What is "Culture"? LO20020

Fred Nickols (nickols@worldnet.att.net)
Sat, 28 Nov 1998 05:56:51 -0500

Responding to Sabine Bach in LO19973 --

Sabine, who apparently wants the impact of internal consulting projects to
be more lasting, concludes that they would be if the "soft facts" were
addressed, then goes on to equate culture with these soft facts and to
inquire about culture--what it is, how to define it, and how to change it.

There is no such thing as culture. It is a construct, a label, a name for
vaguely perceived patterns in behavior and artifacts. You will more
quickly wrestle the wind to the ground than you will change culture.

Culture is also a convenient scapegoat for failed change efforts. Why did
things not go well? The "culture" was too resistant or too strong or too
opposed or too whatever. Personally, I'm more inclined to believe the
change effort was poorly conceived, poorly executed, or both.

If your aim is to have your interventions "stick" or "take" or be more
lasting, then my counsel to you would be to focus on getting others to see
the value in the changes you want to make and getting them to help you
make those changes. Lasting change is about getting others to champion
those changes; it is not about manipulating some will o' the wisp called



Fred Nickols Distance Consulting http://home.att.net/~nickols/distance.htm nickols@worldnet.att.net (609) 490-0095

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