How do you know how to act in situations? It is always the same or do you find yourself taking ques from those around you? As Seth Godin
would ask — What do people like us do in this situation? In the post, Culture and Change
— What is culture and how do you build and nurture it?
I looked at culture across organisations. What causes it to work or not? How do you create it and whose responsibility is it to nurture it?
” by Leo Tilman is an impressive read highlighting how a culture is created and maintained. Focusing on personal actions he highlights that we tend to decide how to behave based on our answers to three fundamental questions:
“What kind of a situation is this?”
“What kind of a person am I?” and
“What does a person such as I do in a situation such as this?”
The answers to these questions are based on a mutual understanding of “what is true, reasonable, natural, right and good.”
The act of leadership is about helping to establish the group norms for this. It requires
a well — crafted operational philosophy , a clearly articulated Commander’s Intent and judiciously set parameters of authority . … practiced within a specific organizational environment .
Take the example of firefighters.
Firefighters are mission — driven public servants whose actions are governed by three overarching objectives . They , in order of importance , are :
- life safety ,
- incident stabilization , and ,
- property conservation .
Accompanying this clear Commander’s Intent is a guiding principle : the well — being of citizens comes before that of the firefighters . Firefighters routinely act on this mandate , putting their own lives at risk when the safety of others is concerned
Brian Chesky, one of the Airbnb founders, writes
culture is so important in that is creates an environment that limits the need for company process:
When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing. People can be independent and autonomous. They can be entrepreneurial. And if we have a company that is entrepreneurial in spirit, we will be able to take our next “(wo)man on the moon” leap. Ever notice how families or tribes don’t require much process? That is because there is such a strong trust and culture that it supersedes any process. In organizations (or even in a society) where culture is weak, you need an abundance of heavy, precise rules and processes.
Imagine I’m a new hire, a protégé of yours, and I show up in your office on my first day of work, and I ask you ‘So what should I do to get ahead at [this company]? What makes people successful here? What made you successful?’”
You might also like:
Boundaries of failure — Rasmussen’s model of how accidents happen.
Systems Archetypes- Places to intervene — An advantage with using systems archetypes as a problem solving methodology is that places to intervene in the system can be thought through and played with.
Swarm Intelligence — Can managers develop simple rules to shape the behaviour of their organizations and replace rigid command-and-control structures?
Kanban your work — The Kanban method is in the Agile suite of tools that can help you visualise and prioritise work.
Culture and Change — What is culture and how do you build and nurture it?