I Keep Coming Back to Culture Patterns
I speak on many different topics—generations, Millennials, culture, employee engagement—but in both my recent keynotes and the ones I’m planning for later 2019 and early 2020, I am finding that the topic of culture patterns is what’s tying them all together.
I’m working on a talk for October and the client wants a combination of the Millennial topic and the culture topic. In other words, the conversation about Millennials is not only that they grew up influenced by different dynamics than previous generations, therefore they have a different approach. It’s also that we need to understand why our current cultures are not really compatible with Millennials and this new approach.
And it’s not just a broad culture that is incompatible—it’s the specific patterns within your culture that need attention. Take agility, for example. I see a common culture pattern where change, as a concept, is fairly well embraced, and the organization has learned to move quickly in an attempt to keep up with today’s pace. Sounds fairly agile, right? Yet when it comes to getting out of its own way, the organization is not as adept. It is less able to STOP things that aren’t working, and it’s less able to FIX things that aren’t working. When Millennials walk into cultures that say they’re about change, but then have to do work-arounds to get past broken processes that never get fixed, they’re probably going to start looking for another job. It just doesn’t make sense to them.
If you’re not doing culture work at the level of these kinds of patterns, then you’re really not doing culture work.