Meteorologically, the difference between climate and weather is a measure of time. Climate is how the atmosphere acts over a relatively long period of time. Weather is the atmospheric conditions over a much shorter time period. There is an organizational correlation to the climate and weather relationship. As a leader we need to recognize our role in both the organizational climate, and the team’s daily weather.
While both climate and culture are ubiquitous (like how a fish doesn’t notice the water), they might seem static and unchangeable – neither are. Look at historical records, and it is clear the climate for a given area can change over time. The same can be true for an organizational culture. Fortunately, we can move the needle on organizational culture faster and with more direct influence any of us can on climate.
Different than meteorological climate, we can determine a cultural vision and steadily and consciously move our organizations in that new direction. While these efforts will not create immediate change, the change can gradually occur.
Weather is localized, by team and by day. Even if climate is shifting in a warmer direction, there can still be major cold snap or snowstorm. And yet, the weather, over time creates the climate. Think about it this way – even if there is a trend or decision to adjust the culture in a new direction, the daily weather can move in the opposite direction. One rainy day doesn’t turn a desert to a jungle, but every day still matters. And if it is raining, even if that is a surprise, you still might want an umbrella.
Imagine your boss walking in with a scowl on their face, slamming doors as they walk through the office. Will that observed behavior change your internal weather report for the day? Might the day go differently than normal even if the overall cultural climate is quite different?
If that happens once a year, it might be remembered as an anomaly, (remember that snowstorm?!), but not change the climate. But if snows once a week… it is likely a different story, and a different culture.
The team’s weather can be influenced by everyone who is a part of the team, but the person with the most influence to change the weather is the leader. As a leader we impact the daily weather on our team, but we can also set (or work with the team to set) an aspirational vision for the culture/climate we desire. While that is important and valuable work, leaders must remember that their daily actions of “weather setting” must align with that cultural vision most days, or the organizational climate we desire may never be reached.
If you want to be a more effective and intentional leader you need regular input and intentional learning. You might not have time or ability to attend a traditional workshop. But what if you could get targeted skill development from a trusted source, that you could complete at your own pace and based on your interest/need? That is exactly why we created Remarkable Master Classes. Learn more about the approach and format, and see the list of currently available skills here.