Cool stuff: Different Work | Your Big Adventure | The Fish Pond
Wouldn’t it be great to have a Lonely Planet for your organization? Just imagine that if someone from The Outside came in, he could just wonder around your company with a guide book in his hand.
This is something a temporary tribe needs. They should enter a foreign organization with a travel guide in their pocket.
The Travel Guide To … [your organization].
A travel guide would also benefit the people within your organization. The Natives. It would contain The Story of the company. It would contain the essence of its culture. And lets be honest, most people don’t know their own country.
Creating The Travel Guide is an awesome exercise for any one planning a change in an organization. It assists storytelling and the discovery of culture.
Maps! Stories! Tips! Pictures! Video! Yay!
Some sections and questions to get you started.
Making spatial visual representation of how people view the organization.
E.g. Geographically. Layout of the building. The formal organization. The informal organization. Following the chain of production.
What parts of the organization are a must see for new people?
I worked for a newspaper, and the “must-see” was the printing-press facility.
What are the landmarks of your organization? The things that are very distinctive, things that make it unique.
If you want to travel through the organization, what are the items you can use for orientation? This maybe landmarks, or building features, or a person.
If the organization is housed in a two building layout, the street between the buildings may function for orientation. Or the guys that have put an umbrella in their cubicle. Or, for product development, the core product from which all other products are derived.
Celebrations & Memorials.
What days in the year are special to the organization?
The day it was founded. The day it merged. The day it lost a law suit.
What is the main history story of the organization? Make it awesome by including a timeline!
What are the anecdotes or war stories that are going around to illustrate what kind of organization this is?
In an organization during the late seventies the unions blocked two exists between buildings disrupting production. The company created a tunnel (for real) so it could never be blocked again.
What are the tribes living inside the organization?
Sales and development. After a merger you still can see the different companies. Old and young. Different countries.
And draw a map!
Where there any conflicts between tribes or with competitors?
Habits and rituals.
What are specific habits or rituals in the organization?
Having lunch together. Drinks on friday. Never book a meeting room.
Does the organization have specific language, words or phrases?
I used to hear a lot during meetings: “we take this offline.” They wanted to ask me something after the meeting. Oof.
What is the formal/informal dress code?
Uniforms. Suits. Casual Fridays anyone?
Are employees moving a lot within the organization? Where do new employees come from? Where do people go when they leave?