The cultural litmus test

When alarm bells start ringing, look at the prevailing culture. Is it passive, unquestioning, timid, fearful, unreflective and rigid, or is it inquisitive, open, forgiving, reflective, permissive and flexible? If the first set of words seems more apt, a problem is likely to be bottled up there. Here are some cultural approaches to watch out for, and some suggestions about your response.

A reckless culture

If a business takes for granted its ability to do what it wants to do, to succeed where it wishes, because it has had previous success, it may plunge into trouble when things don’t work out exactly as planned. Here are five examples:

  • In March 2011, the Financial Services Authority reported on the collapse of ...

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