Is Business A Prison Of Ideas?

by Jay Deragon on 06/11/2009

prisondoor460In my old consulting days we used to assess an organizations performance relative to customer and employee relations. In 100% of the cases the number one barrier to improving customer and employee relations was the culture.

What Is Your Organizations Culture?

Organizational culture is the personality of the organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts) of organization members and their behaviors. Members of an organization soon come to sense the particular culture of an organization. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, what members wear, etc. — similar to what you can use to get a feeling about someone’s personality.  Some cultures are created by the style of management and others are influenced by the the organizations design.

Corporate culture can be looked at as a system. Inputs include feedback from, e.g., society, professions, laws, stories, heroes, values on competition or service, etc. The process is based on our assumptions, values and norms, e.g., our values on money, time, facilities, space and people. Outputs or effects of our culture are, e.g., organizational behaviors, technologies, strategies, image, products, services, appearance, etc.

Your culture can choke or ignite ideas, serve as the medium for outstanding performance from individuals or create an attitude of not caring about the organizations performance.  I am sure you’ve both seen it in action and in most cases experienced it as well. But mostly from organizational cultures that constraint the free flowing of communications and ideas.

The “Cultural Dynamics” of Social Media

The popularity of social media is largely created by the free forming of communications without constraints that are evident in most organizations.  Open and free communications have never before been enabled for mass engagement and contribution until now. The implications for business is both opportunistic and dangerous at the same time.

Just consider the stories of employees on Twitter or blogging about the company business without the knowledge of management. The stories are all over the place which in turn have created a “fear” of social media by many businesses large and small.  However, consider the opportunities for businesses to tap the imaginations and related conversations of their employees and the market of conversations.

Business thrives on innovation in product and service to attract and create loyalty from the marketplace.  The amount of knowledge available in today’s marketplace of conversations ignites creativity and innovation from the least expected participants. Creativity and innovation is no longer contained in corporate departments or even from the smartest of the smartest. Rather, the power of creating innovative ideas lies in tapping into the waves of conversations which share ideas and opinions on how to make things better, more productive and valuable.

Change your culture and get the ideas out of cultural prisons. The problem is that changing the culture sometimes means a change in Leadership.  Given the historical and current influence of politics changing leadership may be the hardest task. Unless of course the market changes and your business loses everything it once or thought it had.

Social media creates conversational currency that fuels market changes. You can lead or follow or even be destroyed by these changes. Change your culture and get the ideas out of prison. Get it?

What say you?

{ 11 comments }

Brian C. Citizen June 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Brian Daily Deragon Dose: Is Business A Prison Of Ideas? http://tinyurl.com/m5j9du. http://ff.im/3StNW

Brian C. Citizen June 11, 2009 at 11:08 pm

Daily Deragon Dose: Is Business A Prison Of Ideas? http://tinyurl.com/m5j9du

Business 3.0 Tech. June 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Is Business A Prison Of Ideas? http://tiny.cc/4MTOj

smconnection June 11, 2009 at 8:51 am

Is Business A Prison Of Ideas?: In my old consulting days we used to assess an organizations performance relativ.. http://tinyurl.com/m5j9du

Shane June 11, 2009 at 7:48 am

Is Business A Prison Of Ideas? by @jderagon http://bit.ly/MRQmb

Shane June 11, 2009 at 7:48 am

Is Business A Prison Of Ideas? by @jderagon http://bit.ly/MRQmb

Rob Harvey June 11, 2009 at 7:41 am

Is Business A Prison Of Ideas?: In my old consulting days we used to assess an organizations performance relativ.. http://bit.ly/8xLDd

Martin June 11, 2009 at 6:50 am

[email protected] Is Business A Prison Of Ideas?: In my old consulting days we used to assess an organizati.. http://bit.ly/3GyjC

Angela Suddarth June 11, 2009 at 6:50 am

[email protected] Is Business A Prison Of Ideas?: In my old consulting days we used to assess an organizati.. http://bit.ly/3GyjC

JDeragon June 11, 2009 at 6:49 am

Is Business A Prison Of Ideas?: In my old consulting days we used to assess an organizations performance relativ.. http://tinyurl.com/m5j9du

Sweetie Berry June 11, 2009 at 5:45 am

There has been a change also in the concept of hiring. Once upon a time, we cared to hire based on intergrity and society taught that one was to be loyal to those who paid your salary. There was a social expectation in society that good, right, and true involved principals was stepped over for a faster, more complex system of skill abilities with less emphasis on integrity. That shift has produced mega structures, but the very thing that allowed for rapid growth and change is now the very thing that has caused most of the box corporations to start cracking or indeed dissolve. We hired the fastest, brightest, and most skilled, but without integrity as a deal breaker value as well as the softer societal virtues: truth telling, loyalty, perserverance, commonality, unity, and commitment to taking in employees as valued parts of a whole…..the result has been exactly what they paid for….brilliance without boundaries….and our entire society is paying.
Just as a child needs boundaries, society does as well. The business place is my current study of how affected our society is by a second generation of day care raised adults, whose personal loyalty is lacking. Their own personal needs for trust were not met as a child, so their capability to trust and provide stability at a high level are simply different than generations past. The systems of adulthood measure the instability of the public we’re working with….and the employees that come from that social norm.
Government, Business, social communities and networks…..for the most part….the message is still clear….”we want it our way, and we’re willing to step on whomever to get it” …culture will continue to struggle until there is a more clearly supportive base concept of we are indeed in this as people as well as business….how best to serve this day and the days to come.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 10 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: