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Creating a Culture Around Many Cultures

Get the right people on the bus

If we’re lucky, one change the pandemic will bring to the workplace is the end of the idea of a monoculture. An association should have a shared set of values, of course. And it needs to agree on what its strategic goals are. But there’s plenty of room for people to address those things in their own way. You’re getting the right people on the bus, as the familiar line goes, not the same kind of people on the bus.

This awareness is a function of the way work has been disrupted and redistributed in the wake of COVID-19: More people working on different schedules from different places, as well as a greater awareness of the diversity of backgrounds and experiences people bring to work. Different organizations have adopted a range of approaches to these changes, but General Motors has adopted one of the most straightforward ones: In April, CEO Mary Barra said the company’s philosophy going forward would be “work appropriately.”

That is, remote work and shifting roles when they make sense. This has plain practical benefits—savings on office costs, most obviously. And it’s a meaningful recruitment-and-retention tactic when a war for talent is going on. But there are cultural upsides to this too. MIT Sloan School of Management lecturer George Westerman recently wrote that older, more rigid management schemes tended to operate to the detriment of the organization, where people were afraid to speak up about the challenges they faced or the accommodations they needed.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Associations Now.

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