unCUlturers: musings on organizational culture & development (and stuff about credit unions too)
Too many organizations of all types (companies, churches, non-profits, etc) are unwittingly, or perhaps even "wittingly," cultivating a pretty crappy culture within which their teams and people are required to function. And I say hey, if you're going to create such an environment, at least go all out. (I say this with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.)

Here's one thing you can do to ensure your organization's culture is crappy. If you're in leadership, cover all of your mistakes. I mean that. Every last one of them. It's crucial to your survival that the team or organization you lead thinks you're flawless. I mean, think of the consequences if anyone within your organization got wind of the fact that you're a human being that makes an occasional mistake. That would border on cataclysmic, would it not?

So whatever takes, don't admit mistakes, don't be vulnerable and open with your team, group, or organization, and no matter what you do, do not--I repeat, do not--let anyone know you make mistakes. There's always someone else to blame, after all.

Carol B
06/29/2010 13:13

Ha ha, that is very funny, but so unbelievably true and very sad at the same time.

I have personally witnessed AND experienced this same attitude. I can only say it's horendous in terms of what it does to the individual "worker bees" who are actually the most important people in an organization.

Personally, former colleagues and bosses have said that I am "too candid for senior management". I'm cool with that. But to have to fight to do the right thing all the time? To be honest, and to get beaten up for it? Nope, time to find a new organization, and then another one "bites the dust" as they say. A good person leaves and the organization continues on in its downward spiral.

Nancy R
07/06/2010 08:30

To follow your vein, even better if when you make a mistake, the blame is placed firmly on a junior staff member who is made to "be accountable" in public. This not only destroys the indeividual's reputation and possibly career, but it provides the leader with the ability to say that he/she has identified and punnished the wrong doer looking like a saviour while hurting another. Oh, I've seen this in both NFP and for profit companies.
Ego is the issue here, not as you indicated, purely the profit motive.


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