According to Josh Bersin, demographic upheaval coupled with digital technology has greatly contributed to a rapid increase in the rate of change. This accelerated rate is, in turn, leading to new social contracts and business considerations. Bersin is responsible for long-term strategy at Bersin by Deloitte and is frequently published in Forbes.com and Chief Learning Officer magazine. He cites an MIT study revealing that 90% of CEOs said their company is experiencing disruption. Ninety percent! Given these turbulent times, the conversation about culture is more relevant than ever.
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.
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.
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.