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Can You Name the Four Invisible Culture Influencers?

800lb communication gorilla

Can you identify the “800 pound gorilla” in your meeting nobody will discuss? (Maybe a simple banana will make it go away?)

Last week we talked about culture – and how we all are contributors to the culture we live in. How we contribute is influenced by the infrastructure we operate within.

Using the example of meeting structure, we looked at how the culture of safety was influenced. Some other things that could/do influence culture would be: communication tools, problem solving space, reporting / governance. Anything that influences our interactions with each other plays a part in our infrastructure. If you can identify key components, cultural shifts can be sparked by some basic simple changes. The hard part is tuning into what those things could be.

Of all the possible influencers, there are four invisible influencers on culture that I would like to explore over the next couple of weeks:

  • Meeting structures
  • Electronic communication
  • Questions
  • Bad news

I use the word “invisible” because they are usually ignored just like the proverbial “800 pound gorilla in the room”. They shape the interactions we have, and by shaping them they can either add or subtract from the culture. Most of the time, people put little thought into these interactions. We must understand why we do stuff and be intentional in what we do.

Over the next week please think about the following questions:

  • Why do we say we “have too many meetings?”
  • How come no one ever says, “I can’t wait for that meeting. I’m stoked. I want to get there early. Giddy-up.”
  • Do we understand why we have been invited to a meeting?
  • Do we go to meetings with expectations? Does the meeting organizer know our expectation? Do we know the meeting organizer’s expectation?
  • Meetings can be informational, discussion based, informal working meetings… Which kind of meetings do you think you have too many of?
  • How many meetings do you schedule vs attend?
  • If not in meetings, where do you think communication is taking place, or should take place?

I am going to be seeking some informal feedback over the next week. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Be intentional
Melissa