Organisations vary considerably in their culture and what is tough to one may be easy to another. For instance, I recall a headmaster bemoaning how hard and tough it was in his school. After spending a little time there, to me it seemed to pale by comparison to the corporate culture I was more familiar with. And that in turn was a cosy place compared to some city firms. The point is that it is less about the comparisons between organisations and more about how you are performing in your own organisation.
The questions below are designed to get you thinking. With all of them, I strongly recommend you make notes. These will be useful in helping you to clarify your views, and also, a reminder when you are asked to refer back to them later in this programme.
- What exactly makes you think you work in a tough organisation? Try to make a list of ten (or more) specific things which make it a tough place to work.
- Why might others think it is a cosy place to work? This isn’t about trying to deny it’s tough, just to help you get a sense of proportion. See if you can make a list of these things too.
- What problems, challenges or issues does this culture create for you personally?
- What about the opportunities?
I’d also like you to do a little research among your most trusted colleagues. Try to figure out how they are feeling about the way things are in your organisation. What answers would they give to the questions above? Sometimes I find people toil in their own world unaware that others are feeling the same; thinking instead that everyone else is okay. Opening up and sharing with others can immediately help you to feel more comfortable and also begin learning together.
Here’s one final question, and I really want you to write down as long a list as possible in your notebook…
- When you have established a really strong reputation in your organisation, what benefits will you derive personally?
In the next article I will help you to explore the way the culture views performance, positive and negative. This will help you to gain a sense of what may or may not work for you.