Here is a great riff on culture and collaboration that resonates with me. It fits with the seven elements of a healthy network and begs the question…. can you manage “culture”?
Yes. It is possible to establish and set the culture of a group. There are 3 ways to build culture in an organization or network.
1. Leadership- Leadership in culture is very different from leadership in an executive sense. There are leaders that serve others. Leaders that direct and drive. And leaders that focus on process and infrastructure. There are very few people that realize they are controlled or follow culture but most of us are sheep grazing on pastures of culture. The culture sets the terms of acceptability (you know the day you square danced or moon walked). Leadership in a culture is not being a boss but leading in vision or service. Leadership is also exerted by those that see the culture and shape it by weaving parts of it together or drive wedges in the cracks.
2. Language – A culture can not emerge without commonalities. Common vision, common stories and common language. Words, pictures, music, stories that unify and define “who is in” and “who is out”. Just because you participate or you are there doesn’t mean you are part of the culture. Wolf Blitzer is not really part of twitter culture but he uses twitter. His story, images, process and language don’t fit the culture.
3. Lines – Common channels, common lines of communications, a capacity to collaborate, share and synchronize. The ability to connect and reconnect in new ways. You can not evolve an art culture without venues, unify a culture without the ability to interact in some ways. A collaborative culture is build on the capacity to communicate and share experiences.
These create a culture and are part of mix of challenges network strategies address.
Culture is really important for collaboration technology to work in a group or organization. If the culture isn't right, "collaboration" as a human process expressed through various communication and collaboration technologies can't take root. I met with a new client earlier this week to talk about a senior management attempt to encourage "collaboration"….