Admin: Foundation of Organizational Culture

Wednesday, January 24 | 3:05 - 4:20p.m.

Session Description:
Parks and recreation organizations are staffed by a diverse group of personnel with a wide range of backgrounds and skills working toward a shared vision. Each organization has a unique culture that has evolved over time. This organizational culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, governing how people behave within the organization. The speaker will share his experience working with organizations to identify how culture can be a barrier to operational excellence, create potential hazards and increase employee and organizational risk. In this session, a Landscape Architect will address how the staffing and organizational structure of public agencies relate to the organizational structure of a US Navy ship. The session will cover how an organization can identify barriers to operational excellence, potential hazards and increased risks through a discussion of organizational communications, trust, integrity and an organization’s life cycle.

Need for Session: 
Establishing a consistent and sustainable organizational culture is uniquely challenging for park and recreation organizations. Comprised of full time and seasonal employees that frequently operate independently and with great responsibility, they are frequently challenged with establishing clear organizational communications, fostering an atmosphere of integrity and creating a foundation for individual and organizational trust.

Mike Terrell, Landscape Architect

Mike Terrell has over 29 years of experience as a landscape architect and planner working with private developers, cities and counties on the design of parks, trails and recreation facilities. In addition to this experience, he recently retired from the United States Navy with 30 years of service most recently as the lead facilitator for culture workshops aboard US Navy ships. His facilitation of culture workshops included working with all levels of a ship's organization from the most junior Sailors to the senior leadership to identify barriers to operational excellence and potential safety hazards. His military experience coupled with his management and design experience working with management, maintenance personnel, and user groups gives him a unique perspective. This perspective includes observations on the three factors that create and sustain organizational culture; communication, trust and integrity.