Saturday 12th March, 2011
3:30pm to 4:30pm
You work at a start up. You’re sketching out brilliant ideas on the back of beer-ringed napkins while slurping down ramen noodles and nursing your hangover from the massive party you had in your freakin’ cool loft the night before. Blah, blah, blah. Your culture rocks. I get it.
But what if you work for a dinosaur? An organization that needs cultural rehab more than Amy Winehouse needs straight up rehab? What if you work for an old-school, stereotypically uncool, butt-of-jokes and yet still loved non-profit that is now nationally known as an organization with a “weird child army in tablecloth dresses” (thanks SNL’s John Mulaney)? What if you work for, I don’t know, the Girl Scouts? A place where pantyhose, polyester, and clock watching are still raging like its 1985.
That’s where I work. And despite the many great things that the organization does, working there sucked until we decided to make it not suck anymore. We broke the rules and reinvented everything: clock watching turned into working however we want as long as the work gets done; pantyhose gave way to jeans; and the polyester met its demise on the Sacred Cow BBQ right next to a heap of senseless rules.
Learn how your culture can stop sucking too. Whether it’s sucked for five weeks or five years or half a century, there is still hope. Misery and work don’t have to be synonymous. Corporate doesn’t have to equal crap. If a rebel in a polyester sash can lead cultural rehab, you can rock the rehab too.
Executive Director of @NYTM, writer, speaker, Seth Godin FeMBA grad, blogger for @HarvardBiz. Tweets are my own.
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