a painting of the author, the description of the blog, and his URL: rickkitagawa.com/blog

The Teeth of Culture

Your teeth are pretty durable, are incredibly important, and can go a pretty long time partially damaged. Preventative care is usually the best route, but we often put this off.  Why? 

Cavities grow and can become painful, but it might take years before you’d damage them so bad that even repeated trips to the dentist wouldn’t be able to fix them. That said, if you neglect them, a tooth infection can literally kill you (as one almost did to me). 

Your organizational culture is a lot like your set of teeth. Investing in people and culture is often overlooked as the industrial way of looking at work often incentivizing grinding your people up and hoping they last. And even though the culture might be painful and toxic, an organization can survive for quite a long time. 

Until it doesn’t. 

Just like my stay in the hospital due to a tooth infection, it’s much less painful to take care of your people than let discontent, disengagement, and churn bubble up and destroy your organization.

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