What is culture?
To me, culture is a set of things (behaviors, thoughts, actions, etc.) that are accepted amongst a certain group of people, whoever that group of people may be. Things that separate one group for another. The way we dress, the way we talk, the music we like, our political affiliations (or lack there of), our favorite hobbies, our religions. The list could go on forever. Culture consists of the elements that categorize groups of people.
What does it meant to shift culture?
The idea of “shifting culture” is one that I’ve heard repetitively in interviews over the past year or so, and I started to think about what it really means. What do people mean when they say “shift the culture”?
After some deep thought and internal deliberation, the answer is simple. Fostering change, inspiring patterns of thought, and introducing the New Normal. Allowing those within our circles of influence to understand and acknowledge things previously foreign to them, and ultimately to encourage them to accept those things as attainable, familiar, and/or normal.
We (people) should take it as a paramount obligation of our own to develop a sense of “new normal” amongst our peers, juniors, and seniors. To not lose sight of what culture has been built before us, but to understand it is our responsibility to enhance it going forward, and to leave it in better shape than what we found it.
We should be developing a sense of normalcy around things previous seen as far-fetched or not-normal. Political power, wealth, healthy lifestyles, robust retirement, international exposure, entrepreneurship, education, among a long list of other things.
So how do we establish what the new normal is? Build a following. Make yourself a fixture in your community. Be a role model. Humbly share your experiences. Give back. Mentor those looking up to you.
Kudos to those helping to usher in what I hope to be the New Normal:
Travel Noire (international exposure), Bevel (grooming), Magic Johnson (ownership), Black Girls Code (diversity in technology) Rob Wilson (financial clarity), Management Leadership for Tomorrow (corporate diversity). These are just a few of my favorites. Who do you think is helping to bring about the New Normal?
Feel free to engage in the comment section, or hit me up on Twitter.