Is Your Infrastructure Congruent with Your Culture?

Many times, we get clear on our core values and sabotage ourselves through other means. Contemporary philosopher and author Ken Wilber, articulated in his book, A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality an all-inclusive integral theory that gives a way of looking at where we may be incongruent in our espoused values and the way we behave our structure our environment. One example is how we set up our offices: does our infrastructure portray or compromise our core values? The NY Times interviewed Niraj Shah, co-founder and CEO of, who shared the following lesson:

“When we started our first company, we didn’t really have a notion of what company culture was and how it mattered. We basically were figuring things out as we went along. As we grew, people were getting private offices and cubicles. But then you realize that people don’t have a good feel for what’s going on, and people weren’t really talking with their colleagues. All of a sudden we were in a place we just didn’t like. The culture here is about transparency, access to information, open collaboration.”

What does it say to people if you say your core values are transparency and open collaboration and you have a closed workspace? This is when our infrastructure is not congruent with our core values. Integral theory tells us that we have to be consistent in all areas, and when we are, we have a culture that aligns our people and produces dramatic results.

When we get clear on our core values we can design our environments and workplaces to create the culture that will support our mission in the world. Is your culture created by default or by design?