What is an organisation’s culture?

A few posts ago, I discussed how Culture eats process for breakfast, but what is “culture”?

At the time, I had the simple approach of “what was there before”. However, and from experience, that is difficult to figure and codify! Where does one start? Who do you ask? What are the parameters for this “organisational culture”? And then, how do you evolve it?

Well I found a partial answer at “Three Bell Curves“, where you can download a document titled “Business Culture Decoded”. In that document, the author describes three bell curves (of course) that helps you understand where lies the culture of your organisation as well as how you can look at its improvement. The author also admits that this is not an easy thing to do, but since culture trumps process, if you change the culture, you will affect the process and, hopefully, get better results!

The Five Monkeys Experiment (with a new lesson)

I can say I’ve felt like a monkey sometimes during my career…

John Stepper

Consider yourself lucky if you ever get the opportunity to hear Eddie Obeng give a talk.

The 5 Monkeys ExpermentMy first introduction to him was a video of his TED talk on “Smart failure for a fast-changing world”. This week at JiveWorld, he gave the keynote speech. With passion and some unorthodox presentation techniques, he walked us a through a range of practical insights about human beings and ways to change behavior. Everyone loved it.

At the end, he closed with a story about five monkeys that captures the state of things in most organizations and that provides hope, indirectly, for how we can make things better.

The Five Monkeys Experiment

An experimenter puts 5 monkeys in a large cage. High up at the top of the cage, well beyond the reach of the monkeys, is a bunch of bananas. Underneath the bananas is a ladder.

The monkeys immediately spot the bananas…

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