Culture: the subject

Dave Snowden

The Oxford English Dictionary defines culture as “The arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively” and “The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society”. I’d seen enough attempts to engineer culture by publishing platitudinous cliches on a cyclical basis to have lost all faith in the explicit, future focused attempts to create a desired culture. Culture Cynefin

Culture or Cultures?

Clark Quinn

A twitter pointer led me to an HBR article arguing that We’re Thinking about Organizational Culture all Wrong. In it, the author argues that it’s fallacious to think that there’s just one organizational culture, , and that all people buy into it. The first is that the cultural values may be interpreted differently. The second is that people may comply with the culture even if they don’t agree with it. Cultures are developed and do change.

Cultural Comment Shift

Clark Quinn

The phenomena is that we’re seeing a cultural comment shift; comments are now coming from shared platforms, not directly on the site. The cultural comment shift is merely an indicator of a bigger cultural shift, and as long as we can ride it, we’re good. The post Cultural Comment Shift appeared first on Learnlets. I’ve been blogging now for over a decade, and one thing has changed.

Cultural Alignment

Clark Quinn

However, I also realized that there was an opportunity to extend that to cultural alignment, and I think that’s important as well. And that’s acting in alignment with the culture of the organization. The point I want to make is that by having an explicit culture in the organization, you might not have to provide performance support. I suggest that the right culture can also benefit the ‘optimal execution’ side.

Adding aesthetics to culture

Dave Snowden

Many years ago now I worked with anthropologist Beth Meriam to design an approach to cultural mapping using SenseMaker®. In effect it has become the underlying Cynefin theory of culture in organisations and society. In developing it we sourced the underlying concepts from cultural anthropology rather than any of the various dominant theories of culture that are popular in organisations. The post Adding aesthetics to culture appeared first on Cognitive Edge.

Culture 7 of 7: Completion

Dave Snowden

A cultural change initiative is a device of last resort, it means you’ve failed to maintain a suitable resilient system and have to do some type of reset. Culture is manifested in what we do, not what we say about why we want to do things. Culture operates within natural constraints, it can’t be designed or engineered, it arises from multiple small interactions over time and it is manifested in the day to day anecdotes of those who we work with and who we work for.

Narratives of culture: overture

Dave Snowden

There are some basic truths about culture in organisations that are pretty self-evident to anyone prepared to engage with either theory or practice. In many ways the cultural engineering approaches that typify many a consultancy method have simply responded to the wider engineering metaphor that requires pre-defined outcomes. So next week we will launch a low cost (even lower if you get in early) cultural mapping tool (possibly two) that organisations can use.

Apparently, Organizational Culture is Crap

Dan Pontefract

The one thing we can be assured of until humans safely land and colonize Mars is “ organizational culture ” will continue to be a topic of conversation. Google returns over 22 million hits when you search the term “ organizational cultur e” You can even read what Google has to say about its own culture. You may find it interesting to know, for example, that they “strive to maintain the open culture often associated with startups.”

The Vital Role of Culture in Business

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review spotlights The Culture Factor, with five articles on the subject. “ Culture is the tacit social order of an organization: It shapes attitudes and behaviors in wide-ranging and durable ways,” notes the issue’s lead article. “ Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. Attributes of Culture. Cultural Styles. Levers for Evolving Culture.

An Engaged Culture Improves Performance, Not The Other Way Around

Dan Pontefract

The talk was focused on organizational culture. Dan's Related Posts: The Link Between Leadership, Learning & Organizational Performance Employee Engagement is Still Poor but it Does Drive Bottom Line Results Lessons In Culture From United Airlines If Your Enterprise Social Network Is A Ghost Town It’s Probably Due To Your… Do You Work With A Bully? Culture employee engagement Performance company culture engagement performance

Culture 2 of 7: the canvass

Dave Snowden

I’m not attempting an anthropological treatise here, my focus is on the ubiquitous attempts to engineer culture change in organisations a task that matches the original meaning of a forlorn hope , a mistranslation of verloren hoop whichmeans a lost heap! When you hear about major culture changes achieved in organisations its worth remembering all those which failed and the many many casualties. Any culture is, of its nature a complex adaptive system.

Will blockchain kill culture?

David Weinberger

Peter Brantley [ @naypinya ] has posted a succinct warning about the effect blockchain technology may have on culture: by making the mechanism of trust cheap, transparent, and more reliable, blockchain could destroy the ambiguity that culture needs in order to thrive. Culture is the ultimate analog phenomenon, even when it’s communicated digitally, for it is only culture to the extent to which people?—?we?—?make Culture by definition does not.

Culture 6 of 7: Adjustments

Dave Snowden

In any art work the final adjustments mean that we are nearing completion, in cultural change I want to argue, it is the sign that the process is only just starting. In an ideal world managing culture would be a constantly evolving process; multiple small micro-changes with a feedback loop in near real time that allows the process to be navigated. Culture is more like an estuary with strong and weak currents and constantly shifting sandbanks, assuming stability is a danger.

Culture is unfair

David Weinberger

The pay-per-use argument may be fair but it flies in the face of how we all know culture works. Culture only exists if we share what matters to us. There is no culture without this. Culture is the sharing of creative works and the conversations we have about them. Culture cannot flourish or perhaps even exist when everything has a fair price. The post Culture is unfair appeared first on Joho the Blog

The evolution of culture

Dave Snowden

I want to start with the culture word and I'm deliberately using lower case and linking with the idea of an evolutionary not an engineering process. It is also distressingly common for people to see culture as a thing and I've even seen web sites that propose using on line surveys with explicit questions to carry out a stock take of culture. The latest example claims originality is discovering that unwritten rules and practices are domain in culture.

Culture Before Strategy

Clark Quinn

In an insightful article, Ken Majer (full disclosure, a boss of mine many years ago) has written about the need to have the right culture before executing strategy. I have argued that you can get some benefits from the Revolution without having an optimized culture, but you’re not going to tap into the full potential. What Ken is talking about here is ensuring you have values and culture in alignment with the vision and mission.

Measuring Culture Change

Clark Quinn

Someone recently asked how you would go about measuring culture change, and I thought it’s an interesting question. A learning culture is optimal for organizational innovation and agility, and it’s likely that not all elements are already in place. Say, for instance, one desirable outcome of a learning culture would be, well, learning! Of course, if you were expecting other outcomes from your culture initiative, you’d naturally want aligned methods.

Fostering an Innovation Culture: Talent, Discipline and Leadership

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

I was reminded of this point as I read The Hard Truth About Innovative Culture s , an article in a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) by Harvard professor Gary Pisano. “A culture conducive to innovation is not only good for a company’s bottom line,” writes Pisano. “It also is something that both leaders and employees value in their organizations.”. Innovative cultures are paradoxical. Innovation has been a hot topic for the past few decades.

Socio-cultural engineering?

Clark Quinn

Ok, social engineering and cultural engineering have bad connotations in a number of ways. Yet, if I can talk about learning engineering, the desirable properties of cultures for learning, and moves in that direction, aren’t we really talking about socio-cultural engineering? So, if we’re choosing cultural values, and working towards them, both in ways that reflect what science tells us about doing our best, aren’t we really doing such engineering?

Culture is entangled

Dave Snowden

Another Gaping Void cartoon for this second post on culture, which makes the point that change initiatives come and go but relationships that we build can last for ever. In practice (and in theory) culture is tangled, indistinct and difficult to tie down. Cynthia Kurtz and I used Alicia Juarrero's idea of Brambles in a thicket as the title of our article on network cultures and how they work.

Moving from a Training Culture to a Learning Culture

Jane Hart

I’ve just read an interesting post on Stephen Gill’s blog about how PwC Canada is striving for a Learning Culture. In fact I’m seeing this approach becoming a growing trend in a number organisations that recognise that in the modern workplace it’s no longer just about training people, but building a true learning culture that promotes and supports all […].

culture is complex

Harold Jarche

The famous quote attributed to Peter Drucker is that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” French culture is not unaffected by international business pressures, as witnessed by the fast food outlets everywhere. Travel helps you understand culture. ” Understanding culture is something that AI cannot do. The ability to marinate in a culture and understand the subtle nuances is the competitive advantage humans have over the algorithms and machines.

Why I Love Netflix’s Decision-Making Culture

Dan Pontefract

Culture decision making NetflixYou're reading fresh content from Dan Pontefract at Brave New Org: Netflix recently announced it is planning to issue roughly $2 billion in bonds to fund corporate activities including but not limited to the development of new shows. Dan's Related Posts: Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Your Organization’s Purpose. A Proven Way To Be A Better Sales Account Executive. Effective Leaders Operate Like This. One Year Later Is Purpose Winning?

A Nurturing Culture #blimage

Clark Quinn

This to me is a metaphor for the benefits of creating a culture in which learning can flourish. I’ve earlier detailed what the research says about the elements of a learning organization, and it’s clear that you need a culture with several elements. My colleague Jane Hart dobbed me (and several other colleagues) in for the #blimage challenge. I usually resent when someone publicly asks me to do something, but fortunately this is easy and, well, it is Jane ;).

Corporate culture

Harold Jarche

Tweet Next month I’ll be discussing corporate culture at Sibos in Toronto. My view (not original) is that corporate culture is an emergent property. Culture happens, and like a child, once born, the parents are not really in control. Both culture and practice emerge from the organization and its environment. If you think of organizations like organisms and culture as emergent then it becomes obvious that understanding and monitoring systems is critical.

Culture 5 of 7: Colouring in

Dave Snowden

Culture is also context specific so few aspects of change can be achieved through context free recipes and formulaic approaches that are all too common. The post Culture 5 of 7: Colouring in appeared first on Cognitive Edge. Culture CynefinThe big issues are now behind us in this series and in the final three posts (with the promised twist on the 7th) are all about fine tuning the work. I’ve used two images here to make contrasting points.

Culture 4 of 7: Light and Dark

Dave Snowden

With the right narrative based culture maps you can help make the right decision, and also get the sort of real time feedback and anticipatory triggers that are needed to handle the inherent uncertainty of cultural change. The post Culture 4 of 7: Light and Dark appeared first on Cognitive Edge. Culture CynefinChiaroscuro is an art term, Italian in origin which refers to light and dark.

The Connected Culture

Dan Pontefract

A ‘ connected culture ’ is one that simultaneously drives organizational clarity with precarious innovation. A ‘ connected culture’ , in its simplest, orderly and most chaotic form, refers to the point at which all employees act as one corporate organism. The ‘ connected culture’ of an organization is the point at which chaos meets order coupled by an infinite and unobstructed flow of corporate commonality.

There Is Nothing Wrong With The Term ‘Company Culture’

Dan Pontefract

The headline from Harvard Business Review read, Why “Company Culture” Is a Misleading Term. “Organizational culture is assumed to be important to making sure that employees are happy and productivity is good. At the same time, the concept, meaning, and function of culture rarely garners much thought.” I’m here to defend the term, “Company Culture” But first, a bit of a background to the author.

Narratives of culture: the score

Dave Snowden

This is going to be a little out of sequence, but I want to come to how we gather narrative for the new culture scans in future posts. Those two simple questions radically transform the way we change culture. Suffice it to say for the moment that this uses SenseMaker® and a non-hypothesis question that can be asked of the whole workforce or just a sample: What story would you tell your best friend if they were thinking of joining your workgroup?

The Vital Role of Culture in Business

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review spotlights The Culture Factor, with five articles on the subject. “ Culture is the tacit social order of an organization: It shapes attitudes and behaviors in wide-ranging and durable ways,” notes the issue’s lead article. “ Cultural norms define what is encouraged, discouraged, accepted, or rejected within a group. Attributes of Culture. Cultural Styles. Levers for Evolving Culture.

OMG, its culture change time

Dave Snowden

If in doubt, blame the culture seems to be a golden rule in consultancy and management alike. And of course once blame has been allocated we end up with a visitation from the cultural change specialists with their tool kit of communication plans, key drivers, motivational posters, games and the like. He starts by belittling the its the way we do things around here definition of culture by referencing the hopelessness of conventional attempts to change process.

Changing Culture: Scaling Up Excellence

Clark Quinn

I’ve found myself picking up books about how to change culture, as it seems to be the big barrier to a successful revolution. I’ve finished a quick read of Scaling Up Excellence , am in the midst of Change the Culture, Change the Game , and have Reinventing Organizations and Organize for Complexity (the latter two recommended by my colleague Harold Jarche ) on deck.

Corporate Culture in a Venn Diagram

Dan Pontefract

Therefore, I whipped up the “Corporate Culture in a Venn” diagram to depict something that does take into account four key factors: Self/Boss – Relationship or Transactional. In other words, a culture killer. There is a diagram floating around LinkedIn and Twitter that attempts to illustrate an individual’s true ‘purpose’ It’s amusing to me, because it’s short-sighted. It may even be delivering a disservice to some.

Stop Killing Your Corporate Culture

Dan Pontefract

According to Waterstone Human Capital and their 2010 Canadian Corporate Culture Study Results : 71 per cent of respondents say their organization’s corporate culture drives sales and revenue. To cut to the chase, it’s my opinion that the culture of many companies is being ruined by clueless executives. This would definitely help stop many corporate cultures from being killed. Culture leadership CODE corporate culture engagement open leadership

Culture is our nature

Harold Jarche

And we did it by developing new abilities for cultural transmission and change. As the anthropologist Pascal Boyer points out in his answer, it’s tempting to talk about “the culture” of a group as if this is some mysterious force outside the biological individual or independent of evolution. But culture is a biological phenomenon. Culture is our nature, and the ability to learn and change is our most important and fundamental instinct.

The Lessons Of Customer Service And Culture From Apple’s Angela Ahrendts

Dan Pontefract

Dan's Related Posts: Apple CEO Tim Cook and his Moment of Open Culture. How Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Explains Culture, Purpose & Employee Engagement. Lessons In Culture From United Airlines. Culture customer service appleYou're reading fresh content from Dan Pontefract at Brave New Org: Back in 2014, Angela Ahrendts had a decision to make: remain as CEO of British fashion retailer Burberry or say yes to Apple CEO Tim.

Lessons In Culture From United Airlines

Dan Pontefract

Specifically, I wanted to know if she felt their new CEO, Oscar Muñoz, would bring any change to the company, its culture and its operating practices. “Oh It seems Mr. Muñoz wants to unite its corporate culture, in an attempt to improve its operations. It’s another example of how Muñoz seems committed to uniting its culture, such that it serves the interests of all of its stakeholders (customers, employees and the community) far better than it has been in recent years.

Narratives of Culture: 1st movement

Dave Snowden

One of the problems with cultural surveys in organiations is that they tend to be evaluative in nature. The same issue applies to 360 feedback, employee satisfaction survenys and the like. With the best of intentions they want to know what people think about the organisation. The problem is that evaluation closes down options and also can create stress or gaming behaviour.

Culture of Hope

David Weinberger

Forum d’Avignon is an annual get-together in France to talk about culture, by which most of the attendees (and especially President Sarkozy who came to give a speech ) mean how they can squash the Internet and retain their stranglehold on culture. Does culture / creative imagination give you a reason to hope?” If not culture, then what would give us reason to hope? Culture flourishes when it is open, abundant, connected, engaged, and diverse.

Building a culture of continuous improvement, learning & development at work

Jane Hart

Building a culture of continuous improvement, learning & development at work. Modern Workplace Learning

Penultimate: forget cultural change

Dave Snowden

Yesterday I argued that compatible but different cultures had more resilient than a "common culture". Having tackled one of the shibboleths of OD and HR practice I thought I would move onto another namely cultural change. He erected a tent near Birmingham and all staff were encouraged to go to all day sessions to inculcate them with the new culture. Far better to evolve than engineer when it comes to culture.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and his Moment of Open Culture

Dan Pontefract

At Apple’s most recent product launch in Cupertino — where Apple Watch , Apple Pay and iPhone 6 (oh, and iPhone 6 Gigantic) were flaunted about like the Halloween parade I took part in at my elementary school every October as a child — a wonderful culture moment took place on stage. The culture moment I’m referring to involves Tim Cook, Apple CEO. ” No, Tim’s culture moment was simple yet profound. Culture recognition apple Tim Cook U2