What is culture for business?

It is not just bean bag chairs, pizza on Friday and cake for birthday.

Culture for business

By Tone Ringstad, CEO & Founder at Culture Intelligence

Culture is not just only like beanbag chairs and pizza on Friday and cake for birthday and all that. Although those perks of course help and represent some sort of culture they are really not the core of a culture that we are looking at business.


The actual culture is the sum of the values priorities in the team or organization that has an impact on people’s behaviors while they work and coordinate with each other.  It will show up as what people actually do, what they believe is right and wrong, who are considered heroes and heroines, who are promoted and what is banned, corrected and celebrated.

Just imagine all the people in the business. Each person carries the priority of the values that he or she wants to put into action. When they get together in a team or a whole business, those values that most people prioritize will be the stronger drivers in the culture and the business. It will impact:

  • How they work
  • How they collaborate
  • How they put risk into their work
  • How do they avoid the risk
  • How & when they make decisions

To analyse the personal values, we look for three things:

  1. become conscious about the values that influence their personal life (actual values)
  2. how their personal values align to the corporate values
  3. identify the values they need (aspired values) in order to be the best person they can possibly be in their life

To analyse a culture we primarily look for three things:

  1. what values that engage people
  2. what kind of culture code they align to
  3. the cultural gap between the culture you have (actual) and the culture you need (aspired)

This is how we put insight into understanding the culture of the business.