Organisational Culture in my eyes is probably one of the most important but least understood parts of an organisation. As change is required I refer back to some of my previous posts, in that change is a journey, and not a fast one at that.
Yes, the Japanese were one of the first people to recognise the importance of organisational culture which forms the “founding philosophy” of the Toyota Production System:
“There is no royal road to success in life. It takes the right process to achieve a great result”.
What they mean by that is that it requires total participation (“one team, working together” approach). The engagement in any organisational change requires staff to truly understand the value of continuous improvement willingness to participate. Rules and regulations will never motivate them.
Proper training, discipline and respect for their knowledge and skill is required. Furthermore, innovation and change comes from small continuous improvements that have been suggested from staff members. Improvement after improvement is what creates results and culture. In order for staff to offer their suggestions in a productive way, they need to feel respected and second, have a proper process in place in order to provide their suggestions in a fruitful manner.
Edgar Schein’s summary:
“The pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered, ordeveloped in learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internalintegration, and that have worked well enough to be considered valid, andtherefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think andfeel in relation to these problems”
for me highlights the above in a more complex and philosophical way.
The “iceberg” scenario certainly agrees with that. (Cultural artefacts are like the tip of the iceberg . . . we can observe them. However, there is much below the surface. True cultural awareness involves understanding what’s below the waterline.)
When we talk about sub cultures, we start to get into more complicated situations that need to be monitored and controlled.
An “Enhancing Subculture” can be great, but even then I feel that it is easy for it to get out of hand, therefore close monitoring is required. Over enthusiasm can become failure just too quickly.
The “Complementary Subculture” for me is a necessity. It can look at the situation objectively and give great input. Again we need to monitor that we do not go off on tangents.
For me “Counterculture” goes hand in hand with the complementary subculture, rather than being objective though, it can challenge the culture, and often