elevenLearning Efforts Reveal Cultural Strengths and Rigidities

The problems that surface with growth are invisible in the sense that they are unintentional, inevitable, and easy to overlook. Ken Olsen and DEC’s senior management saw some of what was happening with success and growth, but they did not fully appreciate how difficult it would be to develop fixes that would work. In a sense, what was invisible to them was the strength of the culture they had created and the difficulties that arose when they attempted to make changes in a still growing and highly successful organization. But learning and experimentation were highly valued, and Ken Olsen’s engineering background led to a tinkering mentality that suffused his thinking not only about ...

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