The Meaning of “Culture”

What is the meaning of the word “culture”? It is a word that is difficult to define because it means different things to different people. It can also be quite contentious.

There are three commonly understood versions of the word “culture” according to Susan Marks & Andrew Clapham (International Human Rights Lexicon)

1) culture as the arts
2) culture as a particular way of life
3) culture as the dimension of difference

My own understanding of the tem is most like point no. 2 “culture as a way of life”. Travellers talk about their culture, Northern Unionists also use the word and I would describe my own culture as being Irish Catholic, educated and feminist. I use these terms to describe my values and beliefs about myself and my heritage.

When I was young I took part in the local St. Patrick’s Day Parade as a Member of the Girl Guides. Unionists attended Orange Parades and by their participation gave expression to their culture. Of course the standoff over Garvaghey Road in Portadown highlighted the issue of whether they had the right to walk down one particularly Catholic road where the residents opposed the march. Violence arose over the issue and this went on for a number of years until the Parades Commission took over. It was the job of the Parades Commission to decide on routes for the parade and to determine how the parade should proceed. One year the compromise was that the Orange Order could walk down the Garvaghey Road but they were obliged to do so in silence.

Another worrying aspect of culture / cultural practise is Female Genital Circumscision which is a carried out in many parts of Africa. This is a potentially life threatening procedure and it is inflicted on young girls without their consent. There are many other examples of culture throughout the world, eg. Saudi Arabian women must wear the burqua and cannot go out in public without a chaperone. How do these women feel about the rules that have been laid down from on high and described as “culture”?

Do Human Rights protect culture or do they deny it? Article 15 of International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights obliges state parties to recognise “the right of everyone to take part in cultural life” and Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights provides “in those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to those minorities whall not be denied the right, in community with other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, profess and practice their own religion or to use their own language”.

Terry Eagleton in a book called “The Idea of Culture” referred to the concept of culture as “affection, relationship, memory, kinship, place, community, emotional fulfillment, intellectual enjoyment, a sense of ultimate meaning” and he went on to say that these things are “closer to most of us than human rights charters”. Human Rights can nonetheless provide the context against which issues of culture can be judged.

How Management Style Is Related to Corporate Culture

Most will agree that culture is an important (if not critical) aspect of an organization’s success. Culture is an attractor of talent (employees), as well as customers. This article will explore management’s role in building and affecting organizational culture.

Culture at Southwest Airlines

Herb Kelleher, the co-founder and retired CEO of Southwest Airlines was the chief architect of the organization’s culture. Numerous articles have been written about Kelleher’s leadership style and approach to running the most successful airline in the US, if not the world. Kelleher built a culture based on “employees first,” and created policies and practices that reinforced the culture.

For decades the airline has maintained a “no layoff” policy, as well as a profit sharing program that has paid out consistently over the years – something unheard of in the airline industry. These policies are not just words; they demonstrate the commitment of building the “employees first” culture in the organization.
Humor and fun is a major ingredient of the Southwest culture.

Kelleher (also known as the “High Priest of Ha-Ha”) and his leadership team were known for their jokes, antics, and pranks that became part of the airline’s history, stories, and traditions. The Southwest stories and traditions act as “culture training,” and show employees that it’s okay to have fun on the job.

Even though Kelleher is no longer running the day-to-day operation, the spirit of the culture he designed still lives in all parts of the organization. When employees “look up” to their leaders at Southwest they observe behaviors that are consistent with the defined culture. That gives employees permission to follow in their leaders footsteps to support, and nurture the culture.

A Culture of Excellence Pays Off

Steve Jobs is another leader known for building a legendary culture. Job’s has developed a culture of excellence based on designing and delivering great products, as well as an extraordinary customer experience.

Job’s does not just demand excellence from his organization; he demonstrates how it’s done. One example of his commitment to excellence and customer experience is through his keynote speeches.

Job’s is known to begin the development process for his presentations weeks in advance, and then rehearses over and over again until he feels that the presentation is ready for his audience. Every word, every move, and every product demonstration is crafted to perfection. Job’s delivers an outstanding product and experience at each keynote address.

When Apple employees “look up” they see a commitment to excellence in action, and you bet they follow Job’s lead. Apple employees are inspired to deliver great products and customer experiences (supporting the Apple culture) through their leader’s action and reputation.

Southwest and Apple are good examples of how management style plays a major role in building a company’s culture.

Culture Tips

So if you’re tasked with building a culture for a new organization, or tweaking an existing one, here are a few tips to get you started:

First, define the desired culture. You won’t know how to get there unless you have a destination in mind.

Next, look up. The behaviors of your senior leadership team will give insight on where to begin, or what you will need to change to reach the desired state.

Finally, get total buy-in and participation from the senior leadership team. You must have total support and cooperation from the top to make it work. Culture is a team sport and everyone has to play to make it reality.

Most important, don’t forget that every employee is constantly looking up to the leadership team. Employees get cues from their leaders at all levels, and the behaviors (including policies and practices) of the leadership team will ultimately define your culture.

Rich McLafferty is an organizational visionary, and “challenger of the status quo” with 15+ years experience developing customer experience, employee experience, and organization development strategies that re-focus and align organizations around their people, their brand, and their customers.

Rich has background in the telecommunications, airline, outsourcing, and the not-for-profit industries, as well as a Master’s degree in Leadership and Organization Development, a BA in Humanities, and a Consultant Certification in Branded Customer Service.

The 3 Cultures Necessary For a Church to Grow

Every organization has culture. In many cases the culture is multi-faceted. In the church we see culture layer upon layer. Sometimes we have conflicting cultures. In far too many cases, those conflicting cultures lead to church splits.

Once the foundation of a church is in place, I believe three necessary cultures that are critical to the success of any great church must be in place. These three cultures do not develop on short notice and they do not do so by osmosis. It is critical that the senior pastor take the lead in the development of these cultures, teaching and coaching on all aspects of each.

If the church is an established church, 25 years or older, the development of these cultures will take time, a lot of it. Further, the three cultures are not a magic wand to grow the church you serve numerically and/or spiritually. They are, however, essential to have in place if you as the senior leader desire to see the church grow.

1. A Culture of Prayer – All churches would like to think of themselves as houses of prayer. “Oh yes, we are a praying church,” would be the mantra of most pastors. But when push comes to shove, what we often find is that churches have “Prayer Ministries.” They do the same with all sorts of the things God tells us all to do. In other words, churches have the prayer folks, the evangelism folks, the discipleship folks, etc. when in reality we are all charged with the responsibility to do those things.

It is critical that the church develops a culture of prayer. Even for yourself, as gifted as you are, do you want to go about the leadership of the church on your own talent? I can assure you that the level you can take the church on your own pales in comparison to where the church can go when it is engulfed in a culture of prayer.

It is your job to develop that culture. Do not succumb to the statement, “Our people won’t pray.” If your people won’t pray it is in large part because you have not taught them to pray. You must lead by example. You must tout the values of prayer and the instruction of our Lord to pray. In short, you need to start yesterday teaching, cultivating, encouraging, and leading the charge to possess a culture of prayer.

2. A Culture of Change – If there is one thing you can count on it is this. If the church you serve is going to grow it will change. How can you possibly stay the same and grow? Impossible. For many churches this becomes the break point.

In the church world, we often confuse change in facility, program, ministries, approach, etc. with change in our doctrine. Let’s be clear on this one. Nothing of what I write suggests any change in your doctrinal beliefs. You have a set of beliefs grounded in scripture that do not change. The Bible never changes. The communication of the Bible changes all the time. Helping the Body understand that is part of your job as the senior pastor.

Can you change the Prayer Room into the Junior High Game Room? When you can do that you know you have a church culture of change. In most churches that would cause a revolt. Your role as pastor is to help coach and teach the Body and other church leaders about the role of change in the life of the church. By the end of the day you want everyone at your place of worship to be confident in saying that the only thing constant around there is change.

3. A Culture of Ministry to Young Families – This is the one that, when not understood, can get some of the folks at your church worked up. But hear me all the way through on this.

Which demographic of people is most likely to make decisions for Christ? Any idea? That’s right. Children. The younger the person the more likely it is that they will make a decision of this magnitude. The older the person the less likely it is that they will make this decision.

We of course believe that all persons are of value in God’s eyes. As church leaders, however, it is critical that you create in the minds of those both inside and outside the church a culture of strong ministry to young families. First, these families are not brand loyal. They don’t care if you are Independent, Presbyterian, Baptist, or whatever. What they care about is, “What do you have for my kids?” We can view that as self-centered and certainly it is. Our job is to be smart and create a culture for young families to feel like the church really cares for them.

There you have it. The development of these three cultures (prayer, change, and ministry to young families) will do more to grow the church you serve than anything else. My encouragement to you is to be diligent in putting each of these cultures in place. Remember, this will not happen overnight but it can happen.

When you do these things, over time you will see God bring the increase He desires for the church you serve. I pray with you to that end and will celebrate in advance what God is about to do.

Dick Hardy is the Founder and President of The Hardy Group, an Executive Consulting firm for senior pastors of churches. Everything but preaching is his theme. Dealing with the stuff that keeps you up at night is his focus.

Dick brings a wealth of experience to the table for pastors when dealing with the tough issues of the church relative to growth, organization, leadership, administration, and change. His service as Administrative Pastor at two mega churches and as Vice President at a flagship denominational Bible college makes him a resource your church will want to retain. Dick is also available to serve as a speaker on this subject and many more.

Building the “Right” Culture is Key to Retention

Almost every Human Resource expert will tell you that employees must enjoy their work to be effective doing it. Enjoying work is not limited to the task itself. What this really means is simply “enjoying work is exceptionally dependent upon the culture which the works resides in.” In other words, the company must build a culture that the employees embrace. One that encourages self development, empowerment, social inter action, accountability and recognition. If your employees don’t enjoy working for you and at your place of business, retention will become an issue.


Empowerment is a common trait used by most effective leaders. The rewards of empowering your employees are far greater than the risk. Give them some independence in choosing their work schedules or other factors that won’t affect overall objectives. Employees must take ownership in the success of the organization. This means they must become part of the strategy employed by the company. Acknowledge their presence and contributions, and praise them at every opportunity. Empowering employees allows them to use their own initiative and creativity to accomplish things you never imagined they could. It is a baseline for building the right culture.

Allow room for a few Mavericks to exist in your organization. Empower your employees so they will take calculated risks. The worst thing you can have happen in your organization is for all your employees to do exactly what they are told to do – exactly how they are told to do it. Release the initiative and creativity in your employees by empowering them.

Management at all Levels Must Lead

Building the right culture is a primary responsibility of leadership at all levels in the organization. This includes front line supervisors and all managers up to and including the CEO of the company. The reality is so simplistic that we often overlook it.

“Employees can not maximize their effectiveness if they don’t feel comfortable. Emplyees won’t thrive if they don’t feel like their work environment makes them feel at home, confident, secure and appreciated.

The culture of your company is under rated when it comes to success drivers. It has tremendous weight on virtually every decision that is made within the organization itself

Test Your Management Teams View on Your Culture

Don’t make assumptions strictly based on your personal values, your personal views and your personal opinions. Call a meeting with your management team to discuss your culture. Don’t impose your views. In fact it may be beneficial to have an outside facilitator treat this exercise as a fact finding focus group event. This will allow you to either validate how effective your culture is and how it contributes to the company’s success or it can provide you with areas that need improvement with ideas and action plans that will help you create a culture that improves company retention and contributes to recruitment success. Often times a Management Team Retreat or workshop can provide tremendous dividends by energizing the group to such an extent that they not only identify key issues but they recognize the need to create and embrace change within the organization.

Challenge the team to address the following questions:

1. Describe what you believe our current culture to be in four words or less.

This question accomplishes several goals. First, it’s creative. Hopefully it will spur spontaneous thought that often is more honest than long drawn out analysis. Second, it challenges each manager to boil down the essence of their workplace in only a few words. Look for consistency between actions and words to get the true description of the culture.

2. If we were to give tours to the local college for recruitment purposes outline what you believe to be our key points of interest to attract new employees.

This is a creative question to challenge your management team. The answers to this question should represent the “greatest advantages” of the company’s culture. This delivers invaluable insight into what they perceive as the leading attributes of the company. Chances are no manager would focus on any attribute that didn’t symbolize a core component of the company’s culture, right?

3. If you were asked to write a 750 word article about our company culture, what would be impossible not to include?

This should be creative, challenging and counterintuitive. This challenges your management team to put the company in the best light. The secret is, by suggesting an article it reveals the parts of the company’s culture that you would want the public to know about. However, transparency is key; So you might also want to ask them to write at least one paragraph detailing a minimum of one negative about the company culture as they view it.

4. What are the most common complaints employees make about our company culture?

Although you want to keep this exercise as positive as possible, our objective is to improve the company culture for retention and recruitment purposes. This should be an unexpected question open for honest discussion and debate. Discovering any negative aspects of the company culture is critical to establishing action plans for improvement. This should not be a “Hall Mark” moment and honest opinions should be encouraged.

5. Explore any past issues that are not directly related to employee confidentiality that can become a learning exercise.

Every manager may not be aware of specific cultural issues that have been apparent in the past. Reviewing some of the more prominent ones will help to stimulate thought, ideas and discussion.

Set Your EGO aside

We all have egos but effective leaders control their own egos and understand how to utilize their understanding of people to inspire peak performance. They are confident and have high self esteem without demonstrating arrogance.

Traditional Children’s Games in Brazil

Like most countries in the world, Brazil is home to a number of traditional children’s games, both indoor and outdoor. Many Brazilian children’s games are quite simple and don’t require any kind of special equipment or training for participation. Similar games are found in other parts of the world, but the games listed here are specific to Brazil.

Queimada, the Portuguese word for “burned,” is a popular game similar to dodgeball that’s played on a wide, open field. To play, form two even teams and divide the players on each half of the field, similar to how you would in “capture the flag” or dodgeball. At each end of the field mark an area called the “cemetery” and place one player from each side inside their team’s cemetery. The game begins when one of the players in the cemetery launches a ball to the other side of the field. Members of the opposing team try to catch the ball and throw it at a player on the side from which the ball was launched. If a ball strikes a player, he is “dead” and must spend the remainder of the game in the cemetery. The game finishes when all of the players on one side are “dead.”

Cinco Marias
Cinco Marias is a simple kid’s game played with five flat stones. The game is very similar to jacks or tiddlywinks. The player places five stones in a small area on the ground. The player then picks up one stone and tosses it into the air. Before that stone hits the ground the player must pick up one of the remaining four stones. The next round, the player must pick up two stones before the first one hits the ground. The game continues like this until the player is able to pick up all four remaining stones before the first stone hits the ground. The first player to collect all four stones successful is the winner.

Hit The Coin
Hit The Coin is another popular game among Brazilian children that requires steady aim and concentration. To play, fix a short bamboo stick or dowel (12 to 18 inches in length) into the ground so it doesn’t move. Draw a small circle about 5 inches in diameter around the stick and place a small object (coin, bottle cap, toy soldier, etc.) on top of the stick. Players then take turns trying to knock the small object off of the stick by throwing coins at it. To win the player must knock the small object completely out of the circle.

Traditional Games Japanese Children Play

One way to help children connect with Japanese culture is to play traditional games Japanese children play. Japanese children still play many traditional games, some of which have been around since the 1600s. You can start with some of the traditional games Japanese children play that many of us are already familiar with, such as origami (decorative paper folding) and kite flying. Then, move on to some traditional Japanese games that are less familiar to many of us.

Fuku Warai
Fuku Warai is traditionally played by Japanese children on New Year’s Day. To play, cut out a large drawing of a woman’s face without any facial features. Cut out pictures of facial features from different paper. Have children sit in a circle around the face. Blindfold one child, and place the cutout features in front of her. The blindfolded child tries to place the eyes, nose, and mouth while the other children call out directions and encouragement. When the child is done, take off the blindfold and let him see his handiwork, then let another child try.

Beigoma is traditionally played by Japanese boys. Cover the open end of a large bucket with canvas. The canvas should be secured taut to the bucket. Each player is given a spinning top (hand spun or chord spun tops are both used). Tops should be distinctively marked, so you will know which top belongs to which player. Players all spin their tops on the canvas at the same time. The last top spinning on the canvas is declared the winner. Tops falling off the canvass are disqualified.

Hanaichimonme is a group outdoor game. Divide the children into two equal groups. The two groups hold hands with the members of their own group. The two groups face one another. Each team picks a players they would like to “win” from the other group. Then, those two players play jan-ken-pon (better known to many of us as rock, paper, scissors). The loser leaves his team and joins the other team, while the winning team takes a step forward and sings out “We are happy we won this round”; the losing team takes a step backwards and sings “we hate to lose.” The entire process is repeated until all of the players are in one group.

Traditional Games German Children Play

Introduce your kids to these traditional games German children play and see if they don’t discover a new favorite. The rules are easy to follow and hearken back to simpler times. Play these as part of a larger theme party (complete with traditional German treats) or let them stand on their own.

In English, “Hit the Pot.” This is a traditional German game small children play. Hide a pot containing a small present or piece of chocolate. The child who is “It” closes his eyes or is blindfolded and is given a wooden stick. He crawls on the floor, banging the spoon on the floor until he finds the pot. Spectators can help by shouting “hot” or “cold.” When he finds the pot, he gets to keep what is inside. The pot can be hidden again and the game replayed for remaining children.

This “chocolate eating” game is another traditional favorite. Wrap a bar of chocolate in several layers of newspaper and tie with ribbon. Place the chocolate in the center of a table along with a hat, scarf, mittens, fork and butter knife. Each player rolls the die once, trying for a six, and play proceeds clockwise. If a player rolls a six, he puts on the hat, scarf and mittens and attempts to open and eat the chocolate with the fork and knife until another player rolls six and takes over. This fast-paced game continues until all the chocolate is eaten.

Koffer packen
Koffer packen means “Packing a suitcase.” Children sit in a circle and pretend to “pack” a suitcase. The first child says the first item (for example, pajamas). The second child says the first item and adds an item of her own. This continues around the circle with each child repeating the list and adding another item to the suitcase. If a child makes a mistake, she’s out. The last child remaining wins a treat.

Katz und Maus
The “cat and mouse” game is played by larger groups, typically on the playground. One player is Katz and the other is Maus. The rest of the children form a circle and hold hands. The cat tries to catch (touch) the mouse. The mouse can run anywhere, including into or out of the circle. The circle helps the mouse by raising their arms to let the mouse through, or lowering their arms to try to block the mouse.

Familiar Games
German children also play familiar playground games such as hide and seek (“Verstecken”), kick the can (“Dosenfussball”), tag (“Fangen”), and hopscotch (“Hupfspiel”).

Gender Issues in the Chinese Culture

Within Chinese culture, women have consistently held a lower hierarchical status than men. Religious and philosophical Chinese thought, especially Confucianism and Neo-Confucianism, held women in a submissive state. The contemporary Chinese woman has much greater opportunity and equality than her counterpart during the days of foot-binding, but contemporary Chinese culture still leans in favor of men.

Yin Yang and Religious Belief
The Taoist “yin yang” symbol consists of the black, feminine “yin” and white, masculine “yang.” The yin stands for passiveness, illustrating the Taoist belief that women play a passive role in society. The yin yang also symbolizes balance, however, meaning that men and women must act as complements, balancing one another equally to maintain order.

Confucianism presents a much stricter picture of women in Chinese society. Confucius placed women at the low end of a patriarchal familial structure, and later teachings based in Confucianism, such as Ban Zhoa’s “Lessons for Girls,” further confirmed that status. The advent of Neo-Confucianism only imposed greater restrictions on women.

Historic Treatment
During the Song Dynasty, 960-1279 CE, the already strong patriarchal structure of Chinese culture gained immense strength. This period introduced the practice of foot-binding, designed to limit female mobility. Women typically had little to no say about their marriage partner, and upon marriage, a woman left her home to live with her husband’s family as a subordinate to her mother-in-law. A Chinese man only counted the number of sons when asked about the size of his family because the family name only survived through the birth of sons. Some families even sold unwanted daughters to wealthy families as chattel, or movable possessions.

A few notable examples of strong women exist within the history of China. One of the most famous literary heroines in Chinese culture, Fa Mu Lan, first appeared in a poem during the Northern dynasties, 420-589 CE.

Between 625-705 CE, Wu Zetian reigned as China’s only female emperor. She promoted Buddhism, which took a less harsh stance toward women in society. The time of her rule even brought relative freedom for women, and she directly challenged Confucian beliefs about women by elevating her mother’s relatives to political positions and by appointing scholars to write about famous women.

Contemporary Treatment: Not Quite Feminism
Confucian principles, including those regarding gender, loosened their grip during the Maoist period, 1949-76 CE. The government emphasized similarities between men and women, even coining the term “iron girls” to describe strong women capable of performing labor-intensive work.

As the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76 took hold, though, controversy over class struggle overshadowed gender issues. Society maintained a patriarchal structure, and women found little to no equality in the professional realm. Women progressively moved into the workforce during the 1980s but had lower pay rates and higher rates of layoffs than men, and Chinese society also continued holding women responsible for maintaining their households. Additionally, China formally implemented the “one-child policy” in 1980, which reinforced the culture’s favoritism toward sons, and rates of female infanticide increased as a result.

Chinese Culture Summary

Different countries have different societal structures, cultural norms and ways of forming relationships. China has strong traditions and moral values, borne out of a long history.

In China, food is an important part of life. Sharing a meal is the common way to socialize in the same way that Westerners may go to a bar or pub for a drink. Furthermore, there is a strong ‘waste not, want not’ ideal that makes for a range of interesting dishes. Rice and noodles are the two staples in the Chinese cuisine and are comparable to the use of bread in Western culture. Both of the dishes have a long history. China was one of the first centers of rice cultivation and noodles have been eaten since the East Han Dynasty (25 AD to 220 AD). In Chinese tradition, five grains of rice are seen as more important than pearls or jade, and noodles are seen as a symbol of longevity.

Mandarin is the official language of China and has been recognized as one of the seven United Nations languages. It is based on the dialects spoken in Northern China, particularly around Beijing. There are over 80,000 Chinese words although only 30,000 of them are in daily use. Mandarin is written in characters, originating from the Shang Dynasty (16th century BC to 11th century BC). There are two versions of characters, traditional Chinese, used in Taiwan Province and Hong Kong and simplified Chinese, used in Mainland China. There are also a range of official and unofficial dialects such as Hakka, spoken in Guangdong Province, and Wu, spoken in Zhejiang Province.

Morals and Values
Chinese culture has a range of morals and values.

Humility and respect are very important in Chinese culture. Individuals are expected to treat each other well and to show modesty when discussing successes or not discuss them at all.

In China, people think about ideas in a collective sense, often considering how their actions will affect their friends, neighbors and colleagues before making a decision. Decisions are more commonly made for the greater good as opposed to personal gain.

The Chinese are strictly bound by protocol and so it is better to ‘save face’ by respecting and honoring the opinion of others, even if you believe what they are saying is incorrect, than to demand that others agree with your way of thinking.

There are two main religions in Chinese culture.

Taoism, also known as Daoism, is based on the teachings of the Tao Te Ching, which was written in China in the 6th century BC. The emphasis is on finding spiritual harmony within the individual.

As it is in many far eastern countries, Buddhism is the dominant religion in China. This began in India 2, 500 years ago and follows the teachings of the Buddha, “The Enlightened One.” In China, Mahayana Buddhism is particularly common. In this form of Buddhism the path to liberation involves religious ritual, meditation and devotion.

Social Structure
China has a hierarchical and formal social structure. For example, in the family, children are expected to respect their elders with the eldest family member commanding the greatest respect.

How to Culture Pearls

Few things are as classic and timeless as pearl jewelry. Nowadays, most pearls are cultured through a painstaking process known as pearl farming. It is a method that requires an equal combination of skill and luck. Here is how to culture pearls.

Find an ideal location at which to raise pearl oysters. Your location will determine whether you will be culturing freshwater or saltwater pearls. Ideally, the location will have excellent water quality and be away from reefs. There should be as little silt and cloudiness as possible.

Obtain your pearl oysters. This can be done by collecting adult specimens in the wild and/or breeding. Oyster breeding is the most common practice employed nowadays.

Set up the farming area for the pearl oysters. There are various methods that can be used, including the Tahitian long line method and underwater trestles. Combinations of various methods are sometimes used.

Keep the oysters and lines clean, while they go through the process of maturation.

Consult a grafting technician. This is the person that will implant the foreign object (usually a shell bead) into the oysters around which the pearls will be formed. This is a surgical process known as nucleation, and should not be attempted by anyone without knowledge of the procedure.

Tend to the oysters carefully while the pearls form. Some oysters will reject the foreign objects, and still others may die during the process. This is where the luck factor comes into play. Be patient, as the process of pearl formation can sometimes take a couple of years.

Harvest the pearls when the nacre layer is about 3 mm thick. Oysters which produce high-quality pearls can be nucleated a second time for a new harvest.