This story provides insight into Facebook’s culture. The conditions necessary for an organization to succeed, and to withstand a crisis don’t appear to have been evident despite huge expenditures on glitzy and faddish human resource programs. These missing ingredients are trust, a sense of purpose, and a sense of efficacy. An example of how employees are helping leaders realign their thinking, through freedom of expression, is represented here as Google employees organize to fight cyberbullying inside the company.
The memo which defended Facebook’s growth at any cost, now disavowed by the executive who wrote it, is really at the root of Facebook’s problem. Based on the extensive research I have done for my books, it is also the root of the cultures that exist in most organizations. Organizational leadership should learn from this by asking, ‘Do we have a culture of growth at any cost?’
Unfortunately there are some grave misconceptions about workplace culture, as spelled out in this Harvard Business Review article. It would appear that Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, remains out of touch with the company’s culture. She relies on the results of misguided surveys to measure employee engagement and fulfillment. The reality, as exposed by this article, paints a grim, yet more likely realistic picture of the organizations real culture. What happened at Facebook kind of blows the Glassdoor survey to smithereens. Clearly, groups like Bain and Glassdoor are looking at the wrong things in determining best places to work.
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