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Cultivate Culture


The sociologist, Ron Westrum, was a believer that organisational culture was a predictor of performance, and safety in the healthcare industry. During his work, he classified categories of organisational culture into three: Pathological (power-oriented), Bureaucratic (rule-oriented) and Generative (performance-oriented).


Pathological organisations, ones which focus on power, are often identified through their competitive nature. There tends to be friction, a lack of cooperation, and culture of blame. The fault lies with anyone else; with information being withheld to have the upper hand.


While Bureaucratic companies are often associated with a focus on rules, regulations, and responsibilities. A culture of bureaucracy is often has little concern for the overall mission of the organization.


Lastly there is the generative, or performance-oriented culture. These companies are attributed to having a steady information flow, as well as consistently high cooperation and internal trust.


Of course, these company culture types are easier to categorise than to implement. In a world where agile practice is becoming more commonplace, it is ideal that having a generative company culture.


Crafting an impactful and consistent company culture in the workplace is essential. But, how is it done? It is proposed that creating such a culture can be done by having the following traits in your organisation:


Authenticity. This is a term used in this context to refer to the behaviour of those in leadership positions; and that they strive to act with transparency, honesty and integrity, whilst honouring themselves and their beliefs.


Emotional Intelligence. This refers to how those in leadership positions manage their own emotions, whilst acting with awareness, empathy etc. towards others, being perceptive of their colleagues’ emotions and encouraging them to strive to do their best.


Lifelong Learning. Leaders being able to engage with consistent, voluntary persuits of knowledge are essential to establishing your workplace as one with a generative culture. This is because, these workplaces are often perceived to have growth mindsets. And, although, people may slip through the cracks, leading by example and showing your colleagues that there is no limit to what can be learned is essential to making these steps.


Growth. Providing guidance, whether that be personal, professional, or technical resources for employees assures that staff can learn, and build their skills. Furthermore, it means that employees gain the confidence, responsibility and autonomy to make decisions off their own backs.


Which links to the final point: Decentralised decision making. In order to pride yourself as being part of a generative organisational culture, you must establish that decisions are made further down the chain of command; meaning that those with information, experience etc. get a say in choices made within an organisation. This allows individuals to hone their technical competence and provides them with space to gain clarity in decision making. Furthermore, it encourages the individual colleagues to gain their confidence in raising ideas, making choices, and speaking up when their opinions are asked. Nobody wants to ask for ideas and be faced by a silent sea of faces.


Management consultant, and author of "Exploding Turkeys and Spare Trousers", Ken Pasternak, shows these values. He explained in his article of Business Matters Magazine: The Three C’s of Effective Leadership Communication, Culture, Character, that in order “to deliver on vision, mission, and values – great leaders build relationships inside (up, down, and across) and outside an organization where everyone understands and buys-in to the business’s purpose. High performance becomes a team effort.”


With this in mind, it is clear that Pasternak, like many other businessmen and women strive to create spaces that encourage employees to provide their colleagues with a space where they can hone their skills and grow together toward a shared vision, and goal.



Based in London, U.K., and founded in 2016 by Arvind Mishra The Agile Works (www.TheAgileWorks.com), is an up-and-coming recruitment and Agile consulting company. Arvind is a Certified SAFe SPC and regularly delivers both private and public SAFe certification workshops.


He is a design thinking expert, Sr. enterprise, portfolio Agile Coach with over a decade of experience working as an Agile coach in diverse industries such as banking, pharma, retail, auto, oil, gas, consulting and government.


The Agile Works; a small team of three strive to help shape the leadership's mind-set and values in readiness for their business transformation journey challenges. With Arvind at the helm, we strive to provide you with the agility tools to make your company that can thrive, and not just survive.


To book a consultation, or for any enquiries, you can contact Arvind via the following email address: arvind@theagileworks.com


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