In my recent farewell chat with HR (otherwise known as an exit interview), we ended up talking about cultures and changing a culture. The HR officer, as a sweeping generalisation, said that cultures are entrenched and hard to change. That, to me, is fascinating because I have been in the organisation for a long time and I know that cultures do change. All culture is temporary; and it is formed by the people who are there, whether they care or not. In fact, the culture is always evolving and whether it is for the better or not, is up to the management to be aware of it and to play an active role in shaping it, by the way they communicate, including the example they set.
What we may not have been thinking about more consciously when we talk about changing people’s mindsets is the stories that we tell ourselves. For example, this HR officer’s story about culture is that they tend to be entrenched. And that may have a role in reinforcing the status quo because people just use culture as a blackbox reason to attribute things to, and then don’t try to change things.
I previously wrote about the stories that we as millennials should be more conscious we are telling ourselves, and to learn to develop what it takes to be able to rewrite that story. So forget about trying to change mindsets by talking about concepts and plain facts, it is necessary for you to start thinking about the stories we are telling ourselves and each other.