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Shifting culture within organizations is challenging. In part, because it reflects people’s values—their deeply held beliefs about what is good, desirable, and appropriate. Interactions can complicate matters further. When colleagues are embedded in informal networks with others who share and reinforce their values, they often become entrenched rather than open to new attitudes and behaviors. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

By understanding the network dynamics of culture, we can better enable the shifting of culture. Culture and networks reinforce each other in organizations. Culture shapes the beliefs and values in networks. In turn, network interactions create and reinforce culture. This natural interplay between culture and networks isn’t factored into most culture change initiatives but it is one of the best ways to make culture change actionable.

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