A Negotiated Culture

Culture is a bit, big word. It encompasses everything that affects our belief structure.  We might even say that culture is the link we have to community. It is the conversation that either inspires us to closer connection or  pushes us away.

In this sense, it is a negotiation between me as an individual, and the group as community. We negotiated what standards are consistent with the culture we share. And if that negotiation is engaging, culture can be highly creative. If not, it can be destructive.

So how can we enhance culture to bring out its more creative possibilities? Good question.. As far as I understand this challenge, we need to start with an assumption. That assumption is that we have a vision about how to add value. If we have no vision, we are indifferent to what we do. Any road is fine if we don’t know where we are going.

Ok. Let’s assume that we have this vision. Taking Bruno Aziz’s model, we are concerned with 3 aspects of the negotiation

  • is your vision clear?  Clarity is essential to enable focus (setting aside those things that we are not working on)
  • Can you communicate it? Communication is not just about talk, It is also about roles and decision making
  • Do you act in a manner that is consistent with it?  We live  with our decisions, becoming the people we are talking about. Or we are wasting our time.

Bruno then, is obsessed with clarity, communication and consistency. I would add one more value. All negotiations are about forming a story line. That story is only coherent if it is tracked over time. So that we do not forget what has been done and what has been learned by the collaboration.

This last element — the tracking element — is not well defined in modern life. We do, do do, but we do not remember, remember, remember. As a result, we do not learn, learn, learn.



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