Developing Culture Not Rules

Last week I visited my university’s library, where I spend most of my time while at campus. Before entering into library, students have to submit their bags in a bag room at library’s entrance and get a receipt (token) for their bag.

Let’s get to the point, this time before leaving the library with my friend we got in the bags room, to take her bag back. There was no officer in the room as one used to be and she just carried her bag without returning any token. I asked, don’t we have token system now? She replied, “Nope, our university administration is now working on developing culture instead of rules.”

I like that approach. Changing the focus from whether the students should be trained to follow the rules, developing university culture is 1000 times better.

Same things applies in business places too. Henry Stewart, who is founder and CEO of Happy Ltd, writes in his new book Happy Manifesto, “In many organizations response to something wrong is to create a new rule. Over the time they end up with more rules than anybody can possibly remember, many of which are no longer relevant. We at Happy, talk about having system (culture) rather than rules.”

His company was being rated the best company in UK for customer service (by Management Today) and the 2nd best place to work in the country (Financial Times).

Culture is about everything you do. Do you people try to develop a friendly culture in your organization? What are the benefits of not having rules but culture? Let’s talk more in comments.

1 Comment

  1. Kamil Ali says:

    Nice thought Waqas!

    Sure, that’s what we learn in Management. Culture is very important.
    Management is not suppose to force employee to follow rules. People should learn to internalize the effective culture.

    How does it happen? Change!

    Change, perhaps, the most resisted thing on earth. Generally, people don’t want to change once they have made up their minds. (Change is even more difficult in marketing, comparing to management.)

    Writing your mission statement on the wall might not even change the culture. Culture is changes comes inside out

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