I know this demo may purely be illustrative, but there seems to be a statement being made, at about the 20-minute mark, about culture changing as a result from interventions that occurred just three weeks prior. Are you saying *culture* can be changed on a weekly basis? Or am I reading too much into this?
I guess it depends on your theory of what culture is or can be? It's my understanding that culture is continually evolving and is a process of becoming rather than being definable in any concrete terms beyond the immediate present. So directional change/ nudge rather than changing the identity or terms of a group?
I think you are right Ellie, it does depend on your theory of culture. For me, culture is a construct used to describe some of the taken for granted aspects of social interaction that both enable and constrain. It's not real (in a realist sense) but a way of describing a phenomenon. A feature of the social phenomenon of culture is that it is passed on from existing members of the culture to new members of a culture through a range of artefacts such as story. And, even though a new member may have no direct experience with the object of the story, the 'lessons' from others experiences of the events significant to the story are taken on. Those ‘lessons’ act to enable and constrain thought, choice and behaviour; the latter often expressed as "the way we do things around here".
Behaviour is not culture, however. And whilst culture might be continually evolving and becoming, that is a characteristic of culture, not a description of what culture is.
Additionally, it's valuable to keep in mind why we are talking about culture in the context of this video. Why is culture important in an organisational setting and why might we want to change a culture? The answer to these questions further helps us to understand what we mean by the term.
Hi Tim, I am not sure trading comments is the best way to discuss things but I’ll do my best. In principle you are right, culture is a manifestation, a product of existing social interactions and texture which is manifesting as stories, rituals, habits and behaviors. When focusing on organizations though, it assumes a more specific connotation. There are over 10 different well known models to describe organizational culture. Despite differences in approaches and importance, they all include similar dimensions when it comes to describe and understand how culture operates. In the tool we adopted the Competing Values Framework created by Prof. Kim Cameron and Rober lt Quinn from Mitchigan university. They identified 4 dimensions in which to appreciate culture: leader type, orientation, theory of effectiveness and value drivers. In the order they are all interconnected and while we can’t desing a culture the way we want, we can measure it through those changing dimensions. It’s a complex domain problem, therefore we can modulate the space and identify catalyzers to be used as enabling constraints and amplify the behaviors or characteristics we want more, and dampen those we want less. Culture represent the context in which actions within an organization take place. If we keep organizational coherence based on standardized processes, tools, structures, roles and responsibilities we can govern an organization safely within certain stability conditions. In very volatile and changing conditions, we would have to restructure processes and organization often to be able to adapt to new conditions. To become more resilient organizations need to grow autonomy and foster more coherence on a cultural level, as a coherent culture will probably enable more coherent responses to unknown situations, maintaining organizational consistency. Leaders can influence culture by changing their behaviors, inspiring others to follow. The impact of leadership behavioral change can be appreciated in the organization orientation, which is the way in which work gets done. If working in a different way produces successful outcomes, people will tell stories about it, which will be told at the coffee machine and inspire others to change. By succeeding with new approaches, the value drivers, or what motivates and guides employees to act, will shift more towards the new discovered and experienced values. This is a very short summary, but I hope it clarifies a bit ehr I tried to explain in a few minutes video.
The nice thing about the Vector theory of change (with its 'more stories like this, fewer like that' approach used fractal (at people's level of competence to act)is that it works with multiple theories of culture. I wrote seven posts on culture before Christmas the first of which is here https://cognitive-edge.com/blog/culture-the-subject/ I also have one on Vector theory that I hope to complete over the weekend