The new BPTrends article by Roger Addison (whom I had dinner with last night along with Dick Handshaw and Gary DePaul) and Carol Haig – “How Work Gets Done – The Culture Audit” got me thinking – rethinking actually.Great article/column by the way…
My thoughts on culture…
What gets measured (and reported out to the right people with the right authority…) gets attended to.
Theoretically: What is tolerated – is enabled. Reinforced. What is not tolerated – is disabled. Extinguished.
The real question is what do we mean by “not tolerated?”
Tolerated is easy, it’s clear and understandable.
Not Tolerated is not. NT is unclear and not understandable – because it’s not often (although sometimes it is) clear enough as to what the consequences are – both the positive and the negative – and their short-term medium-term or long-term nature – and how to get out of the penalty box (Win-Win Progressive Discipline with an emphasis on redemption).
It’s not clear enough because there are so many specifics that it’s difficult for a manager to be specific about the requirements and the consequences. So they tend to be more general. And less clear.
And the Consequence System may be very uneven due to the lack of clarity regarding expectations and the consequences.
Here is a link to 4 previous posts of mine on this topic.
Here is my EPPI Big Picture graphic on where culture fits within the more complex scheme…
Culture is in the Enterprise Environment Assets – one of its Assets and Systems to be managed – and something that the Human Assets work within – being supported or confronted with barriers to the performance competence requirements. It is created by Humans. But often not the humans being targeted in any new design or improvement effort.
Culture is not easy. But it is critical. Which is why it is so important to address – to control what you can and accept the rest – and deal with it all – as it is.
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