When we want things to change, we need to act. There is no circumstance where this applies more than in the culture of the teams and organisations that we work in.
Ultimately culture is a reflection of all of our actions, all of our behaviours and all of our shared beliefs and opinions. It is a reflection of us. Which means if we’re not happy with how things are, we need to start by asking what we can change.
Before you start to tell me that individuals can’t change the organisation, of course to some extent that is true. But we can each change the way that we show up, the way that we are and the way that we interact with others. We can’t change the whole, but we can change our impact.
There is no point in complaining about how things are, unless you’re willing to help make a change. There is no point in wanting things to be different, unless you’re willing to make that so.
It reminds me of a joke that I head a number of years ago in an entirely different context:
A little down on his luck, Joe decides to ask God for help. He begins to pray…
“God, please help me. These last few years have been tricky for me and it’s about time I had a bit luck. I’ve never asked you for much, but I need my life to change. So God, please let me win the lottery.”
Lottery night comes and somebody else wins it.
Joe again prays…
“God, I’m going to ask you again. I need my luck to change. Please let me win the lottery!”
Lottery night comes and Joe still has no luck.
Once again, he prays…
“My God, why have you forsaken me?? I don’t often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE just let me win the lottery this one time so I can get my life back in order.”
Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Joe is confronted by the voice of God Himself: “Joe, meet me halfway on this. Buy a ticket.”