Subcultures, consistency, and focus

Today is kind of a random collection of ideas. Blog posts usually come from the intersection of two or more ideas, and this one certainly followed that formula. Today I read a post on corporate culture and consistency on the Sanera People Development blog. I urge you to click through and read it, because it will give you some great, solid ideas as to how culture can impact the customer experience. The story about how Alicia’s husband was treated after his brain surgery is a riveting one.

Subcultures within an organization are mentioned in the Rock Your Culture guide, and they are as unique as the people that make them up. It’s important to recruit and retain candidates who fit the culture you want to have. If you drift away from that, you run into problems like those mentioned in the post above.

And then I had a conversation with one of our supervisors. He had a great analogy to describe the lack of focus that plagues some a small subset of our organization.

Imagine there’s a fire in the building. There are two ways to handle it, and the common way is for people to run willy nilly down to the river with buckets to bring them back and throw them randomly at the blaze with little to no effect.

The right way to handle it is to coordinate a chain of people to carry the buckets from the river to the fire, leading to consistent, focused progress.

It’s an interesting way to look at the issues, and it’s certainly true for that small segment of our people. As a whole, it’s not a common issue for us, but that specific subculture is something that can’t continue to exist.

Anyone else run into inconsistency within subcultures in their organization? 

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