I recently read an
interesting piece on organizational culture
(not a new piece; one I just
found) that focused on organizational mythology. By “mythology” I don’t mean
falsehood. I mean the stories that are told, and retold, within an organization,
stories that express something at the core of the experience of being a member
of that organization.
The article focused specifically on certain types of myths
common to some organizations. The myth of the boss who does not shy from doing
what front-line employees do (in the army, this is called a soldier’s general).
The myth of the leaders who care more about their employees than about
themselves, who sacrifice for the team by offering better benefits, or meeting
the unique needs of individual employees in hard times, or preserving jobs at
the expense of profits or even of their own income.
The myth of the leader who treats mistakes, even large ones,
as growth opportunities, who asks “what can we learn?” rather than “who do we
burn?” when things go badly wrong.