The description of some company cultures by their leaders may sound like a work of fiction by people inside.
I have heard ‘we don’t do politics’ in highly politicized environments.
I have heard ‘we are not hierarchical’ in companies run as a benign dictatorship where hierarchy has just changed geography; for example the project leadership tribe is truly in charge, and hierarchical as hell, but not officially.
I have seen nasty inhumane HR practices in highly ‘paternalistic cultures.’
I have heard ‘save the world’ music in companies with leadership teams only concerned about their stock options.
I have indeed over the years gained lots of insights about the world of culture fiction. That fiction is the reality for many, those who have a vested interest in maintaining the fiction. In a number of cases, I have seen those people believe their own fiction. Self-brain-washing is actually not that difficult.
For those leaders, their legacy will be that fictional world.
“Fiction is history that didn’t happen”. Those leaders did not make history, they just harrypottered the whole thing.
CULTURE IS THE NEW WORKPLACE!
It’s back to culture time.
If you want to have a conversation about the future of work, don’t start with hybrid vs. non-hybrid, flexible vs. non-flexible, work from home vs. work from anywhere.
It’s the wrong start!
The real conversation is about the culture you want or need. Company culture is the petri dish where everything grows. The culture has workplaces. Focus on culture. This is the real driver. This is the true conversation.