NYCTLF Session 4: Diagnosing Organization & Culture

Intensive session today. Our session leader was Lori Roth Gale, who impressed me greatly. We had four papers to read in advance of the session, and they were so diversely written and various in subject that I had trouble pinning down ahead of time what the focus of our work would be. In part that’s because we’ll be spending two sessions with Ms. Gale, so there’s more time to delve. But it’s also because her her subject, as well as being broadly researched, is grossly encompassing: Diagnosing and enhancing working structures and cultures.

The work today resonated so completely with my nascent “change project” for the Rubin Museum that I was at times impressed into being speechless. The insights came hard and fast, not just about concepts of effective management and leadership, but about the over-arching factor of engendering high-performance culture. We investigated models for non-profit life-cycle, organizational congruence, performance gaps, negotiation styles, and moving toward more positive norms in staff motivation. A very busy day; I’m glad we get a second.

A scattered few personally important insights:

  • What you measure is what you get.

  • What got you to here, won’t get you there.

  • “Oops” is the first step to improvement.

  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

  • Dissatisfaction with the norms can be a driver for change.

I’m looking forward to next week. We have another four papers to digest, and the date of our “change-project” pitches fast approaches. This is a lot of work. Good, growing work.