How NOT to do Anything About Culture in Building and Construction
The recently released Culture Standard for the Construction Industry (https://www.cultureinconstruction.com.au/culture-standard/ ) is a classic example of how to look like culture is identified and being addressed, when it is not. Here are a few tips to keep up appearances:
- The first and most important thing when speaking about culture is to not define it.
- Similarly, one can use the word ‘culture’ but make sure you substitute its meaning for: systems, behaviours, values or psychosocial well-being – which of course are small elements of culture.
- Once you create the idea that the topic is about culture you then shift any sense of meaning to things like ‘Time of Life’, ‘Well-Being’ and ‘Diversity’ and ‘Inclusion’.
- Once culture has not been defined then continue to speak about ‘culture’ as if the term has meaning.
- Then it’s time to address the hidden concerns: economics, performance, psycho-social issues and productivity.
- Issue standards that relate to the above but make sure that the underlying issues related to culture remain hidden.
- Make sure the productivity and performance underpin the language of ‘culture’.
- Frame standards in economic terms.
- Include charts of economic and productivity performance.
- Add set photos of people in construction attire, smiling and happy in neat graphic design
Don’t get me wrong, this document has some good things to say about well-being, gender diversity and work-life issues but it says precious little about culture.
Then again when the highest selling product in the safety industry is a product selling checklists called ‘safetyculture’ (https://safetyculture.com/ ) what could you expect?
If you want to learn about culture then you can study here: https://cllr.com.au/product/culture-leadership-program-unit-15-overseas-elearning/
Download the documents:
- Draft Culture Standard: Draft Culture Standard for Construction (58 downloads)
- Cultural Maturity Scorecard: Culture Maturity Scorecard – Consultation Paper (52 downloads)
- Fact Sheet: CULTURE STANDARD FACTSHEET (166 downloads)