It's fascinating that the question keeps reemerging: What is team culture and why is it perhaps the most significant invisible force behind team performance, interaction and growth?
Most importantly, the distinction of culture needs to be simple, clear and above all actionable. People will and should lose interest if it's still not clear half way into a bloated slide deck, and if it sounds like building a thriving culture is going to significantly and expensively take us away from work.
One way to understand team culture is as the live landscape of shared thinking and feeling.
This can be the constellation of shared beliefs, stories, expectations, emotions and attitudes. In weak team cultures, there is a shared sense of victimhood, cynicism and deficiency. In strong team cultures, there is a shared sense of agency, confidence and abundance,
What's actually cognitively and affectively shared cannot possibly be commanded, controlled or incentivized. That is why culture devils the large majority of managers who wish it would be otherwise.
For the most part, what's shared is shared through everyday informal and formal conversations. Shifting the culture means shifting the conversations. This is easily learnable, and while we work. It is absurd to think we would have to stop working to shift the conversations we're having anyways and that shape the team culture. We can learn how.