Over the years, my clients have come from all business sectors: for-profit, non-profit, not-for-profit, government, large, small, health care, pharma, manufacturing……you get the idea.
I’m trying to check my own arrogance here. There is a phenomenon I (think) I experience when I walk in the door of an organization. It’s called “Getting a strong indication of the organization’s culture by how I’m treated”.
One organization treats me almost like family. I’m welcomed. People say hello, smile real smiles, may even stop and chat. Its a warm, fuzzy kind of belonging and acceptance. (I like it).
Another organization ignores me. Worse yet, I feel scorned. People don’t seem to have the time to give to provide me with directions to my destination. It feels almost physically cold. (I don’t like it).
And then there is every variation of treatment in between. Some organizations require me to sign away my first born child in order to enter the premises. Others are open, and not averse to allowing me to wander. I understand some of this (highly secretive work, or work that is highly regulated will influence this). But some of it seems excessive.
Of course, I understand that I may only be viewing a small piece of the larger organization.
Nonetheless, how someone is treated (even a “vendor” – like myself) when they walk in the door is an important thing for a leader to pay attention to. It may provide clues to leadership style, and the effect that leader has on the culture.
An example to consider might be the difference in the work culture between the Bush administration and that of the new president. What might we expect? How might the culture of the White House extend beyond – to Congress, other governmental agencies, to our nation?