Did you know that the root of the word "culture" is "cultivate"? Perhaps that seems obvious to you, and admittedly, when I read that last week, it struck me as something that I probably could have figured out - and yet, I've never thought about it before.

But it hit me as very interesting because a lot of people are talking about culture these days. They are asking questions like: What makes a good culture? Do we have a healthy culture? How do I develop a strong culture?

Meanwhile, the answer is in the word.

If we were talking face-to-face right now, I'd ask you to throw out various words and phrases that define "cultivation" and I'd bet you'd say things like:

  • farming
  • labor
  • fostering growth
  • study
  • care
  • encouragment
  • preparing for use

Intentional words. Words that indicate commitment, thoughtfulness, considerate interactions and development.

That's how you build a great culture. It doesn't just happen. You cultivate it. And even then, the word is still instructive because when you cultivate, really, all you're doing is preparing for a result. The final outcome isn't guaranteed. But without the cultivation, you'd be doomed right out of the gate. It's fundamental.

My solution to remember and apply this concept on a daily basis has been to coin the new term, "Culturevate".

It takes the idea of culture and makes it into a verb. Something that doesn't just happen - it requires 'doing'. That way, I'll have a good reminder to constantly contribute to the growth of each and every culture I engage on a daily basis.

Feel free to use it yourself, and together, let's get culturevating!

Andrew VanderPloeg
Andrew VanderPloeg Guest Blogger, Consultant

Andrew served at Bark for over 20 years before recently taking over the role of Vice President of Marketing & Communications at ShareWord, one of our favorite organizations.