Friday, January 21, 2005

Culture and Perceptions Make Reality

Culture and Perceptions Make Reality

This morning I read Seth Godin's account of him serving on jury duty this week. Which reminded me of my jury duty experience about 18 months ago, which I wrote about here.

The two experiences were quite different. I found folks took the task seriously. Seth found people acting with distaste for the system. Seth and I both found it a fascinating opportunity for duty...but apparently our peers had different views.

I suspect culture is central to this difference, perhaps primary. North-central Indiana and Westchester County, New York are, culturally speaking, a very long ways apart. Thus, running a trial will encounter very different responses.

Which reminds me again just how important culture is in influencing any change or growth effort in a company. People are not automatons, they are not cookie-cut-outs that behave the same in response to the same stimuli. People are a product of their region, their backgrounds, their experiences, the norms of the area. We hire out of a certain region and background set. To ignore this is to be incredibly naive.

I hope this is helpful.

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