Some of the things I love, love, love about what I get to do for a day job are the opportunities to examine workplace cultures and develop ways to influence them to exhibit resilient positive outcomes.
It’s not a simple process, it’s not even complicated. It’s complex and sometimes chaotic. Mostly though where I start is Disorder.
I recently got asked by my friend Matt Granfield to comment on what he put forward as an hypocritical action from a holding company about the contradictory behavior and promises of two of their brands, and did I see anything wrong with that.
I thought it was an interesting notion that we might hold advertising to greater standards of morals and ethics than we hold ourselves. I thought that it might be valid to ask if that was right.
In I tweet therefore I am, Peggy Orenstein shares her experiences:
Each Twitter post seemed a tacit referendum on who I am, or at least who I believe myself to be. The grocery-store episode telegraphed that I was tuned in to the Seinfeldian absurdities of life; my concern about women’s victimization, however sincere, signaled that I also have a soul. Together they suggest someone who is at once cynical and compassionate, petty yet deep. Which, in the end, I’d say, is pretty accurate.
Anyways….Won’t steal his thunder (it will be published in Marketing Mag)- but ultimately my call is that brands reflect the culture of their target audiences. They don’t create culture.
Because they can’t. Changing culture is extremely difficult, time-consuming and you need to have a very strong vision and a mandate to do it.
It’s only because I’ve worked across a number of these projects that I’ve had access to a whole bunch of new tools and new thinking about how groups people behave and had the experience to understand how long it takes and how agile, responsive, brave and patient you need to be to shift the course of thousands of people.
One of the things I see as the person responsible for planning and creative strategy at an agency is that this role is becoming more and more responsible for the workplace culture.
How that outcome is described is usually around building a culture of inspiration, innovation and collaboration.
I’ve shared some of the experiences and experiments I’ve had in Do you do your best work at your desk
I can see a link between designing these experiences and how Dave describes organising a children’s party:
Why do we still see policies in workplaces like, “You Tube banned on Government Servers to stop staff wasting time!”, when staff could be learning stuff as rich as these videos from Dave Snowden? Dave is the Founder & Chief Scientific Officer at Cognitive Edge. His blog is very heavy, often amusing and well worth following.
Dave is working with an Australian video producer to help communicate his models and frameworks with the world. The videos bring a subtle and effective use of visuals and graphics to illuminate the key points that Dave is making. Dave’s confidence and sense of humor shines through as well.
I have embedded a series of videos from Dave (and others) to help you understand the world of complexity. Another place to visit is Dave’s series of posts on the Origins of Cynefin.
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