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A Direct Line Blog

Is it Courage or Culture?

September 5, 2018 7:30 am

By Donya Parrish, VP- Risk Management

Have you ever come to a meeting and been told “but, we don’t do it that way” before you even got to explain an idea in full? It happens, and it can be both intimidating (and limiting) to newer board members, as well as your management team. For many people, it might be the last time they ever speak up voluntarily. Is that the culture you want for your board of directors?

A recent article The Courage to Speak Up highlights the fact that while it is easy to blame leadership when this happens, others who are able to speak up and assist with changing the culture are also responsible for doing so. The article notes, “Of course, one different interaction in one meeting won’t change the culture right away. But consistent Interaction Interventions* can inspire more and more others to think and interact differently… and the ball starts rolling. And then, one day, the new has become normal.”

So, what is your culture? Is it what you intend it to be or just “how we have always done it”? Maybe your annual strategic planning session is a good time to focus on change. Most facilitators would be willing to be the one to suggest change. I, for one, have never been the quiet one in the room!


*The article’s author, Marcella Bremer defines Interaction Interventions this way: “An (Inter)action Intervention is what you say, ask, or do to make the culture more positive, regardless of your position, without needing permission or resources.”

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