In my last post I introduced the analogy of Corporate Culture being the ‘Woolly Mammoth’ of the organisation: it looks very nice from afar, is integral to the whole tribe, but is MASSIVE when looked at up close. The analogy still holds true with how people tend to try and deal with Corporate Culture.
Much like in the ancient times, when one encountered a woolly mammoth the options were limited to three: Gaze in awe; Gallop away; or Gather the hoards and attack. In all three cases, FEAR is the underlying emotion: fear of the unknown, fear of the size-difference, and fear of our own place in the larger scheme of things. In the end, fear is not a problem on its own.
The problem is fear without knowledge. Fear can be a great motivator, but if you couple the fear with a lack of understanding, you can create more damage than was already there. Fear without adequate knowledge is the most dangerous thing in our field- and trying to ‘takedown’ culture without the right knowledge (or at least the right amount of knowledge to get a baseline) is a disaster waiting to happen.
While trying to attack is not the right way to go- at some point the tribe does need to survive SOMEHOW. If history has taught us anything, it’s that if the mammoth does need to be dealt with, in the end, we have learnt that is better to do it in a well-coordinated group with everyone working together effectively and efficiently.
Fear and respect go further than instinctive retaliation. Thus it was with the mammoth, and thus it is with culture.
If Corporate Culture is the ‘woolly mammoth’ in the room, should it be something to hunt in the first place…?
(Photo source: Wikimedia)