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Much has been written in GCI magazine about the ability of organizations to foster innovation, to open up, to bring in new ideas and to allow those ideas to grow with the people who carry them. And yes, it is the responsibility of corporations to learn to do those things, to identify those who can do them and let them do their jobs, with a necessary level of freedom—even when it costs. And it will cost—financially and, sometimes, even culturally. Face it, culture is the hardest element for companies to change. A company’s culture is as important as its structure, if not more. It runs through the entire organization, and is not always spelled out—which often makes it a much more intrinsic force. It affects the way people relate to one another inside an organization and the way they relate to the outside world. It can be both an incredibly positive force and, at times, a negative one.
Allowing culture to change—or to simply evolve—takes tremendous effort and patience. This effort does not lie solely on the shoulders of the executive staff, it also requires the efforts of employees company-wide. Everyone has to stick to the project. It is a long haul and it is hard.
And there is another cultural war waging inside companies, networks, and the industry—one that is evident and tolerated—and most don’t venture to think this war and its outcomes can change. In fact, most of the time, the extraordinary damages it does to the organizations and to the industry as a whole is acknowledged.
What is this war?