Thursday, 11 May 2017

Culture Learnings - University, Facebook, Google and Others

What is Workplace Culture?

I read today about Google and Facebook and that the Culture they want to create is that akin to being on a University Campus.

Is that a good thing?

Think back to your University Days. Chances are there were the groups of geeks and jocks. There were the political activists with uncompromising opinions. There were the fun chasing party people perennially hung over and the gamers, even in my day.

There were those with a clear direction as well as those hoping to find their direction, both groups equally motivated but expressing this in quite different ways. There are the aspirational, the dreamers, the grounded, the pragmatists, the cynical and even the disenchanted.

And the diversity of nationalities was always evident. To many, the exposure to ethnic diversity was first experienced at University.

There were those who craved the University life and others who could not wait to get away, each and every day. 

Is this really what Google wants, what Facebook wants?

Arguably, it is what every organisation, every business entity, all sporting clubs and non profit wants. And certainly, every political party needs.

A University Campus represents our first concentrated exposure to a truly diverse environment. We emerge from the confines of secondary school (Senior High) and are thrust unprepared in to a diverse world of Tertiary Education (College). A world where we can branch out and express ourselves, where we learn so much more than what is lectured to us and measured by exam and assignment results.

The experiences and diversity we are exposed to at University strikes me as being the perfect Culture for a progressive business to replicate. An ideal Workplace Culture.

However, I see very little evidence of our mainstream finance and industrial monoliths going down this path.

Perhaps if they did, our traditional corporations and our traditional political parties would be more in touch with current and future customers, and correspondingly, be less threatened by the Googles', Facebooks', EBays', Amazons' and Teslas' of the world.

Consider how powerful a Culture accommodating and respecting true diversity could be?

Food for thought when next Culture is discussed in your workplace.

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