How would you know, and what can you do about it?
Ok, so first of all … what do we mean by an organizational culture?
It could be described as the sum of values, modes of communication, policies, and other systems in the business place.
In other words, how we do things around here.
How might this be “by default”?
Any culture developed over time by a series of reactions to circumstances would qualify as a culture by default.
In this type of work environment one will witness unpredictable ways of doing business. There may be a standard operating procedure (SOP) manual somewhere, but it goes unused.
One might also see a high toleration of dysfunctional work relationships, a tendency to re-work projects, departments working in silos and a “this will have to be good enough” attitude.
Possibly even more impactful on these cultures are the working language and belief systems in place. What people say, how they listen to each other and what they make it all mean make up the heartbeat of an organization. Complaints and gossips are rampant in cultures by default.
What might be an alternative?
AN ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE BY DESIGN
Rather than being at the effect of circumstances a culture by design can be seen in a company that architects its policies, systems and communication based on its values and vision.
What if team members supported each other as real partners? What if conversations were focused on solutions and acknowledgment? What if decisions were made in a spirit of alignment?
You-the one reading this … you can make this happen.
Have a conversation for action with the people, or person who can make the difference. (This just might be the boss.)
- Frame the conversation around your commitment and why you’re talking to her.
- State the facts of the situation. What have you noticed in the organization?
- Let her know how this culture by default has impacted your co-workers, the executives, the clientele, the company’s reputation, revenue, efficiency … and YOU.
- Offer a resolution and/or make a request.
The results you get here will be directly related to your level of commitment. You may hit a home run your first visit to the plate. You may just get a base hit. Using this formula does not guarantee instant success and nirvana. However it will be a useful tool for percolating your ideas up to leadership or other areas of the enterprise.
If you are truly speaking from a context of service to the company (distinct from “kissing butt”) you will begin to make yourself known in the eyes of your company’s leaders as someone who is aligned with moving the company forward instead of someone who is resigned to complaining and make-wrong.
Can you stay committed and be the very change you are looking for?