Corporate Cultures

1. Cults and Corporate Cultures

A comparison of highly profitable vs less profitable companies reveals quite different corporate cultures, including recruitment, socialization, incentives and mechanisms for creating cohesion. Each of the elements is connected to well researched principles of influence which have parallels in the ways in which cults manifest very persuasive holds on their members. Throughout the session, there is ample discussion of each of the elements and the final period is devoted to the both the positive outcomes and the unanticipated negative consequences of varying kinds of corporate cultures.

Audience: Middle and Senior Management

2. The Innovative Culture: Hot Groups

This module focuses on “hot groups”, those teams with energy and passion that often are highly creative–often found in successful “start ups” like Apple. How these groups achieve such passion and commitment with ensuing creativity is developed and discussed. We then move to a consideration of how one can maintain such creativity as a company matures or how one can instill it in an already mature company. The role of diversity of views and the permission (even welcoming) of dissent is developed with the difficulties of maintaining the balance between creativity and performance in organizations.

Audience: Middle and Senior Management

3. Cultures of Dissent and Innovation

This module focuses on the value of dissent for the detection of novel solutions and better decisions. This is a well researched area (and the faculty member has over 70 publications on this theme) demonstrating that dissent, even hen it is wrong, stimulates a search for more information as well as divergent thinking. The session deals with the difficulty of dissent, of being “different” and the problems it poses for the individual. It also deals with the complexities for the organization and the delicate balance between diversity and openness to dissenting views, on the one hand, and the need for cohesion and cooperation. Role playing and team exercises are used to illustrate the phenomena and its complexities in finding a balance between diversity of views and a welcoming of dissent with the need for cohesion and cooperation. Illustrations are taken from well known companies who have tried various mechanisms to achieve such a balance.

Audience: Middle and Senior Management