The title implies an important point: Your organizational culture is changing. And by the way, “changing” doesn’t mean going back to the way it was in 2019 (even if you hope so). I will tell you why your post pandemic culture will be different. But first, let me share a simple definition of organizational (or team) culture.

A Simplified Definition

Culture is the way we do things around here, what leads to success, and the stories we tell and have heard.

And every group, team, organization, family, and gathering has a culture. If we don’t consciously create one, one will form.  

Things that Change Culture

Now that we have some common language, let me tell you why your post pandemic culture will be different.

  • A new world. The world of work is changing – and when context changes, culture changes with it. There are new and lasting worries, and societal shifts that will change your culture, like it or not.
  • New experiences and knowledge. In March of 2020, many didn’t think remote work would work. And others, while they wanted to try it, hadn’t been given the chance. Now, if you have experienced it, your work world view is forever changed. We worked together, bought things, and interacted with customers in new ways. All of these experiences and process changes have changed us forever. As the saying goes, we can't put the genie back in the bottle. Nor should we want to. Ignoring these experiences is both impossible and unwise.
  • New expectations. Many people have a new concept of what work is and can be. People have new expectations about how work fits into their lives. The way people look at work/life balance has, in many cases, changed too. These new expectations about when, how, and where people want to work must (will) become a part of your culture. Regardless of your pronouncements about return to office, hybrid work, and the like.

It's Different Alright

Different doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, we believe it is quite the opposite. Rarely do we recognize a cultural shift while it's happening. We must consciously leverage this uniquely critical moment to create a new post-pandemic culture. One that honors the past, acknowledges the pandemic experience, and sets everyone up for greater long-term success.

Yearning for or trying to recapture the past won’t get you where you want to go now. No matter how effective your culture was then.

For further thoughts about your post-pandemic culture, check out this short video – Your Next Culture Will be a New Culture.

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Kevin Eikenberry is a recognized world expert on leadership development and learning and is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group. He has spent over 30 years helping organizations across North America, and leaders from around the world, on leadership, learning, teams and teamwork, communication and more.

Twice he has been named by as one of the Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World and 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference. The American Management Association named him a “Leaders to Watch” and he has been twice named as one of the World's Top 30 Leadership Professionals by Global Gurus. Top Sales World has named him a Top Sales & Marketing Influencer several times, and his blog has been named on many “best of” lists. LeadersHum has named him one of the 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership in 2023.

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