Corporate expert: "Culture change has to be an ongoing endeavour"

Charlotte Flach Charlotte Flach Editor, C&IT
Corporate expert: "Culture change has to be an ongoing endeavour"

Andrew Cocks, author of Counting the Dance Steps, shares insights into corporate culture he has gained over 20 years of experience.

Why is organisational culture such a hot topic at the moment? Why is it such a pressing issue for businesses?

You only have to listen to a news bulletin to pick up on the current narrative. More and more the roots of all kinds of corporate failings and scandals are blamed on culture. Culture is defined by collective behaviours which are driven by shared assumptions about the consequences of those behaviours. These are self- reinforcing and most often operate at an unconscious level, making behaviours automatic and reflex. This means that often there is a distinct mismatch between what organisations and their leaders say they stand for and how they actually behave. This helps to feed the current levels of mistrust that many people have of many of our public and business institutions, an issue with negative consequences for us all.