Wherever you look there will be a social contract underpinning the culture that exists. The way people act, behave and even look is determined by it. We are all bound by a social contract either consciously or more commonly, unconsciously. Your relationship to the social contract you live in is determined by how far from the core you are. When you are close to the core, as with the Marines, everybody knows the conditions defined by the social contract. You literally live or die by them on the battlefield and the strength of the community is evidence of how committed all of the individuals are to that contract, In the Marines you “sign up” consciously.
But look for a moment at a different culture, one where it would seem that people are victims of society but actually are living within a different social contract. In every city, there are no-go areas for the police, or areas where the homeless gather or people sleep out on the street. Even though the people living...
If you have ever had that burning feeling in your gut for a change that needed to happen, then you might have had the urge to become a champion. And, for many, there is a reason why that was as far as it got. And it comes down to self-esteem, courage and culture.
For change to succeed, the conditions need to be supportive. That support is most easily seen and felt through the culture that we exist in. And we, as potential champions, need to have the self-esteem and courage to step up to the stage and be counted.
Every initiative starts with a champion, and what happens next depends on the culture that exists.
In the business world, we can consider three different existing cultures. The startup, the merger/acquisition and the reorganisation. In all three, the champion is for their new vision, which will lead to the emergence of a new culture. One barrier, if not the most significant barrier to a new culture emerging, is the attachment people have to the existing culture.