How to Uncover the Unwritten Rules at Your Organization
Within every corporation there are standard policies, or "written rules," that define the internal environment/culture of the organization. However, to be successful, leaders must also understand that written rules often give rise to a variety of unwritten rules. For example, when a major initiative or project is being driven by top leadership, the written rule may be that an employee's future success with the company relies on the employee being a good team player. But the unwritten rule associated with this written rule might be "keep dissenting views to yourself." When attempting to institute a change initiative or help their organization achieve new results, leaders can increase their chances of success by first uncovering the unwritten rules of the organization that may present barriers to change down the line.
Try focusing on these 3 areas to help you uncover the unwritten rules at your organization:
- Motivators: What is important to the employees at your organization? What do they see as a reward and, just as important, what do they want to avoid?
- Enablers: Who are the people that are important to the employees at your organization? In other words, who can help them achieve what they want?
- Triggers: How do the employees at your organization achieve what's important to them? What are the perceived performance measures?