When trying to lead culture change, it is always useful to realize that organizations are not just groups of rational decision makers, but also bundles of interdependent rituals, habits, and routines. The up side is that routines translate knowledge into action in a way that conserves energy and resources—we don’t have to think through everything that we do every time that we do it! The down side is that much of the essential logic of any organizational system tends to sink to an unconscious level, hidden from view, like the proverbial bottom two thirds of an iceberg.
That may not be a problem until the world starts to change around us, and we have to rethink what we do, how the changes we need to make fit with the rest of the organization’s capabilities and goals, and how it all creates value for customers. It’s an intriguing set of challenges!