Thursday, March 21, 2013

Richard S. Gallagher: Values and Human Nature

Here's an interview with Richard S. Gallagher, author of The Soul of an Organization and several other books. An excerpt:

Why is there always such a conflict between values and human nature?

Take a value like respecting your employees. If you line up 20 managers and ask them if they respect their employees, they will all say, "Duh, of course." But in many businesses, every time something goes wrong, a new rule or policy gets invented. Enough of these rules and policies, and soon you have an culture that tells employees, "We don't trust you, and we don't particularly like you either." Conversely, a company like, say, USAA develops ingrained values of teamwork by treating their employees well, and then they don't need a thick manual to reinforce that sense of teamwork. And Continental Airlines actually had a ceremony a few years ago where they burned their rule book as part of re-inventing their service culture.

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