Corporate culture has changed, now it’s Canberra’s turn

Corporate culture has changed, now it’s Canberra’s turn. By Katrina Grace Kelly.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors defines culture as “the collective behaviours driven by a set of norms and values that directly impact decision making”. Culture is “inextricably linked to questions of right and wrong” and “refers to an organisation’s reality” — in essence, “the way we do things around here”.

A sick organisational culture can continue on, undiscovered, for only so long. Any organisation with a cultural problem is an organisation whose time of reckoning will come.

With regards to the Liberal Party, the signs have been there for many years, and they have all been ignored. Now it is the time of reckoning.

Just imagine for a minute if the Prime Minister were, say, the chairman of the board of a large company, a charity, or a sporting team. Would he have had to stand down by now? What would happen if, say, there were two alleged rapes, one occurring in the middle of the night in the boardroom, reports of rampant sexual activity at their head office, including sex workers visiting service managers, videos circulating of male staff masturbating on the desk of a female executive, multiple sexual harassment allegations and claims that senior staff had been allegedly harassing customers on social media?

Heads would roll. …

The laws of the land, put in place by parliament, and the regulators they instruct have made the corporate cultural environment we have now. There is an ever-expanding labyrinth of rules that we all must follow, risks we must avoid, and litigation and prosecutions we do not want to expose ourselves to.

For example, decades ago, companies stopped allowing drunk staff members to come into the ­office in the middle of the night and just hang about. The risks of what was likely to occur, and the cost to the business, made it so prohibitive that rules were put in place to avoid it.

In times past, corporate leaders could use the excuse they didn’t know what was going on. Those days are gone. Leaders are held ­responsible for the culture of their organisations — because when ­people do the wrong thing, it is ­because the culture has allowed it.

What, now the political class has to live by it own rules?