Using the 4-D System to Analyze Cultures
Franz Kafka said, “In a fight between you and the world, bet on the world.” I say, “In a fight between you and the culture, bet on the culture.”
This is the second of three social context diagnostics. We saw in the previous chapter how innate personality informs what we are most likely to do well, both at the individual and team level. We now use similar methods to analyze the personalities of teams and organizations, commonly called cultures. Cultures flow from the leader and team members’ personalities, historical events, and the larger organizational context.
Asch’s Experiment—Context Alters Perception
I have been presenting a simplified summary of Dr. Solomon Asch’s work from the 1950s for many years. His experiments were wonderfully elegant. He showed subjects two cards, as seen in Figure 7.1
. One card had a single line. Another card had three lines, one of them the same length as the line on the first card.
He asked people to name the line in the second card (A, B, or C) that was the same length as the line on the first card. A child could do this repeatedly without error. However, Dr. Asch arranged to have seven accomplices precede the subject’s report with the same wrong answer. After this, how many of us would give an answer that was plainly wrong? The result is astonishing. One-third of the ...