Culture Drives Results in the Social Era

by Jay Deragon on 10/01/2012

In the industrial era management by results was the predominant management theory. In the Social Era developing and empowering a culture of performance will be the predominate management theory.

In the industrial era a lot of things got done through machinery. In the Social Era the only way to get things done is through people. Today our machinery is people, and to put it in technology terms, people are the hardware and the organizations values are the operating system.

“Culture” is made up of people with a common operating system around values. Once you have defined your culture, you can build processes around how you actually get things done on top of that, not before that. Getting things done requires clarity around the hardware (people & purpose) and the operating system (guiding values) otherwise the “results” you get will have no purpose.

The Purpose of Results

Every business is motivated to produce results but most business fail to understand what produces results. The trouble is that chasing results actually can produce the wrong result.

The Social Era represent complex systems (people and organizations) that behave not at all like we would expect or think. The Social Era is driven by the human “operating system” that creates results through intrinsic motivation, cooperation, collaboration, ethical behavior, trust, creativity, and joy of engagement. Scientific studies have shown that if you want to optimize the human potential to produce results the following are attributes of a high performance operating system (culture).

  1. Autonomy: Self directed engagement encourages creativity and innovation
  2. Mastery: The human urge to get better at something
  3. Purpose: People will create things and give them away for free to fulfill a purpose to contribute.
  4. True motivation comes intrinsically rather than extrinsically

Organizational cultures ought to be designed to enable the factors that lead to better performance: “autonomy, mastery and purpose” [not a demand for results].  When the profit motive becomes removed from the purpose motive, bad things happen. The results you asked for are the results you’ll get but they are the wrong results.

Get your culture right and the theory is that as long as we have a common operating system (culture) that optimizes the hardware (people), then your results are likely to be better than you expected.

If you don’t believe it then simply study what the top performing organization in the world have in common…..a culture fit for the Social Era.


{ 1 comment }

ann October 12, 2012 at 2:10 am

thsnks this

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