empathy which means that you have to not just see through the eyes of someone who is different, but you have to think through that person’s brain. Culture is much deeper than customs or languages. True culture empathy springs from personality, early nurturing, curiosity, and appreciation of the diversity of thought and characters. Cultural behavior is the end product of collected wisdom, filtered and passed down through many generations as shared core beliefs, values, assumptions, notions, and persistent action patterns. Hence, culture management is an integral component of people management including all talent management aspects, the sophistication of talent practices, how people work and manage other people, workforce demographics, and composition, etc.


Organization’s culture expression: Organizational culture is the collective mindset, attitude, and behaviors. Culture is like an iceberg where the visible elements such as behaviors make much sense with recognizing and understanding the underlying mindsets, expectations, and assumptions. Culture is an organization’s personality, so what’s your culture expression, and how to communicate and measure it effectively. One of the important signals of corporate culture is about how decisions are made in the different level of an organization. The systems, processes and so forth are the clear manifestation of the leadership culture. It is the culture that clearly impacts on how these policies, procedures, and rewards that drive behavior. The ‘visible’ part of culture is the collective attitude - how employees behave in the workplace, interact with customers, adapt to changes and accept challenges., etc. All these factors take shape over a period through the decision-making process.  Hence, even culture is invisible, it can be perceived, even culture is untouchable, it can be felt, and even culture is intangible, it can be measured.


Wisdom in the workplace: Wisdom in the workplace is to have positive mindsets and build an innovative culture. It means to develop positive thinking and proactive actions in a workplace, to inspire creativity, learning and progression, but discourage unprofessionalism. Wisdom in the workplace means to have the right people getting the right information the right time in dealing with the varying situation wisely. Employee disengagement is a widespread malady in organizations, causing the loss of billions of dollars, hours of dissatisfaction, so wisdom in the workplace is not just about productivity, more about building a positive and innovative culture, cultivating intelligent and empathic leadership and management team, creating synergy by putting the right talent with the right capability in the right position at the right time to achieve business result. So overall speaking, the wisdom in the workplace means growth mindset, intellectual stimulation, the culture of innovation, high-effective leadership, and collaborative working relationship to both unleash employees’ potential and drive organizational maturity.


We are on the major shift from industrial silos to the digital hyperconnectivity. Digital boundaries are not straight lines, they are fluid to adapt to changes, so does a digital culture. Digital culture as collective minds and attitudes have to continue to move forward, not backward, so we have to reflect and examine our own thoughts, belief, and actions, to gain the culture wisdom and lift the organization and our society to the next level of advancement and prosperity.


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