Posts tagged culture
What actions and tactics can be taken to transform a company into a place where people become more happy?
A few weeks ago I started working for a technology consulting company. One of my coworkers has the role of supporting the evolution and maturation of team dynamics, communication and culture. You might say she is tasked with supporting the happiness of employees. It is definitely forward-thinking of the company to empower someone to focus on this stuff, and yet there is no clear path forward. We had a long lunch discussing the challenges she’s having in implementing change.
Workshops and Trainings?
Her next attempt revolves around trying to get everyone on a team to attend a multi-day training in a decision making process and communication format for meetings – what amounts to a cross between a day-to-day governance model and some guidelines for effective, empathic communication. As much as I’m sure this model is great, the hope behind the workshop tactic is that everyone will magically adopt this system hook line and sinker. The truth is, this is not realistic, and at worst, you’ll get a lot of eye rolling and resistance from the team.
How to make it real and important?
What we don’t want is for people to view culture change efforts as annoying, cheesey, touchy-feely stuff met with the jaded reaction, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had time to discover our selves?” People need to be exposed to the pain points, to see how the current state of culture is slowing us down and making us struggle. Then, perhaps, they can get on board and begin to OWN the need for change and growth.
What have you found? Please share!
A few months ago I made a connection with a grassroots youth center in Seattle’s Central District. (The “CD” is a historically black community facing the all-too common problem of poverty, and the violence and substance abuse that results when a community is marginalized and under-served.)
Community leaders took over 2 adjacent homes that were formerly self-medication facilities (i.e. crack houses) and are in the process of renovating the buildings into a positive community center for youth. They are building a Hip-Hop Communiversity: a place for kids to learn music and video production, web and computer skills, business savvy, fashion, and other culturally relevant, economically empowering skills.
A few days ago Wyking, one of the leaders, let me know that they are looking for teachers. So I emailed some of my media-savvy friends to see if there was any interest. The response was really great from my friends, who identify with electronic music culture. This could be a really great way to bridge the electronic music and hip-hop communities.
We’ll see where this all goes. Does anyone have experience with cross-cultural sharing? What are some important things to look out for? Strategies for building trust? Methods for ensuring good communication?