Dysfunctional organisational cults

From Chapter 3 Creating the Right Environment for Design by Julian Jenkins, one of the essays in the book Design Thinking edited by Thomas Lockwood.

Nine cultural mindsets that are endemic with the modern organisation that are enemies of design

Dysfunctional organisational cults vs
Design-friendly cultural environments:

Cult of control and hierarchy vs
Culture of empowerment and authorisation

Cult of performance and short-term success vs
Culture of learning from failure and looking for long-term outcomes

Cult of efficiency and cost-cutting vs
Culture of effectiveness and value creation

Cult of productivity and busyness vs
Culture of reflection and focussed action

Cult of competition and empire-building vs
Culture of collaboration and shared purpose

Cult of compliance and assurance vs
Culture of judgement and trust

Cult of risk avoidance vs
Culture of possibility and experimentation

Cult of blame-shifting and arse-covering vs
Culture of truth-telling, of honest critique

Cult of rigorous process as salvation vs
Culture of heuristics and agility

Throw together the cult of performance and short-term success with the cult of productivity and busyness and what do you get? A performance management system that rewards those staff who are seen to work long hours, achieve quick wins, and fix short-term problems, rather than recognising the value of staff who take the time to think and play with ideas; who take on large, complex challenges with no easy solution; and who apply a long-term strategic view.

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