Sunday, 5 July 2009

leadership and organisational culture

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, July 05, 2009 with 2 comments
If the culture an organisation wishes to cultivate is not reflected in its leadership, it will never come about.
Leadership must include and reflect and represent the culture it wishes to see in the wider organisation.
So if our Veterans athletics club wants to be of relevance and interest to those under 45 years of age (Gen-X) and wants to attract Gen-Y, who in three or four years time will be eligible to join us if they want to, then the leadership must be seen to embrace, must actually embrace, Gen-X and Gen-Y ideals and aspirations.
For example, the club's decision not to change its name to "Masters", while fine for the Builder (over 65's) generation, and not being of too much concern to us the Baby Boomers (45-65), sends a clear message to subsequent generations that "this club is really not for you, it's ours".
OK, that was the club's decision to make.
But it doesn't position us for the future, not at all. So now I am thinking that the only way to make the same kinds of programs available and attractive to the next generations, is for a new organisation to come into being, led by the young.
I am only thinking. And if it does happen, it certainly won't be my doing. It will be the thirty year olds who start up some parallel club. A Masters club. And they fade in. And we fade out.
But this might not be the only alternative, I don't know. Can anyone suggest other alternative ways forward?

To survive we need to "move with the times". To all be transformed. "Change", anathema to the Builder generation, is Gen-Y's catch-cry. An irony of the Masters debate was a statement I heard, "let's knock this thing on the head once and for all". Sorry, there is no "once and for all" in Gen-Y speak. To Gen-Y, ongoing change is not only inevitable, it is essential. A living organisation embraces change and manages change well. The statement quoted above just shows how different the generations are. But the good news is, we can learn to understand each other, if we all make the effort, and mutual understanding can lead to cooperation and even to an experience of "fitness through fellowship"!


  1. Now I belong to Gen-Y again. :) Yes, we are so about change. All you oldies need to get stuffed! (Actually, in some cases this may already be the case :) )

  2. The current committee is an innovative one AND needs to cater for the oldies AND ALSO needs to position the club to be able to cater for Gen-Y when the time comes. Not easy!

    Aki, I look forward to 28 September 2012 when you join. I hope we are ready for you by then! Yes, you are a true Gen-Y.

    And you are right. We are already stuffed. Although, having just completed a pleasant 12k run in the sun listening to my walkman, not as stuffed as usual.