Posts Tagged ‘organizational norms’
Every organization has a set of beliefs, or norms, that guide day-to-day interactions and processes. Organizational beliefs help to frame our decision-making and allow us to be consistent and efficient. In local government, there are a lot of them. Sometimes, however, our beliefs become so ingrained that we use them as an excuse for not moving forward. Our beliefs can prevent us from making the change we know we need to make. You may not even be aware of the beliefs that are preventing you or your organization in local government from making the change that is screaming to be made.
Oftentimes, these inhibiting beliefs are expressed as what ‘œeveryone knows.’ If you’ve been around long enough and your organization is bureaucratic in any way (what local government organization isn’t bureaucratic?), you’ve probably heard a few.
Here are some beliefs that I’ve heard when it comes to working in Local Government:
‘œEveryone knows’ that’¦
· You can’t fire government employees.
· Most government jobs can’t be measured.
· Enterprise fund departments can do whatever they want because they make money.
· The Police Department gets whatever they want.
· The public ‘œloves’ the Fire department.
· Performance evaluations are meaningless.
· The Legal Department will say ‘œno.’
You can probably come up with your own list of ‘œeveryone knows’ for your community and local government organization. Logically and realistically, we know that these assumptions are inaccurate. Anyone of them can and has been proven false in government agencies across the country. Yet, perceptions and preconceived ideas persist.
We are all being challenged to reinvent how public services are being delivered. Our traditional structures, approaches, and models are not sustainable as we move into the future. The shifts we are facing beg the question: ‘œWhat beliefs prevent us from moving forward?’
As you begin to redefine your organization and chart the future, ask yourself, ‘œwhat is it that ‘˜everyone knows’ and how are those beliefs impeding our progress?’
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