Culture and Purpose: Below the Surface of Sears’ and Amazon’s Culture

culture purpose below surface

Disturbing employee quotations

“He would find a hole in the data and then explode.”

“I would see people practically combust.”

“There are so many people running for the door not just because the ship is sinking, but because the captain of the ship is screaming at them, blaming it on them, and telling them it’s their fault.”

“The joke in the office was that when it came to work/life balance, work came first, life came second, and trying to find the balance came last.”

“You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus.”

You might be excused for thinking these quotations stem from some terrifying, corporate Ayn Rand winner-takes-all hell-hole where fear, intimidation, and bullying ruled the day. Ironically, these quotations come from employees of two of the most famous retailers on the planet.

Conversations That Count for Culture Change

conversations that matter

Are we losing the art of conversation?
In an age where digital monologues, selfies, and superficial chats are the norm, the power of conversation is waning. Disconnected in our connected world, text, email, and social media exchanges are hardly interactive, let alone conversational.

TV, live-streamed and public-event ‘conversations,’ from political debates to discussion groups, tend to be immature, combative and divisive because there is something to ‘win,’ and because there is an ‘entertainment value’ to be optimised.

Zen and the Art of Culture Change

No Ship. No Bottle. No Problem.

zen & art of culture change

I recently attended Human Synergistics2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference in San Francisco. The presenters were professors, HR leaders, OD consultants, as well as CEOs and operating leaders.

Corporate culture was presented and discussed from all angles: What it is, how to measure it, how to change it, how to keep it aligned, whether you are in a start-up, in high-growth mode, or retrenching.