‘The organisation won’t allow that’
‘That’s just the way the culture is here’
‘The management don’t listen’
I have heard all these phrases used this week to justify why something can’t be done. It is interesting to note that the prefix ‘the’ is always used, the management, the organisation, the culture. This suggests that the subject of the statement is an inanimate object which allows people to disassociate themselves from it.
This is an important thing to recognise when trying to change culture. We need to get staff to recognise that they cannot separate themselves from the culture, they are an integral part of it and are constantly reinforcing it. Culture is made up of two things, the history (the behaviours and expectations that have built up over time) and the behaviours of the people in the organisation. As long as individuals are allowed to see themselves as being set apart from what creates the culture the easier it is for them to refuse to take any responsibility for ‘the way things are done around here’.