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  The Urban Putty Newsletter

The Newsletter from The Acorn Centre
Vol. 2. No. 5
September 2003

Organizational Culture 101

Is the business culture the best remaining vestige of the Darwinian theory - that only the strong survive?

Is the business culture, based on profit, take-over, competition and the raw application of power over others (the aardvark of the human environment) missing the opportunities to expropriate from so many other models?

Power in the pursuit of wealth, as the business equation is proposed, seems to be a reduction of itself into a capsule of "whatever it takes" to make it happen. The corporate model of generating new business and ever more sales, whether or not those sales are mutually beneficial to both consumer and provider, seems so open to ridicule and shame that one has to wonder if the model itself is not self-defeating.

Entrepreneurs are taught how to market, budget, read profit and loss statements, make decisions, compete and win! They are not taught the value of intuition, imagination, or common sense. Reason, ethics and stored memory trump the former three.

But they are not conscious, for the most part, of their participation in the reductionism of the corporate world. Let's make an obvious, if not exhaustive, list.

First, each individual is reduced to a function with a skill set, from the moment the hiring process begins. Then plunk this human "carburetor" into the corporate engine as quickly as possible, with the least amount of disruption and at a minimum cost.

Next, those with power, the lower level managers, frequently cut back on the application of policies that provide legitimate, negotiated and merited leave for personal emergencies. This results in a de facto redundancy of those very policies, without the people at the top even noticing.

Then there is the politics within every office, whereby those on the "inside" do not talk to those on the "outside", and the water fountain talk creates at least two levels of gossip: the one with a modicum of veracity, and the one without any.

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