Weekly Highlights #3: Spring, Culture, Optimized Processes

I hope your day is going well.  Sharing a few reflections from the last week or so.

Grateful for the end of Winter.  Seasons in colorful Colorado change quickly–we have snow one day and sunny mid-70 weather the next.  But one intrepid tree by my office has decided that Spring is here, and that was an exciting sign.

Beginnings of Spring
One brave tree has decided that Spring is here.

What I read: The Power of The Empowerment Dynamic, by David Emerald.  One of the things I most enjoyed about this book was it’s framework for action:

  • Have bigger goals
  • Take smaller steps that are completely under your control
  • Be more patient in evaluating your progress

What I’m thinking about: Culture.  Two things I read this week referenced the work of Edgar Schein–this fantastic article in Stratechery and a book I’m reading on influence.  And, my company at work is going through an acquisition, where we’re thinking about the changing culture.  Two insights from Schein’s work that most leaders should know about culture, but don’t:

  • Culture is a product of success, not the reverse.  Stated values and beliefs become part of the culture when they are proven correct with results.  So – creating a culture requires intentionality about want you want to create combined with real sustained success.
  • Culture has levels of consciousness: artifacts and behaviors, espoused values, and taken-for-granted assumptions which are the heart of a culture.  If you have an espoused value, but no artifact or behavior that aligns with it, you will struggle to ingrain that belief into your culture.

Quote I’m reflecting on:  from W. Edwards Deming, or maybe someone that worked with him.  But – I don’t think the attribution alters its truth.

“Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.”

Have a great week!

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