I have seen a lot of effort, perhaps rightly so, being dedicated lately to either deciding “what kind of culture” an organization has, or trying to change it to something that is “better” usually with terms like collaboration, teamwork, transparency and other uplifting words in the middle of it all. Perhaps there’s a consultant or cultural survey involved, with lots of interviews, tests and indicators to guide you toward a deeper understanding of your culture.
Or… You could try this.
Randomly walk up to just about anyone in the organization, and after exchanging pleasantries, tell them you’re working on an important project that is failing.
They will likely respond in one of two ways:
- Wow, that’s a shame, sorry to hear that.
- Is there anything I can do to help?
If most people respond with #1, you have a seriously problem with your corporate culture. If they respond with an offer to help, without even knowing what the project is, what organizational boundaries it crosses, and whether they have any of the skills that you need to fix things, your culture is rock solid.
Thirty seconds, I promise…