Wednesday, 25 January 2012

"The only culture we have is on a Petri dish..."

Remember the 1970s? Leyland, the home of British vehicle manufacturing, became an international by-word for failed organisational culture. Unwilling (or unable) to change the way it did things led to the demise of a once great industry.

More recently we have heard about a “culture of institutionalised racism” within the London Metropolitan Police Force, or a “culture without accountability” in some areas of banking.

Culture seems to have a significant impact on the future well-being of organisations. 


Just consider how teams are managed within these organisations, how decisions are made and how reporting lines work. Teams tend to be rigid, reporting lines are based on a pyramidal hierarchy; red tape is the order of the day and the leader knows best.

Let us call these characteristics - the Old World.

So what is the problem?

Have you noticed how the world business environment has changed? Do the things we used to do have the same impact? Do these ways of working help or hinder us?

What has happened is that all of us have been slowly and steadily moving from a world in which we could learn faster than the world was changing, into a world which changes much quicker than we can learn. This NewWorldTM leaves us with less and less chance to predict or even imagine our future. In these circumstances, culture plays a determining factor - it is the handmaiden in the process of inventing the organisation’s future - because existing processes become redundant.

Are you thinking of evolving your business into the New WorldTM? Why don’t you ask yourself whether your organisation follows Pentacle’s 12 New Rules for the NewWorldTM?
  • Is your solution integrative? Say AND, not OR.
  • Does your solution recognise the need to tailor actions to meet different populations/needs? FAIR = DIFFERENT
  • Is your solution capable of self-governance? Change DEPENDENCE to INTERDEPENDENCE
  • Is your solution designed to ensure focus on delivering to your goal of making money (delivering benefit to society)? Do NOTHING of NO USE.
  • Is your solution designed around the people who have to deliver it and live with the results? STAKEHOLDERS RULE OK!
  • To what extent have you made or scoped your solution to the possible rather than the ‘nice to have’ impossible. Make Time FIT.
  • Have you reduced the scope to de-risk your solution appropriately? CHUNK it or JUNK it.
  • Have you ensured that your solution appropriately uses new technologies? All constraints into TOUCH SPACE.
  • Have you ensured that your solution appropriately uses new knowledge? Unlearn EVERYTHING.
  • Have you taken into Account the overall impact of change on your ability to deliver results? Don't Change ANYTHING.
  • Is your solution self-sustaining? LOOP it UP.
  • Have you developed a solution with powerful results, which relies on an approach, which is not popularly adopted? Go VIRTUAL.
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