CQ Shorthand #1: Red Creates Dread
Psychological safety is hard to find in aggressive defensive cultures. It doesn’t matter that courage and innovation are your espoused core values or that you’ve invested gazillions in agile training, innovation centers of excellence and top talent; fear, avoidance, conventional thinking and self-protection will be the behavior patterns and muscles that your culture is strengthening most often. CXOs with power will openly blame the “cowardly” VPs and midlevel managers without it; VPs and midlevel managers will privately blame the “abusive and dictatorial” CXOs. There may be anomolies — pockets of unsustainable short-lived success… but the majority of the organization will be frustrated and burned out. The CEOs vision for the company’s courageous culture platform, necessary for growth and rapid adaptation, will be a fictional story told to analysts at quarterly earnings conference calls.
RED EXPECTS MEMBERS TO APPROACH TASKS IN FORCEFUL WAYS TO PROTECT THEIR STATUS & SECURITY (NOT TO BE EFFECTIVE)
RED norms (i.e., power, perfectionistic, competitive, oppositional) are misguided and outdated when it comes to organizational effectiveness. Based on decades of Human Synergistics global research across all industries and geographies, aggressive defensive norms negatively correlate to the desired, sustainable outcomes associated with constructive (BLUE) cultures which benefit from plenty of psychological safety, a balance of attention to the task & people, openness/transparency, high- achievement, personal satisfaction, extensive teamwork, sharing, learning and experimentation. RED increases turnover and stress — good luck with that.
CULTURE CHANGE IS EASIER IF YOU HAVE THE CQ SHORTHAND
There’s no shortcut to creating your ideal organizational culture — but there is a simple cultural intelligence (CQ) shorthand available to help end all of the culture change confusion. Culture change is a lot easier and less confusing when leaders are better supported to…