Business Time: Changing Culture, Part One

Business Time: Changing Culture, Part One
We had a good thing going.

Actually, it was a great thing. We spent time together, supported the local economy buying from our neighbor. We even had a good name for it. Tamale Tuesday. The problem was that, at some point, we started to hate it. We couldn’t stand the idea of eating another tamale. We needed a change, but I didn’t want to tell the lady we weren’t going to buy her food. I didn’t want to sacrifice the time together or take the time to plan a substitute.

The point is that change is difficult. Even if it seems trivial.

Culture is essentially the combined mental map of the group’s members. While abstract, people understand that intuitively. But understanding culture is just a starting point. People need change.

It starts small. To change your culture all you have to do is change your mind. That means anyone in an organization can move it. But changing your mind isn’t easy.

“To change your culture all you have to do is change your mind.”

These are starting points:

Action
If you want your workplace to be more positive, start being more positive – even if it feels like an act. The ‘fake it till you make it’ cliché is rooted in truth. Changing your behavior can rewire your brain.

Education
We have convenient access to more learning tools than ever before in history. There is no excuse for your organization not to embrace learning. One current Bullhorn effort is aimed at the several non-designers here. We do things like business development, project management, content creation. As an organization, we think it is important for all of us to speak with expertise. So, we are undertaking a series aimed at getting us up to speed.

Hiring
Policy can slowly effect change, but hiring the right people is certainly faster. We hire for cultural fit first, capacity for learning second and skill set last. We can teach someone how to use the tools, but it is awfully difficult to change them into the sort of person we want to be around.

And, to be clear, this doesn’t mean hire people you like. It means finding the core cultural traits of your organization and making sure your interview questions reflect them. You may not want to get beers with them, but they may be the perfect person to help you make your organization into what you envision.