This can’t be unrelated to the growing importance of contemporary culture to organizations.

In December (how did I miss this?) Merriam-Webster announced its list of the top 10 words of 2014 based on frequency of search.  “Culture” came out on top.  Here’s how the dictionary publisher framed it:

Culture is a big word at back-to-school time each year, but this year lookups extended beyond the academic calendar. The term conveys a kind of academic attention to systematic behavior and allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue, or group: we speak of a “culture of transparency” or “consumer culture.” Culture can be either very broad (as in “celebrity culture” or “winning culture”) or very specific (as in “test-prep culture” or “marching band culture”).

This year, the use of the word culture to define ideas in this way has moved from the classroom syllabus to the conversation at large, appearing in headlines and analyses across a wide swath of topics.

Rounding out slots 2-10 are:

2.  nostalgia

3.  insidious

4.  legacy

5.  feminism

6.  je ne sais quoi

7.  innovation

8.  surreptitious

9.  autonomy

10. morbidity

There’s a reason culture is burrowing its way deeper into the corporation: It’s a word on everyone’s mind.

Additional reading:

Posted by Rob Fields

Observer. Curator. Marketer. Dot connector.