Today's blog in the #BeTheRippleBlogs series is a thought-provoking piece from Raf Uzar entitled 'The Power of Culture'.
Raf is an award-winning motivator and facilitator committed to Communication, Learning & Development, Organisational Development, culture and strategy. His diverse experience ranges from managerial L&D, coaching and mediation to translating, editing and speech writing.
You can find Raf on LinkedIn: Here and on Twitter: @rafaluzar
Over to Raf:
The Power of Culture
"Power is only important as an instrument for service to the powerless."
With all this talk of the trends facing us in the post-Covid era like ‘new normal’, ‘agility’, and ‘embracing digital’ we are in danger of losing sight of the things that are even more important to us in these new times, like solidarity, empathy, and simple kindness.
The recent “Back to the Future” report of 2020 by Emerald Works begins by proudly stating that “innovation in culture trumps innovation in digital”. This could not be more apt.
Our learnings and focus should undoubtedly be on building cultures that work, not working on a digital substitute that only gives the impression of innovation and change.
“Back to the Future” also tells us that workplace cultures that are most focused on learning i.e. ‘High-Impact Learning Cultures’ most significantly have an positive effect on: (i) improving staff retention, (ii) increasing the sharing of good practice, and (iii) enhancing employee well-being. These are all tangible and practical goals for a better work environment. Culture should always come first.
The Culture of Power
"In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot."
So what is our role in the grand scale of things? Whether we are L&D professionals, HR business partners, OD consultants, learning practitioners, well-being officers, or just plain old ‘colleagues’, our task can be summarised as those simply committed to making life in our companies more palatable, acceptable, or dare we say it, enjoyable.
Whatever our position or sphere of influence, we are all charged with making life better for our fellow workmates. In fact, the word “company” derives from the Latin companio, literally “bread fellow” (com + panis = together + bread). Companionship is not such a bad thing. Even in the workplace.
Power is fluid, recalcitrant, and ephemeral. We all have it, possess it, and share it to a greater or lesser extent. A purported perception of its lack can never be used as an excuse for not doing good or helping others. However, those with more power no doubt have a greater responsibility for putting it to good use.
Speaking up and speaking out, rather than staying silent or standing back is not only a responsibility, but also a conviction and attitude that can be learnt. Therefore it can also be taught.
Professionals involved in workplace culture, learning, and organisational development can all have a hand in bettering the workplace by helping put in place procedures, plans, and processes that teach employees to care, albeit formalistically at first, but in time these policies and practices and can turn into routines and habits that forge caring and kindness in the workplace.
"Keep up the good work, if only for a while, if only for the twinkling of a tiny galaxy."
Thank you so much to Raf for sharing this piece, we would love to know what your thoughts are.
If you are not yet a member of the #BeTheRipple community, we would love you to join us. You can find us on Twitter: @BeTheRipple2020 and/or in our LinkedIn community: Here
Thank you once again to Raf for sharing this piece, an interesting view of power. and culture within organisations.
If you would like to submit a blog for this series, please send your work via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send to me via LinkedIn.
You can find PDFs of all blog pieces: