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.