Community and Sub Culture: The Cultural Brilliance Perspective.
As Cultural Brilliance continues evolve, what’s been on my mind is how we’re starting to look at what’s going on within a variety of different cultures. Not just organizational cultures although that is very important. We’re really looking at what is going on in community cultures, what’s going on in subcultures within our communities, our country and around the world?

We’re seeing two different versions and visions of culture in our country. We’re seeing all sorts of subcultures that have, from my perspective, been beneath the surface starting to come up and say… recognize me, discuss me.

Sometimes we might find ourselves thinking, “I am not sure I want to know much about what is going on because if I know a lot about it I may then have to face it. And if I face it I may even need to make choices about it or do something about it”.

So we all live within our own world, in our own subcultures with our families and our close community.

The Cultural Brilliance Model is a three part process was we look at:

  • The authenticity of a culture
  • How to design a cultural change or evolution
  • How implement the design and bring it to life

With authenticity we can apply these steps throughout any organizational community. The premise behind the authenticity lens is that we’re looking at the truth about a particular culture. We may find twenty different truths when we talk to twenty different people.

So then we look deeper at: What are the norms we know about? What are the underlying norms or underlying assumptions that we may not know about? And even if we do know about them, nobody really talks about them. It is like looking at the proverbial elephant in the room. So with this in mind, the organizational subculture is one of the things we look at first.

Imagine gathering hundreds of different subcultures into one room, it would be a very fascinating discussion about how each viewed the authenticity of the other. We might find that there would be a place where almost every subculture overlaps. That there was something equally important to each of them. Something as simple as, we want our families to be safe and taken care of.

Authenticity is not just looking at what’s good, what’s working well, what’s positive or what’s wrong. Authenticity is literally looking at the truth even if there are multiple versions of truths in the room. A very important question to consider is; what is the truth of what’s really going on? It might be that there are some amazing and phenomenal things happening in an organization or then again, maybe not, but at least we will know what things are not working well.

And like any culture there are going to be parts that are positive and life affirming and parts that may not be very positive at all. Some parts may actually hold people back from succeeding in the way they want to.

There is either an intentional design or there is an unconscious design that just evolves. And again, we can liken this to what happens in most organizations, some have created cultures that people can be consciously aware of and if not, some organizations, by default form a culture on their own that people unconsciously adapt to. Some may be lucky and form a culture that works very well or the opposite will happen. They will form a culture in a way that doesn’t work well. This is where we come in.

We have a process in place to discover what’s authentic about the organization, what’s working well, what might need to change. Once we have a good understanding of what it is we move in to a process of designing that is focused on how we will move the culture from where it is in its present moment, to where it would like to be so it can begin to functionally and emotionally move forward.

Ultimately it’s about how to smoothly integrate cultural changes and determining how are we going to bring it all to life.

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