The Vital Concept Of Culture, Part I: Ignore It At Civilization’s Peril

Its is amazing to me how dismissive many supposedly astute people are regarding the importance of a single, strong and accepted culture to any group or organization, large or small. Even though toxic culture-based catastrophes occur at a  constant rate, the message never seems to get through sufficiently for metaphorical lightbulbs to switch on in millions of brains illuminating the thought, “Ah! Of course! Consistent, proven  values and common belief systems plus the societal enforcement of them are essential to our nation’s success, coherence and survival!”  It is amazing.

The unethical, ruthless, quid pro quo culture of Hollywood creates Harvey Weinstein, everybody makes inspiring speeches,, and  yet the core lesson that he was a predictable product of a industry sick culture never seems to sink it. It’s men’s fault. It’s a failure to believe accusers. No, it’s a failure to give proper priority to building and maintaining an ethical and healthy culture.

Baseball’s Houston Astros suddenly are found to have permitted widespread cheating by electronic sign-stealing, and their manager and general manager are fired for not detecting and stopping the problem.  However, the team had already indicated that it was working in a self-engineered “ends justify the means” culture when, in need of a relief pitcher, it signed one who was facing a trial for domestic violence even as the Astros had announced a “no tolerance” policy toward that very same activity.  The sign-stealing wasn’t the scandal; the gradual acceptance and nurturing of a corrupt culture was the scandal.

There are many other examples, but this an introduction, after all. Continue reading