When we went through the stages of ideating, building, testing, and completing proof of concept for our culture analytics we truly thought that everyone would be so excited at the benefits to their organization. Our expected reactions are captured in the image below.
But what we quickly learned was that we are running into three types of organizational leadership when it comes to putting hard data on culture.
Excited and Growth Oriented: Leaders who are curious, want to learn, and operate with those as their core driving principals. They know that information is power and seek it regardless of what it says.
Naive and/or Distracted: Leaders who are not focused on culture, or think that the culture they have is great when it actually is not. They don’t know that they could use help.
Scared: Leaders who are culture focused to some degree, but are afraid that putting data on it is going to prove initiatives are not working or identify gaps in areas under their supervision. They are putting their ego ahead of their people.
Now, to be clear, none of this is personal, it’s based on our experience, and is something that happens often in innovation adoption.
But the question it brings up for us is how many organizations are operating under fear-based leadership that is to protect individual egos?
How many millions of dollars are being lost because people don’t want their own initiatives, policies, practices, and ideas being identified as ineffective?
And finally, who is going to do something about it if it runs all the way to the top?