Chapter 3. Culture and Critique

Creating a Conducive Organizational Culture

An organization or team’s culture has a huge influence on how critique is incorporated and whether it will be effective. Even if members of a team understand what critique is and have a good grasp of the best practices for giving and receiving it, there are aspects of the culture in which they work that can create obstacles to communication and limit the usefulness and utility of critique.

People, locations, procedures, and more all shape the cultures in which we work. When trying to change any aspect of how people work together within a team, it’s important to examine the culture and environment of that team. If you can identify the cultural and environmental aspects that enable or hinder the changes you’re trying to make, you have a much better chance at identifying suitable approaches and opportunities for making the changes you’re after.

In examining these characteristics with regard to integrating critique, it helps to remember that for the most part when we talk about critique we’re talking about a form of communication between two or more people. With that in mind, it makes sense that the characteristics we’re most interested in are those that affect who is involved in the communication, what they’re communicating about, and when they’re communicating.

Organizational politics, territorialism, and influence are significant and common cultural aspects that influence these things, and we’ll get to them in ...

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