People often ask me why organizational culture is so hard to change. My answer is that although we often use mechanistic words like ‘functioning like a well-oiled machine’ or pictures of cog-wheels meshing perfectly together to describe them, organizations aren’t machines. They’re living, breathing complex organic systems. And just like a person, each organization’s culture is a ‘living, breathing thing’, which will do its best to survive and replicate itself. Much as we like to think we can simply ‘install’ a new culture, like we change a computer’s hard drive, it just doesn’t work that way. So, if change isn’t going as planned at your organization and you’re not sure why, check and see if you’re working on it from a machine perspective or a human one. You may find your answer there!

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