Why You Should Question Your organisation's Culture


Photo: Flickr/Tobias Soft

Organizational culture powerfully influences a company’s performance — or at least we say so. I often hear executives reassure me that projects will get done because “we have an execution culture,” or that customers will be well taken care of because “we have a culture where the customer comes first.” At the same time, culture is also one of the great rationalizations for managerial shortcomings. Many times I’ve heard that a project was delayed because “we don’t make quick decisions around here,” which is the managerial equivalent of “the dog ate my homework.”But the problem with all of these statements — both positive and negative — is that they don’t really mean anything. Worse yet, they can’t be translated into any kind of action. At best these declarations are vague generalizations; and at worst they are misleading stereotypes.

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