Friday, 16 November 2012

The importance of developing shared culture in business and family life

Clayton M. Christensen in his new book "How Will You Measure Your Life?"  offers this powerful insight about the importance of developing shared culture and how to go about it:

There’s an important model in our class called the Tools of Cooperation…. the theory arrays these tools along two dimensions—the extent to which members of the organization agree on what they want from their participation in the enterprise, and the extent to which they agree on what actions will produce the desired results. When there is little agreement on both axes, you have to use “power tools”—coercion, threats, punishment, and so on—to secure cooperation"

"Many companies start in this quadrant, which is why the founding executive team must play such an assertive role in defining what must be done and how. If employees’ ways of working together to address those tasks succeed over and over, consensus begins to form. MIT’s Edgar Schein has described this process as the mechanism by which a culture is built. Ultimately, people don’t even think about whether their way of doing things yields success. They embrace priorities and follow procedures by instinct and assumption rather than by explicit decision—which means that they’ve created a culture. Culture, in compelling but unspoken ways, dictates the proven, acceptable methods by which members of the group address recurrent problems. And culture defines the priority given to different types of problems. It can be a powerful management tool”.

To read a short synopsis of How Will You Measure Your Life?  

Ken Thompson (aka The BumbleBee) blogs about bioteams, virtual collaboration and business simulation at