The Difference Between Organizational Culture And Climate - And How We Can Use One To Change The Other

Company leaders often wish for an organizational culture change, to make their companies more agile, innovative and growth-oriented. What many forget though, is that culture is deeply rooted in the organization’s DNA and unique history. That can make company culture as difficult to change as an individual’s personality.

Your Organizational Culture Is Your Identity


Beyond all the calls for change, it is important to remember that your culture is what makes you unique. It is your identity. It is the one thing that should make you shine and that everyone in your company should be proud of. If that is not the case in your organization, it is time to work on the image and the storytelling around your organizational culture, not on the culture itself.


Connecting Unique Selling Points, Culture, Values and Vision in All Your Communication Processes


To fully support your organization’s culture, people need to understand the benefits of your unique identity. They usually do this best if you link everything you do, and the way you do it, to your cultural values and vision – and then talk about it! In other words, link your corporate identity and culture strategy to your unique selling points, and communicate that link over and over again to achieve a positive connection with your existing culture.


Organizational Climate Change


As you do this, you will notice a considerable shift in your organizational climate. Organizational climate defines how the members of an organization experience their work and workplace on a daily basis. A climate that is toxic over long periods of time, can influence your organizational culture and become part of your organizational identity. On the other hand, a positive organizational culture and identity develops when the corporate climate is vibrant and dynamic over long periods of time. Therefore, in order to influence the organizational culture, we are better off improving the organizational climate.


The corporate climate, however, is influenced by more than just values and the vision. A few of the influences on the pulse of your climate are:


  1. Work conditions
  2. Compensation strategies
  3. Collaboration and leadership culture
  4. Organization design, workflows and day-to-day procedures
  5. Level of employee engagement

Boosting your Organizational Culture

The two best strategies for boosting your organizational culture in the long run are therefore 1) to improve your corporate climate by ensuring great conditions for all points on the list above and 2) to start linking your USPs with your organizational identity, values and vision in all formal and informal communication.


With these two best practices, in the long run, your corporate identity will shine.


"CULTURE HAPPENS" - Download Our Organizational Culture Assessment Guide



About the author:

Erika Jacobi is the President of LC GLOBAL Consulting Inc. and Editor of CHANGE TALK. LC GLOBAL® is a change and innovation consulting firm with offices in New York City and Munich, Germany. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter at


Topics: Organizational Culture Change, Organizational Change, organizational storytelling, corporate culture

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