Culture is language

In large bureaucratic organizations, it is difficult to change the way things are done.

You don’t control who your boss is. Oftentimes, you don’t decide who reports to you. The company’s policy is set in stone, and its budget is tightly allocated. Its rulebook would be considered ahead of its time only if you lived in the eighteenth century.

In such an environment how does one change such a company’s culture?

Even in the most bureaucratic of environment, we retain control over several things. We decide how to welcome colleagues on their first day on the job or after they return from a vacation. We choose whether to order, coerce or convince somebody to do our bidding. We control the tone of our voices and the expressions on our faces. During meetings, we can decide to amplify voices that are otherwise suppressed and suppress voices that are too loud.

Even in the most stringent of work environments, we are in control of the language we use. Like a river cuts that through a canyon, this language is powerful enough to change the culture.

Inspiration: Leadership is Language

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