This programme involves development of a better organizational culture. We use internationally tested and accepted models tohelp the team review their existing culture, identify characteristics of adesirable culture and plot how to get there. We guide the team to focus oncultures exhibited by high performance teams, and agreeing on ways ofsustaining the desired culture.
Programmes have also been designed to integrate different cultures and backgrounds. East Africa enjoys one of the most diverse cultures in the world, with Africans, Europeans and Asians mingling freely – each with their widely diverse sub-cultures. English,or Swahili, tend to be the common languages, but each group brings its own assumptions about what is ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’ behaviour. Programmes have been designed to build acceptance, understanding and respect between people working together in the organizations; i.e. different:
- Hierarchies and number of years worked: it is often the case that employees who have worked for longer in an organisation find it hard to work together with more recent arrivals. When new staff are hired, they typically bring new energy, innovative ideas and enthusiasm, which might be met with resistance from the older staff, who often say, “this is how we have always done it, and it’s always worked”.
- Departments and levels: Some departments feel superior or more important than others; some may feel that other departments look down on them. The DEPOT offers programmes to harmonize interaction between functions or thematic groups.
- Customers and suppliers: This involves developing respect and empathy for internal and external partners and customers; aligning objectives and priorities; and planning for win-win.
- Genders: Enabling gender interactions to be more effective, and eradicating harassment issues
- Origins: enabling people of different origins and hence cultures to work together effectively
- Local and international staff: some organizations have a mix of internationally and locally hired staff, who have different types of contracts. Local staff in such environments can feel relatively hard done by, in terms of lack of job security, benefits or in other ways. This then affects how different categories interact with each other.
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