Years ago, when I moved to New York from Virginia, I’d occasionally hear people comment that the service ethic down south was, in their opinion, not good. On the flip side, several Virginians mentioned they found New York service lacking.
Was service good in one place and bad in another? That depends on your priorities. In this case, one group placed a higher value on speed, while the other prized friendliness.
Different value systems like these play out everyday with business customers, employees and distribution systems. So, while many organizations have similar goals, their varying cultural environments demand very different approaches.
To forge a feasible path in any environment, you have to see both the forest and the trees. A good consultant can zoom in and zoom out with a perspective rendered hi-def by experience. Plus, our hard-won practicality means we can usually find paths that don’t require extreme clear-cutting measures, which is important when your environment won’t stand for clear-cutting.
On the other hand, if your organization thrives on “the next big thing,” then dramatic change might be just what the doctor orders (or what the consultant recommends).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A well-traveled guide in a diverse array of organizational cultures, Emily Porter has a distinct POV marked by large doses of realism, empathy and outright humor. She has lived and worked in DC, NYC, Boston, Richmond, VA, Minneapolis and now Portland, OR.