Does culture really matter?
If you don’t put effort into understanding the organisational culture in which you’re trying to deliver a project, you’re asking for problems. However with constant pressure to deliver more with less, and to do so quicker, how much time can you really spend on thinking about culture?
At the end of the day isn’t ‘culture’ just another way of identifying a group? A way to pigeon-hole, pre-judge, and assume things about other people? Aren’t ‘Group-think’ and ‘Conspiracy of Optimism’ a result of culture? After all, it’s an individual that completes the work...
I’m dealing with others in the organisation on a one-to-one basis and we’re both adults; hopefully we’ll be able to make a mutually beneficial agreement to help improve the chances of delivery. Regardless of where you’re from (even in the widest possible meaning) what matters most is how you manage and deliver, and it is essential that we trust each other to do our bit.
But I believe that a mutual trust stems from a common cultural understanding. Having an idea of values and beliefs that we may share, or knowing where we may be in conflict (leading to frequently described cultural risk) helps anticipate behavior and supports effective communication – and because of this, understanding the culture of any and all stakeholders, including your wider organisation, is essential.
- PMI, ‘Proceedings of the Project Management Institute Annual Seminars & Symposium’ (October 2002)
- RUSI, ‘The Conspiracy of Optimism’ (October 2007)
- Lawrence Suda ‘Linking Strategy, Leadership and Organization Culture for Project Success’ (2007)