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What is culture? And do we start to change it?

by Joe Little, 2 October 2013 | The Agile Blogosphere

This post is from LeanAgileTraining by Joe Little. Click here to see the original post in full.

Some of us in the Agile community think:  an organization’s culture needs to change before agile can be fully adopted.


This certainly seems to be true.


Let’s define this more precisely.  The idea is this:


Before a company can realize the full and extreme benefits of lean-agile-scrum, it must change its corporate culture to be consistent with lean-agile-scrum values and principles.


This can seem a daunting task.


But, first, what is culture?


To me, it is that air in which we live and breathe and have our being.  Well, not exactly that.  It is the culture of the main group or groups within which we live.  It is what is in our heads, as a group. It is values and norms and common behaviors.


So, it includes the idea that we are not individuals (so much), but rather we are more ‘groups’, and that the key ideas or values or principles or norms of the group ‘control’ to a large extent, our behavior.  Without our even thinking about it.


Now, from our point of view in terms of the change, in many ways, the new behavior is more important than new thoughts (or subconscious thoughts or feelings).  But we want the people to be autonomous, and ‘do it on their own’, so we want the thoughts or feelings to be there, so they naturally do it, naturally act agile, on their own.


Moreover,...

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