Julia Whitney spoke about culture and what she’d learned from trying to understand the work at the BBC
- Culture is – unconscious beliefs based on shared learning that impact success (Gregory Shine)
- Unconscious assumptions are the underlying part of the iceberg
- Observe unconscious values in conflict with what’s written on the wall (official values) and ask why
- Find out what counts as heroism – at the BBC this meant managing the chaos of a live show without viewers noticing!
- Look for structural and embedded mechanisms
- Encourage productive ideological conflict (that ends in a decision) – without conflict there is no commitment and wishy-washy decisions. Use conflict mining workshops – and use conflict contracts that the team will not prioritise relief over resolution
- How will you counter someone’s learning anxiety over survival anxiety? What changes in your behaviour does the culture you work in require from you?
— Scriberia Ltd (@scriberian) May 13, 2017
Her plan for the 90s days was:
- In the first 90 days find people with influence and alliances
- Make yourself redundant
- Managers manage, leaders make decisions – for the latter having knowledge of the craft can help gain respect at key points