The LO+FTTM view on culture is a rules-based system that drives behaviors and habits in your organization. The question for you as the leader is, “Did you design your culture, or did it evolve without your guidance?”
Even if the leader is an overpowering presence, and a culture naturally maps to the leader's strengths and weaknesses, the culture is still merely evolving on its own in an unstructured way. Furthermore, it's likely that all of the little-chief-wannabes are going to be able to fly under the leader's radar and form their own sub-organizations because the top dog is likely to be quite self-absorbed.
Corporate cultures are rules-based systems. You want to design rules that build mission-supporting habits, not habits that hurt the organization. Metaphorically speaking, you want your corporate culture to function like a computer program that gives your people methods and procedures to succeed repeatedly.
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Dr. Meylan: I'm always looking for the little rules in every situation that help to pull it together. So, there'll be times whem I might ask, “What are the little rules that this team's not following that could fix things?” Or, maybe for a larger insitution, “What are the rules that they're not following, so that they can't meet their own mission?”
Cynthia de Lorenzi, CEO, Success in the City: As you know, they already exist in many ways, and they can make things work better. There's always a system in operation in every situation, but very few people realize that it's even there. In most situations the system more or less evolved on its own, under its own power. No one involved put any conscious thought into its existence or its possible functions or benefits to the team. No one ever asked what a person could do to engineer the underlying system to improve the situation.
Study the present very carefully
to build possible versions of the future.
Generate strategic options
based on those possible futures.
Work quickly to create long lead times,
and watch events carefully to select the best options.