Sunday, February 2, 2014

Culture Change: You May As Well Start a New Company

I wrote a document lately that was seen by a bunch of people and it got the idea of a culture change started. As author it's assumed that I should be part of the team that leads that charge. That's a little daunting to me - This isn't a technical project. I like to start projects with use cases and technical documentation. That's probably not how this one is going to happen.

Knowing there's a push for a culture change got me to thinking: How does a person or a team change the culture of an organization? Like they say about large ships, you have to slow down first before you can turn. I suspect that may be the case with an organization's culture. You certainly can't dictate it. Flip the switch and, voilĂ !

This definitely means I need to move outside of the IT comfort zone.

It's easy to propose a culture change, quite an other thing to implement it. Now that I've had some time to reflect on it, it seems like it would be easier to start an entirely new organization from scratch than to change what we already have. That's throwing the baby out with the bathwater and it definitely doesn't give credit to the many, many things that are going well and shine within the organization. There's qualities that make the current culture very good. It's served the organization very well for 78 years so far! Better to try to change direction now to prepare for the even larger changes yet to come.

I've read a lot of people's thoughts about changing IT culture. It will be interesting to try to apply a little bit of IT culture to a broader organization. Standard+Case has some interesting relevance when you think about how the broader corporation supplies services. Gonna be an interesting time.