The culture, they say, is the biggest asset that any organisation can have. Yes, the culture, when it is started is the biggest asset but as with every long-term asset, it has its own depreciation rate. In a stark contrast to other accounting assets, culture is one asset that doesn’t depreciate to zero - it goes beyond that. It goes on to become a negative asset or a liability. The rate of depreciation then starts increasing and the liability of culture on the organisation starts increasing. It can go on to a point where the organisation becomes bankrupt just because of the strong culture that it had.
The rate of depreciation of the culture is higher if it is founded on principles of “information is power and must be preserved to derive competitive advantage”. Unfortunately, in an environment which is highly competitive, this principle is more fundamental to the existence of the organisation than any other. And this tenet of closed-door working philosophies lead to an environment which further speeds up these legacy costs.
It is these bankrupt conditions that prevent (when in fact they should promote) the efficient functioning of a change agent – an agent who looks to examine the conditions and precursors to the asset of culture being adopted and also if that baggage needs to be carried any longer. Any overhaul suggested is seen as tampering the sacrosanct liability accrued over years!!!
Looking to be the change agent...