The Trouble with Culture


Organisations have yet to get to grips with culture. There is a commonly held idea that by stating values for the organisation, that everyone within the organisation will live up to those values.

This idea fails since so many organisations that have trumpeted their corporate values have then gone on to demonstrate to the world just how little they care about their  customers or their staff.

Here’s the culture problem – it’s embedded in an iceberg

The values of an organisation fly like a flag at the top of an iceberg. The publication of the values is  visible.

But deep down in the middle layers of the organisation individuals or groups delicately run counter to the values as the feedback they get from the top is that other things (time, money, profit, sales) have the greatest urgency.

And now it gets’s worse. At the lowest levels of an organisation, you meet individuals. Who, unsurprisingly, act like individuals.

And, if the ‘stories’ they hear about the way to succeed or fail are crafted by the ‘grapevine’, then it’s no surprise that they act according to what the stories say, rather than what the rules and values intend.

So there are many micro-cultures within a typical organisation. It’s time for audit to act, and time for internal audit to be prepared to put culture under the magnifying glass.

And, this means trying out a different approach that involves understanding more about human behaviour.

Get in touch with us, when you are ready and in the mood to know more.

Call Mindgrove to find out more about Culture Audits

See our training event that deals with culture.