Home Concepts Organizational Theory The Geometry of Character and Culture

The Geometry of Character and Culture

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The process dimension will always “trump” structure. The leaders of an organization can have a formal policy in place, but the “real” way in which this policy is enacted (process) may diverge significantly from the policy. Technologies can be purchases for use in an organization, but this does not mean that the technology is being used in a proper manner—or that the new technologies is being used at all. Process is changed not by issuing additional policies, but by offering education, training, and related developmental strategies. If all else fails, then process is modified by offering rewards (the “carrot”) or imposing penalties for non-compliance (the “stick”).

The third dimension (attitude) identified by Watson can’t be seen or viewed either as a snapshot or movie. Attitude is felt but not seen. It is inferred from the ways in which members of an organization solve problems, manage conflict and make decisions—but it is always an inference. Attitude concerns how members of an organization feel about working in the existing structure and engaging other members of the organization through use of specific processes.

Attitude will often “trump” both structure and process. We might be forced to “dance” (process) in a specific “ballroom” (structure), but don’t have to like this dance or this ballroom—and we are likely to modify the dance (especially when those in authority aren’t looking) and might soon be looking for alternative ballrooms where a different dance is prescribed (or at least allowed).

The first of Watson’s three dimensions seem immediately to fit with two of the mathematics domains. The mathematics of structure (algebra) seems, obviously to be related to Watson’s structural dimension, while the mathematics of change (analysis) seems to be related to Watson’s dimension of process. But what about the third dimension that Watson identifies. Does attitude relate to the third mathematical domain (geometry)? I think there is a bridge to be built between attitude and geometry that provides for new approaches to or at least insights about masterful professional coaching.

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