Saturday, June 16, 2012

Conscious culture change

Every culture changes over time. They change to adapt to new pressures, they change to allow for new opportunities, they change because members of the group leave or enter, and they change for countless other reasons. The change that fascinates me is that which is conscious. How can an organization look inward and not just shift aspects of its operations or reorganize its structure, but change its very core - change the things that seem inevitable, the most subtle of things. Over the next few months, I'll be seeking out examples of such change and I look forward to sharing what I find.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Design = Intent

We're all talking about design but what does it mean? And, how important is it to incorporate design into an organization's culture?

John Hockenberry explains that design is more than creative problem solving, using the Adobe suite, or reinventing the pen, it's having intent in what you do - values and focus and being thoughtful in your actions. These traits are crucial to a high performing culture. 

Polarities within self and company

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

I've been thinking about the balance that organizations must maintain to stay consistent and adapt. Just as a first rate intelligence is able to hold two (seemingly) opposing ideas in the mind at the same time, an organization's culture must balance the need for linear logical behavior that maintains structure and consistency with opportunistic multidimensional thinking that allows for growth and adaptation.

Much of the time, this polarity looks more like a struggle than it does a balance. I believe that highly functioning and successful leaders allow for an ebb and flow - a fluid movement between the need for consistent structure and change.

How will the battle in the workplace end?

Dag Hinrichs explains the constant battle between zombies and visionaries in corporate culture. Will it always be this way?

From TEDxDanubia 2011