Culture in an organisation is the kind of thing that one struggles to describe with words but whose effects are clear to see. When ‘things are not working’ in an organisation, or when employees tend to hang around the office after 5PM despite there being no urgent work, that is culture. I believe that culture is one of the most important – if not the most important- factors for the long-term success of an organisation.
At the beginning, when an organization is new and employees are few, it is clear that culture can easily be set by the founder or founders. How you behave, the performance standards you enforce, the way you get your work done, that sets the culture. The founders can actively recruit and hire employees who can maintain or enhance the already-established culture. How about an organization that has been operating for several years, whose performance standards are objectively low (e.g. producing poor quality products), and requires to change course? How do you begin changing culture? The very same way: how you behave, the performance standards you enforce, the way you get your work done, that resets the culture.