Culture Chat

And other musings on humanizing the workplace
You Need to Know the How

You Need to Know the How

June 15, 2017
Jamie Notter

Everyone wants to know how good their culture is. They want to know if their people rate the culture favorably, they want to know if they are considered a best place to work, they want to know if they have good engagement scores, and they want to know if they do a good job on things like innovation, transparency, collaboration, and agility.

I get it. But before you even worry about how good you are, you need to know HOW your culture does these things.

How do you do transparency inside your culture? That’s not a good/bad question. It’s how do you do it? I know that your culture has certain implications and values that direct people internally around things like sharing information, sharing it across organizational boundaries, trusting others, dealing with conflict, sharing strategic priorities. I don’t (yet) care if you do a good job at any of those things, because, frankly, I don’t know what’s good until I’ve taken a closer look at your context and what’s going on in your strategic environment. Strict internal secrecy might help you thrive, for all I know. But until I know how you do transparency, I can’t draw a legitimate conclusion about the effectiveness of your current cultural approach.

Oh, and HOW you do transparency is going to have direct implications for how you do things like innovation and collaboration, so none of this is in a vacuum.

Do you see why effective culture analytics are so important? Stop searching for rankings, and start doing the hard work of culture management instead.

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