Thursday, September 17, 2015

What’s your Organization’s "DNA" and Personality

Just like changing personality, culture change is possible but difficult. 

Organizational culture is the collective mindset, attitudes, and the set of behaviors, expectations, and assumptions that people have about "how things are around here." Further, it is like an iceberg where the visible elements, such as behaviors, make much sense with recognizing and understanding the underlying mindsets, expectations, and assumptions. Many also think culture is an organization’s DNA or personality. So what's your organization's personality? And can it be changed?

The core of culture has to do with the way people are treated: For example, a good culture requires respect, responsibility, self-discipline, autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Contrast that with a typical corporate culture, which is bureaucracy, centered around control, distrust, external discipline, dependence, and hierarchy. For example, an organization with a culture of autonomy trust their staff and encourage innovation, and take calculated risks. The focus is based on what you accomplish with flexibility. You can't build true respect unless everyone is seen as a valuable contributor. That means everybody who does the same job is treated the same.

An organization’s culture is visible from the collective attitudes: There are several factors that form an organization's culture, the most critical one is how the decision-making process at various levels within an organization affects all other factors that form the culture over a period of time. An organization's culture is visible from the collective attitudes - how employees behave at the workplace with co-workers, interaction with customers, adapt technological changes and accept challenges and show loyalty to the organization, etc. All these factors take shape over a period through the decision-making process.

From “doing Agile” to “being Agile” is a culture shift: Business agility is all about the ability to adapt to changes. Agile adoption means you follow the set of principles based on customer-centricity and three “I”s - Interaction, Iteration, and Improvement, and assess what you have now, as well as where you want to get to by adopting an Agile approach. That can help with identifying what is needed to make a smooth transition.
-People can speak up without fear.
-People can take calculated risks for innovation
-It is ok to make mistakes, however, one should learn from them, and show an improvement over time.
- Individuals can share any feedback with each other in a respectful manner and people take it in the right spirit.
-Managers/leaders/SMs back their team, no matter what.
-People understand accountability with the sense of urgency
-People provide the best quality even if nobody is looking.
-People can agree to disagree and move on

No doubt that culture change is more complicated than any other type of change. Just like changing personality, culture change is possible but difficult. Cultural change is a slow and complicated process. In other words, culture is more powerful than strategy if you are not able to explain the value capture behind it. But if it turns to be the very reason for change inertia or stifling innovation, then, it worths the effort, and it must be changed.


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