It’s Culture, You Stupid!
Posted May 9, 2007on:
I believe culture will always be the answer. It may not always be the ultimate answer but I believe that culture is always playing a role in every problem within an organization or a society.
Culture is Everything
When Lee Kuan Yew became the Prime Minister of Singapore he knew he did not have a rich land he could explore. In fact what he got was probably the smallest country in the whole world. God obviously did not inherit Singapore with enough natural resources like Indonesia or Malaysia. So Lee Kuan Yew knew that the only way he could make his country a prosperous nation was by exploiting its human resources. He knew that was his only choice. And to make it happen he knew he needed a cultural revolution! Lee Kuan Yew successfully made Singaporeans as a society of people who are proud of their nation and who always thrive to seek perfection. But in doing so he always reminded his people not to forget their religious and eastern values as he once said, “Be modernized but not westernized!” First, his approaches were considered ridiculous by many people but now Lee Kuan Yew is a living God to people of Singapore.
Not only in a country like Singapore that culture was considered as the key to prosperousness, Jack Welch, the famous CEO of 20th Century, knew from the beginning that if he had had to fix General Electrics culture would have been his number one priority. Jack Welch wanted to make not only a big organization but a winning organization. He declared a revolution. He first sold some of GE’s business units, made a big layoff within the organization effecting more than 100,000 employees (a decision he said to be so tough), eliminated layers of management in the company, and made his famous announcement to GE’s business-unit leaders, “Be number one or number two in your market, if not, you’ll be fixed, closed down, or sold!” Then Jack Welch transformed GE into a learning organization, a new culture that was always eager to find new knowledge not only from the organization itself but more importantly Welch encouraged all his employees to seek knowledge from the outside and competitors. This learning culture proved to be so effective and powerful that its legacy can be seen even until today.
So, who says that Culture is nothing? It’s everything, you stupid!
Picture was taken from sini