Culture is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it can host the most beautiful and sophisticated developments, enhance people’s life, make work meaningful, perhaps exciting and fun, and be the glue that leads to individual and collective success.
However, it could also go the other way by ‘the operating system’ being or becoming stiff, bureaucratic, alienating, defensive (‘people will always take advantage’), risk averse (‘people make mistakes’) and, simply, bad for your health.
The funny thing is that ‘the non-linear nature of the dynamics of the network/organization’ (excuse my language…) provides a very thin line between the excellent and the ugly, the remarkable and the unnoticeable, the enhancing and the weakening. The change is not linear. Good leaders can spot the thresholds and the early warnings.
I am always amazed about how many people say ‘cultures are very difficult to change’ when we are surrounded by examples of both sudden cultural decline and astonishing emergence of new (types of) company cultures.
Also, in culture terms, ‘sustainability’ is a double-edged sword as well. If the culture becomes too sustainable, it will be rigid. It will be similar to what Sugata Mitra (‘Hole in the Wall’, TED prize) said about the British Empire: “They engineered a system so robust, that it’s still with us today, continually producing identical people for a machine that no longer exists.”
Solidity, robustness and even ‘sustainable’ are potential liabilities in culture. We can debate the terms for the alternatives: flexible, adaptable, agile, anti- fragile, etc, Each term means different things. But it’s about change-ability, not change. Sustain-ability? Only if we don’t sustain too much.
Join us and take a deeper dive into organizational culture….
The Myths of Company Culture
Do you want to learn how to successfully mobilize your people for a purpose and change culture? Culture is the key to the complex post Covid-19 future in front of us. Join us on 16th July, 18:00 BST/19:00 CET for our free, live webinar with Q&A on The Myths of Company Culture.
Stuck in old concepts, we have made culture change hard and often impossible. The failure of communication programmes or ‘culture training’ tell us a lot about the myths in this area. Learn how to successfully mobilize your people for a purpose and change culture. Culture is the key to the complex post Covid-19 future in front of us. Over the Covid-19 peak across the world we have seen the best and the worst of company cultures. Sometimes it felt like a pressure cooker. Culture is now ‘the strategy’, but we need to get rid of some assumptions and learn inconvenient truths.
Each participant who attends any of the live webinars of the Feed Forward series will be eligible for one copy of The Flipping Point.