Organizational culture has achieved acclaimed status as a primary lever for enhancing company effectiveness and competitiveness in Board Rooms and C-Suites alike. Yet long before that, employees and clients could easily articulate what it ‘felt like’ to work for, or with, an organization; descriptors ran the gamut from complementary to far less so. Now, armed with far greater information regarding cultural components, organizations seek to evaluate, monitor, and change their culture to meet their goals.
Generally speaking, organizational culture is: “The tacit social order of an organization: It shapes attitudes and behaviors in wide ranging and durable ways. Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. When properly aligned with personal values, drives and needs, culture can unleash tremendous amounts of energy toward a shared purpose and foster an organization’s capacity to thrive.”
Groysberg, Lee, Price & Cheng
The Leaders Guide to Corporate Culture
Harvard Business Review, January-February, 2018
At its inception, Shrub Oak International recognized that its mission, predicated upon a deep understanding and appreciation for each student’s uniqueness, could only be accomplished through an aligned culture.
Instilling a culture of continuous learning, which deeply values and cultivates individual strengths as well as the diversity of experience, talents, and interests of our current (and prospective) staff, is an outgrowth of our work. We know that no two staff members are alike; nor should they be viewed as such.
Additionally, ensuring that our staff remains abreast of best-in-class approaches through experientially based and other development is not a mere ‘nice to do,’ as it often is in other organizations, but a business and cultural necessity.
Additionally, our student-supporting business model requires the seamless collaboration of staff (and information sharing) within and across disciplines, without the hindrance of traditional silos and hierarchies. Students’ benefit from having a team of experts with a real-time understanding of each student’s uniqueness, strengths, and development plans.
These and other cultural approaches resonate with our employees by tapping into their professional and personal passions and exponentially enhancing their relationships, effectiveness, and continuity (i.e. retention) with students.
What is often referenced as engagement (i.e. the extra discretionary effort over and above what an individual is required to do in their job) is business as usual at Shrub Oak. Infusing our campus with a trusting, collaborative, innovative culture, is not only what we do, but as importantly, how we do it.
As a parent, I understand how daunting it is to entrust others with the responsibility to develop, support, and care for your child. Shrub Oak encourages parents to do their due diligence to make the right choice for their child. Our intrinsic linkage of mission and culture is inspirational, and is ‘felt’ by our team.
Shrub Oak staff members don’t have to work here, they choose to. Understanding and valuing the uniqueness and strengths of our students and staff further empowers their success both professionally and personally, and creates a culture that others will seek to emulate.