The Borg

A monolithic organisation is one that tries to force assimilation into the dominant culture.

A company is a group of people working together for a common cause.

Have CEOs forgotten that?

Recently I came across an organisation that subscribes to the assimilation by force methodology. And shit didn’t get done!

Working in the technology field, it’s not just important, but vital to innovate. Yet when a culture of an organisation is about blame and ass-covering, is innovation likely to occur? Hell no!

And in organisations like that, there is a likelihood that the customer will NOT get the best service, in reality, they’re likely to be sick of the company, and tell people about it at every occasion.

Now the culture of a company can’t change overnight, but as culture comes from the top, the easiest way to change it is by changing the top.

So how do you fix a company like that. How do you change the culture across the company?

  • Step one: Take away their strength.
    • During a day, remove resources, and increase the pressure.
  • Step two: Self-realisation.
    • By removing resources, you’ll see people be forced to innovate (or see them give up).
  • Step three: Understand the purpose. 
    • Fuck mission, vision & values. What’s the purpose of the company. Your purpose is your driver, agree principles around how you work.
  • Step four: Create a better future.
    • Once they understand what the culture has been like, work on what the company can become. Let them aim for the stars, it’s their dream, and if they create it, they will feel a responsibility to it.
  • Step four: Lead from the front.
    • That’s not micro-managing, it’s showing your staff that you are on board with their ideal future, and you’re going to make it happen.
  • Step five: Get out of the way!
    • If you are impeding your staff, then you’re the problem. Instil a sense of pride in the culture of asking for forgiveness. If you make people ask for permission, you’ve already lost the game.
  • Step six: Know your competitors – talk to them
    • A big issue with companies is that they think they are better than their competitors, yet assume so much about them. Talking to them isn’t that scary, so do it!
  • Step seven: Care about your people
    • It doesn’t matter if you sell toilet paper or run a tech company, the most important asset are your people, treat them as family and you will find the love reciprocated 100 times over.
  • Step eight: Be wrong, and be open about it
    • You’re not running the company because you have the technical knowledge, it’s because you have the people skills, trust in the technical knowledge of your staff. I guarantee they’ll know more than you, and you’ll be wrong.
  • Step nine: Protect your troops
    • If a problem happens, leave it to them to resolve, you’re there to fend off interruptions, so clear their path for them.
  • Step ten: Be humble
    • You are only where you are because of your staff. Your achievements are not yours alone, they are through the abilities of others that your company collectively succeeds. So give them the acknowledgement. A humble leader will always be more.


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