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Date:16/01/2018 04:27 PM
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Article Working in the Cultural Organization: continuation
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Working the Cultural Network
Walt Disney Company
 
 
 
 

 Communications: Working the Cultural Network

Spies

Almost every good senior manager has spies. Typically a spy is a well oiled buddy in the woodwork-someone loyal enough to keep you informed of what is going on. The best spies are people who are liked and have access to many different people; they hear all the stories, and they know who's behind them. Often the best spies came from the ranks of the company storytellers. Most tend to be unthreatening people because they are not  going to progress any higher in the organization, they'll always be taken care of as long as they keep the channels o information open.

These are not spies in the cloak-and dagger sense of infiltrating the boardroom or snooping in the files. Truly effective spies never say a bad word about anybody and thus are much loved as well as much needed. They are so careful that  they won't attempt to color the organizational climate in any way that might impinge on the careers of others. They do this carefully and precisely to keep those valuable channels open.

Instead, sharp spies keep their fingers on the pulse of the organization. Smart managers on the way up latch top spies and develop special friendships with them. They lunch with them once a month and find out from them what is transpiring in their little corner of the cultural network. The use spies to verify the rumor   mill or they  balance the information they get from their secretary.

Recent arrivals to the company are very effective, if unwitting, spies. A newcomer has the freshness of perspective to judge events more clearly than a habitual player. And the the newcomers don't know enough to filter out information that someone more savvy thinks the senior manager shouldn't hear.

Senior managers often cultivate these new workers spies. They might ask. "How have you found your first six months here?" Or, "what's going on out there?" Or, " What do you feel about these changes?" The junior employee, flattered by this unexpected favoritism, will say: "Well, we've got to change something about such and such." And the senior manager will ask, "Oh, why's that? Tell me about it." The junior person will tell the senior manager everything he or she wants to know about what's going on; after this initial, rather intimate conversation, the newcomer is very likely to come back to the senior manager again and again with more insight and information.

Continue reading about 'working the cultural network'.

The cultural network are people defined as:

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