Culture and the Process of Elimination

There always seems to be a bad apple in your company. And you know what they say about one bad apple.

Image Credit: vauvau, CC
Image Credit: vauvau, CC

But once you track down and toss out that one bad apple, another one sours to take his place. Whether it happens quickly or more gradually, the cycle is inevitable…right?

I often hear managers and business owners lament this “law of nature”. According to them, there will always be at least one bad apple. Weeding them out builds a stronger team and a better corporate culture. They’re building culture by the Process of Elimination.

While it’s true that businesses must separate from some employees, I postulate that the majority of these “bad apples” are victims of a bad culture. There are a lot of terrible cultures out there:

  • The Micro-Management Culture, the devolved form of a culture that demands excellence.
  • The Individualist Culture, the devolved form of a culture that demands competence.
  • The Under-Utilizing Culture, the devolved form of a culture that demands teamwork.

See! Bad cultures start out as good cultures, and then coast through “systems” designed to “maintain” the culture or way of doing things.

Unless you’re building a culture of empowerment, inclusion, and ownership, you’re probably finding that every bad apple is replaced as quickly as you nix or fix the problem. The fact is, you might be growing bad apples.

That’s all for today, and here’s why: I need your help finishing this post! Tell me: How do you prevent trying do build your culture by the Process of Elimination? How do you maintain a healthy team?


One thought on “Culture and the Process of Elimination

  1. This post makes a lot of sense and I liked it! Don’t treat the symptoms, treat the disease! Treat your culture to create an environment for people to grow! Thanks for sharing! P.S. I like the new layout a lot

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