Two models of business culture are presented below. One
business operating style is not necessarily better than another.
Each style has its advantages and disadvantages and can only be
judged within the particular circumstances faced by the
- Power Culture:
Strong leaders are needed to distribute resources.
Leaders are firm, but fair and generous to loyal
followers. If badly managed there is rule by fear, abuse
of power for personal gain, and political intrigue.
- Achievement culture:
Rewards results, not unproductive efforts. Work teams are
self-directed. Rules and structure serve the system, not
an end by themselves. A possible downside is sustaining
energy and enthusiasm over time.
- Support Culture:
Employee is valued as a person, as well as a worker.
Employee harmony is important. Weakness is a possible
internal commitment without an external task focus.
- Role Culture: Rule
of law with clear responsibility and reward system.
Provides stability, justice, and efficiency. Weakness is
impersonal operating procedures and a stifling of
creativity and innovation.
- Macho, Tough-guy Culture:
High risks, quick feedback of results. (Advertising,
- Work-hard & Play-hard Culture:
Few risks, quick feedback. (Sales driven)
- Bet-the-Company Culture:
High risk, slow feedback. (Aerospace)
- Process Culture:
Little to no feedback. Concentration is on
"how" work is done. (Highly regulated,
- Who sets the style and pace?
What kind of Role Model are they?
"Do as we do" or "Do as we say?"
- What behavior is rewarded, condemned or
Is feedback constant, intermittent, at
job completion, or never?
Are improper or unethical practices condoned through
- What information is shared? (needed vs.
Is upward information flow constrained? (Do you really
- How is superior performance encouraged?
What type of performance appraisal system is used?
How are the best qualified people recruited?
Is training and development offered to everyone?
- Are values backed up by time and money?
- What is the relative importance of
- bottom line results?
- saving face?
- power building?
Transformative Networking – connecting change
leaders to enable self-organized grassroots change.
Next Steps – While still conceptual, transformative
networking offers the possibility of leading change through the networking of
those already interested or involved in similar initiatives, effectively tearing
down existing silos of practice that exist across disciplines and fields of
work. The next step is to develop a proof of concept built on the theoretical
underpinnings above, possibly using Google Wave as the collaboration platform.
Included will be identifying the minimal structure and governance required to
enable self-organization within the network while not constraining what might
emerge. Join this initiative and help create the future of organizing -
networking communities of interest.
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July 19, 2009