The colour of culture

We got the whole of the extended management team together today to talk about our new ways of working.  It’s the first time that we’ve really given it a good go as a single group.  We’ve talked about it many times as individuals and in smaller meetings but not with everyone.

It was a great event.  We split into small groups and the facilitators went round to ask specific questions and garner opinions in a sort of speed dating kind of way.  My questions were two fold.  I’ll come back to ones that we had about our meeting culture in future but the ones I want to cover here were about colour.

I had two questions to ask. What colour would you use to describe the culture of the Council? What colour would you like the culture of the Council to be?

I was transported back to last month’s blog and had a rainbow of colours floating through my mind.

The answers were interesting and quite consistent.  Most people when asked the first thought of drab, dull and unexciting colours such as browns, beiges and ochres.  They thought about being generally stale, dowdy, a bit old fashioned and generally in the autumn of its expectations.  The culture was seen as not particularly welcoming, bland and sometimes like wading through treacle.

Caput mortem sprung to mind.

When thinking about the future though everyone had a different view.  Al of the colours were bright and shiny.  Yellow like the sun, green like new shoots or silver like bling.  We were thinking optimistic, can do, energetic, vigorous, light, excitement, vibrant, modern and fresh.

How odd.  How come what we want to be is so remote from where we are?  We are the culture now and we will be the culture in the future.  It could be that our thoughts about today’s culture have been coloured by general perceptions of public services.  So what is going to change?

Anyway, the future is bright, the future is xanthic.

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