Your organisation can live for a long time with deep cultural problems: broken attitudes to people, to the work, to the people you’re trying to serve.
There are things you can do to make things better, and a culture can heal, but most of the time most of the therapies – and unless you’re really lucky, almost certainly all of the comfortable therapies – are palliative at best.
At the cost of a tremendous amount of time, money, and effort, you’ll get by for a while. There might even be times when you forget the problem entirely. But put some extra pressure on the system, give it a few minor shocks, introduce a few new challenges or take away some old supports, and you’ll find yourself back on life support.
You need a deeper fix. You might remove a blockage, or add a proven valve – or go for a full transplant.
Surgery always hurts, and no-one wants to go under the knife, but sooner is better than later.
Seth Godin on Difficult Conversations
Thomas Ricks on firing generals and the two basic tools of management
Ben Horowitz on building companies: “the horror”
Brian Chesky on culture and hiring well
Resource: Marc Andreessen on talent and hiring
Friction (2): emotional friction