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Serious cultures, frivolous cultures, cold cultures Serious cultures, frivolous cultures, cold cultures
by Joseph Gatt
2022-01-14 09:03:24
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Of all the organizations I was associated with in the past, I would say the organizations can fit into three categories of corporate culture: serious, frivolous or cold and distant.

Serious organizations are those where the future of the organization and the problems encountered at the organization are a constant discussion topic among colleagues. The problems encountered by the organization are discussed in full, solutions are seriously contemplated and offered, and the future of the organization is a constant topic for contemplation.

Frivolous organizations are those where leisure is more of a discussion topic and where jokes and play are constantly discussed, but nothing really gets done at the professional level. That is, clients and associates are a constant topic for ridicule, and their serious complaints are not taken into account. The main culture at the organization is having fun and making fun of other people, and little else gets done.

prg00001_400Cold and distant organizations are those where little talk ever takes place. That is, the organization wants to succeed, but there is no conversation about the future or about the problems the organization faces. The problems the organization faces are not discussed. Most bosses in such organizations refuse to discuss problems or the future, and pass on problem fixing to their subordinates.

So let's see how individual styles who meet a different blend of organization play out.

Serious individual meets frivolous organization: the serious individual is going to try to fix problems when the organization is all about having fun. The serious individual probably has a serious career plan when the frivolous organization did not intend to hire individuals who are serious about their careers. The individual should consider another organization.

Serious individual meets cold organization: you see that a lot among Europeans and North Americans who work for East Asian organizations. The American will work for the Chinese corporation expecting problems to be dealt with seriously, only to encounter organizations that deal with staff and with problems coldly. Many people confuse being serious with being cold, but there's a difference. Serious people constantly discuss problems, cold people give the impression that they are serious about problems, but they really don't care about problems. The problem with cold organizations is that you never know if they are being serious or frivolous.

Frivolous individual meets serious organization: the individual will get depressed and will complain about no one paying attention to their jokes. The individual will attempt to blend in seriousness with fun, but a lot of times the jokes and mockery won't be welcome topics. And individual who likes to joke around will be depressed, perhaps even aggressive facing all the serious talk.

Frivolous individual meets cold organization: This is when the individual will try to set up a more relaxed atmosphere, will try to break the ice by throwing jokes, and will be asked to sit quietly and to be more discreet. The frivolous individual will probably get bored very quickly working for such organizations.

Cold individual meets serious organization: The serious organization will have trouble figuring out whether the individual is “thinking” or “does not care”. The organization will have trouble reading the individual's mind. There will be speculation at first that the individual cares or does not care. But if the organization finds evidence that the individual does not care and is not seeking information, they will probably fire him.

Cold individual meets frivolous organization: will probably laugh at the jokes the first couple of days but will go back to his cold ways. The individual will be the subject of many jokes, but probably won't get fired. But some of the jokes and mockery can be painful to the individual and can result in anger outbursts that will be further subject to mockery.

And that's how organizations play out.

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