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How To Lead A Quest by Jason Fox

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20 Structures, Artefacts and Rituals

In addition to viewing culture as a set of behaviours within a given context (as discussed in chapter 19), it can also be useful to look at culture through an anthropological lens. Here, we identify three elements: structures, artefacts and rituals.

Throughout history, these three components have been present in every culture. And, once attuned, you'll begin to see these elements within any thriving enterprise culture. Let's start with structures.

STRUCTURES

The structures that shape culture can be thought of in two main ways: visible and invisible.

The visible structures within a workplace culture are the physical structures you see — the arrangement of workspaces, the art, the plants, and so on — and these play a key role in influencing a workplace culture.[1] Sometimes you walk into the head offices of an enterprise and immediately think, Wow, this is different. Intuitively, you know the space is conducive to great work — the ceilings are high, the rooms are flooded with natural light and there are plants and art, and a range of different work zones have been created for different types of work.

Other times, you walk into an office and see a warren of monotonous cubicles. You feel as though you need to tiptoe past people, so as not to disturb them. No-one talks to each other — no wait; you can see some people talking over by the coffee ...

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