The “C” Word

I’ll just bet you’re wondering what “c” word I might be talking about…

  • Consultant
  • Compensation
  • Competencies
  • Capacity
  • Communication
  • Change
  • Community-building

Nope.  And not that other one, either.  This is a professional blog, keep it clean.


Who among us has not gotten a little squeamish when someone in HR or OD uses the word? 

Don’t get me wrong, I think culture is hugely important, but when I hear of HR colleagues working on “culture initiatives” or “changing our culture”, I worry that we are heading down Alice’s rabbit hole into Wonderland, especially if it is on the HR strategy or we are talking directly to executives about funding for an initiative.  This is potentially a credibility-killer for us in HR type roles.  Does your executive or board really care about culture, or do they care about the impacts of culture?  I think for the majority of organizations it is the latter.  In some organizations, it’s neither and my advice is: “suck it up, buttercup” and recognize that you are not going to change it my putting in a “culture initiative” or strategy.  You are going to have to be more creative.  A better “c” word if you ask me.

Holly MacDonald is an independent consultant with well over 15 years of experience in the learning & development field.  Holly is a bit of a techno-geek and can often be found playing online.  When she steps away from her computer, she spends time outside: hiking, kayaking, gardening and of course walking the dog.  She lives on Saltspring Island and is a leader in the live/work revolution.


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