Culture is more than just the internal workings of a company.

It’s time for our group’s annual summit – quite the gathering of some of the smartest people I can imagine working with. My favorite part of it is getting back together with people I haven’t ran into in the past year just to catch up and see how everything is going in their world. That’s the first part of culture – how does your workforce interact together with no clients present.

By having everyone together you can discover if there are unbreakable cliques that are forming and isolating themselves from everyone else. You can also measure tension by listening to the types of conversations that are going on during the downtimes. Is everyone relaxed and just having fun or are they worried about the next 6 months? Are they blowing off built up pressure or are the at the right level of tension or have they given up on everything work related and moved beyond it into indifference? How fixed are the hierarchies of the organization – are managers on one side and “employees” on the other?

Yes, I enjoy these event because I want to learn about how people operate together. It’s amazing what you can learn about the future by the tone of these types of events. You just have to be willing to listen.

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