“In the past a leader was a boss. Today's leaders must be partners with their people. . . they no longer can lead solely based on positional power. ” Ken Blanchard
Today’s leaders must be concerned about the health of their organization in order to maintain their competitiveness. If leaders don’t care about changing organizational culture, it will not happen. Cameron and Quinn, authors of Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture, argue the need to diagnose and manage organizational culture in these turbulent times.
They advocate measuring the organizational health by using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), which uses six content dimensions as a foundation for this institutional review. Unfortunately, some leaders do not understand that their actions impact their corporate culture. A leader’s good behavior can influence organizational culture so that unethical behavior does not become normalcy among followers.
Let’s examine this matter closer. The current Foley scandal in Congress is a good example of not evaluating an organization’s culture. Former congressional aid Hudson blew the whistle on Congressman Foley in an online blog. He went this route because of the organizational culture in Congress. Hudson explains, “It’s the Washington culture that allowed this to happen. ” It’s now known that the FBI, media organizations, and Congress knew about Foley’s misbehavior.
However, it was accepted. No one wanted to rock the boat. However, an effective leader should have corrected this bad culture in Congress. Conducting an OCAI in the government may help solve these unethical problems. Unfortunately, this management tool will be of little value if leaders don’t want the organizational culture to change.
Cameron, K. & Quinn, R. (2006). Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Levey, N. (November 12, 2006). Ex-Congressional Aide’s Blog led to Foley’s Fall. Los Angeles Times.
© 2006 by Daryl D. Green
Daryl D. Green has published over 100 articles in the field of decision-making (personal and organizational), leadership, and organizational behavior. Mr. Green is also the author of two acclaimed books, Awakening the Talents Within and My Cup Runneth Over. For more information, visit his website at http://www.darylgreen.org .