What culture is right for you?

Off the beaten path — Part I.

The Problem

During 2005–2006 with the implementation of a pioneer-settler-town planner structure in a high tech startup in Old Street, London (a barren wasteland of technology at that time), one noted observation was that the different components of the structure appeared to have different cultures. A more recent set of observations (2014–2016), through examination of company’s doctrine has shown us that the principles used in companies are not the same and not even necessarily uniform within a company and this appears to impact the adaptability of the organisation.

What culture is right for you?

Firstly, we have to define what culture is in order to distinguish between what maybe right or maybe wrong? In 1952, the American anthropologists, Kroeber and Kluckhohn, critically reviewed concepts and definitions of culture in the academic world and compiled a list of 164 different definitions. Any review of popular business press shows the term is equally, if not more so nebulous today. Despite this, we assign almost mystical properties and powers to “culture” with memes such as “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.

Can we map culture?

It’s not just activities and practice that evolve. From figure 4 above, we could map knowledge as a form of capital. As a primitive example, I’ve added a quick map of population genetics using the knowledge axis. Now, you might disagree with how evolved the components are, you might add additional components that are missing but that’s the point of maps. You don’t think any map was born fully formed? Our evolving higher order systems are built upon evolving lower order components whether activities, practices, data or knowledge. The purpose of a map is to help us explore this.

Off the beaten track

Part I — What culture is right for you?
Part II — Exploring culture
Part III — Exploring Brexit
Part IV — From Values to Rituals
Part V — Exploring Value
Part VI — Embedded in memory
Part VII — Me vs We

The book so far

Chapter 1 — On being lost
Chapter 2 — Finding a path
Chapter 3 — Exploring the map
Chapter 4 — Doctrine
Chapter 5 — The play and a decision to act
Chapter 6 — Getting started yourself
Chapter 7 — Finding a new purpose
Chapter 8 — Keeping the wolves at bay
Chapter 9 — Charting the future
Chapter 10 — I wasn’t expecting that!
Chapter 11 — A smorgasbord of the slightly useful
Chapter 12 — The scenario
Chapter 13 — Something wicked this way comes
Chapter 14 — To thine own self be true
Chapter 15 — On the practice of scenario planning
Chapter 16 — Super Looper
Chapter 17 — To infinity and beyond
Chapter 18 — Better for Less
Chapter 19 — On Playing Chess

I like ducks, they're fowl but not through choice. RT is not an endorsement but a sign that I find a particular subject worthy of challenge and discussion.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store