Written by Gary Delbridge. This was originally posted on The Sales Professor Blog by our OMG Partner affiliate in Australia, Objective Assessment and is reposted here with minor modifications.
More than 20 years ago, while working in the area of corporate transformation, I came across a fascinating explanation of the nature of culture within companies. I, like many people, saw the culture of a company as something “inherent” in any organization. But until that time, I failed to understand how it came into being and underestimated the enormous impact it had on the performance of those within a company.
While studying “Total Quality Management” in 1992, I came to understand that a company’s culture is like a virus; good or bad it invariably infects all of those within the company, including all new people that join the company. It fascinates me that companies often seek to “bring in new blood” when they recognize that they have a problem with their culture — only to find that the anticipated changes and improvements are ineffective. Often, in fact, the resistance to change is so great that either the “new blood” leaves the company or succumbs to the path of least resistance — the existing company culture. In short, they are assimilated.