Why Culture Must Evolve
"A general principle of the historical development of any system: that the conditions which make possible the coming into being of a state of the system are abolished by that state." - Richard Lewonti
Sustaining excellence is inherently challenging. It's part of why we're fascinated with dynasties in sports. How do the Patriots of the 2000s, Warriors of the 2010s, Bulls of the 1990s, maintain success year after year? How do they manage to stay at the top?
This is the holy grail of performance. How can we dominate year after year?
The answer is: by evolving our culture, year after year.
Too many people think of culture as static. We've been led to believe that the best way to build a culture is to identify values, ask people to adopt and embody those values, and then put posters up on the wall.
We'd rather push forward and focus on the tactical, sexy stuff like "strategy" than spend any more time than necessary building a system to sustain excellence. And it makes sense, because sustaining excellence is hard, and creating a culture isn't so tangible.
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