We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong

/We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong

We’re Thinking About Organizational Culture All Wrong

It divides as much as it unites.

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Read the full article at: hbr.org

This article shines a penetrating light on the characteristics of organizational culture.  For us change consultants, the article also helps explain why transformational change is so difficult and attempts at it are often unsuccessful.

Said simply, transformational change involves culture shifts and culture, as this article points out, can be very, very tricky.  (Those are our not-so academic words.  Traphagan says culture “represents a tremendously complex variable…”)  Regardless, we agree.  There are no simple answers when it comes to culture; and accordingly, no silver bullet, as leaders sometimes wish, when it comes to culture change. (Transformational change takes vision, commitment, leadership, and much more…but that’s another discussion.)

The concepts about culture discussed in this short article are complex and should be read in their entirety and full context to be best understood.  They are meaty. They could easily spawn lengthy discussion within a leadership team or give rise to further study or both.

Here are a few of the statements Traphagan makes:

  • “Culture isn’t just about unity; it’s also about division…”
  • “The attempt to unify an organization by creating a ‘culture’ is ultimately an exercise of power.”
  • “Fundamentally, a culture is not a set of (marginally) shared values; it’s a web of power relationships in which people are embedded…”
  • “The reality of culture is that it represents a tremendously complex variable that can both bring people together and pull them apart — or do both at the same time.”

Contact us and we can help you better understand the complexities of your organization’s culture enabling your change efforts have greater opportunity for success.               [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Marsha Caldwell
Marsha Caldwell enjoys helping clients envision, lead and implement change that benefits the business and provides employees with opportunities to do meaningful, creative work. She believes clarity and clear, consistent messaging are a vital part of the journey to sustainable change. Marsha spends a good bit of her time looking for the “perfect” word and trying not to take herself too seriously.

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