Rendered Fat Content


I've been looking at the effects of what I'm labeling 'monoculture' in organizations. In agriculture, monoculture refers to the practice of planting a single crop within a defined space. In the short run, monoculture farming can produce dramatic increases in productivity. Longer run, repeatedly growing a single crop can deplete the soil and require ever greater supplemental fertilizer use. It can also create the conditions for catastrophic crop failure, such as the Irish Potato Famine. The wine industry in Europe was devastated by susceptibility to Phylloxera during the late 19th century.

Some have argued that Microsoft has created a virtual monoculture, susceptible to incursion and failure due to viral attacks. I'm seeing organizations increasingly encouraging monoculture solutions to dilemmas arising from the natural diversity of such things as work styles and different kinds of projects and initiatives. The effects of these 'Earth flattening' approaches create another level of dilemma for those working within monoculture-aspiring organizations. Individuals might be expected to perform in ways that are more than simply alien to them, but counter-productive to the organization's overall objectives. As if 'one best way' could actually describe the one best way to accomplish anything.

The following YouTube video describes one of the risks of monoculture.

I'm interested in anyone's personal experiences coping with the increasingly monocultural perspective within organizations. How have you been selected, indoctrinated, incented, and encouraged to adopt 'one best way?' What contradictions have you encountered in coping with these expectations? Comment below or contact me via the Contact tab above.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Made in RapidWeaver