March 4, 2024

Dealing with cultural permafrost

frozen ground with moss

Permafrost is ground that is frozen. The top thin layer will thaw during the summer and flowers will bloom, but the underlying permafrost stays the same, year in and year out.

Is your work culture like this, frozen solid under the surface?

In the natural world, it is the climate that keeps the permafrost in place. How can you change the climate sufficiently for the permafrost to melt and allow real change to occur?

Just like the real thing, cultural permafrost will not be continuous in temperature or depth. It will vary.

Look for where there is most resistance to change and you have found the deep and cold permafrost that will require extra attention and warming.

Look for where the flowers of even small change bloom easily, and here you will find your change champions.

How does this metaphor of permafrost apply to your team – and your organisation?

What would you see or hear that is evidence of cultural permafrost?

What would you see or hear that is evidence of a culture that can move and flex as needed?

Permafrost is the enemy of agility.

Does your organisation need to be agile to cope with today’s changing world?


My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

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