A few months ago I blogged on how systems trump intentions because systems create behaviors. In discussing the attempted Christmas bombing plot, Dave Logan makes the good case that the reality goes one step further: culture trumps systems. Hence, no amount of systemic change will ultimately solve the problems that led to the security breach if the culture is not changed as well.
This is a good lesson for all organizations.
Here’s one of the core excerpts from the article:
The problem is organizational culture. As Peter Drucker, the late father of modern management, said: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Culture says it’s OK to not think creatively about how a lead might connect to other information. Culture says that following up on leads eventually is soon enough. Culture says that doing what’s in our job description is “good enough for government work.”
Until we target culture as the issue, all we’re accomplishing with systemic fixes is the illusion of action.
No amount of Obama-style fixes will make a stupid culture any smarter, and remember, culture eats strategy — and systems — for breakfast.
In his press conference, President Obama said, “Ultimately, the buck stops with me. When the system fails, it is my responsibility.” The question is: Why is no one taking responsibility for the cultures that produce these failures?