A fish story

A fish story

What is culture?

There are two young fish swimming in their pond and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way…

…who nods and calls out “Morning, kiddos. How’s the water?”

 A big, older fish

Two young fish

The two young fish swim on for a bit, and eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?” 

“Culture” is everywhere and mostly unnoticed.

It’s the water you’ve been swimming in this whole time.

A culture is created one choice at a time, as we – each of us – decide how to relate to the people in our working lives. It’s the voice in your head. Do I have time to help with that? Why are we doing it this way? Should I ask this out loud? It’s hundreds of people, making hundreds of choices, each day, every day.

And people make choices based on relationships at least as much as they respond to incentive programs, to awards, or to recognition. Those are great – don’t get me wrong – but that’s not all there is. And this is why you matter so much. A healthy culture is about knowing people (being connected), asking questions (staying curious, open), and believing that you are respected (feeling invested – knowing that you contribute).

And that’s why we think the College should do more to get our people talking and working outside their usual groups, to help build those relationships – the trust — that is essential to enabling a creative and innovative environment.

This is a great place to work, but still, what would it be worth to you to be a little happier coming to work every day? To your coworkers? To your larger group?

Let’s get started.