It’s the unwritten rules that arguably most influence the culture of organizations. And organizational culture spills over into customer experiences. What is not necessarily clear is where the unwritten rules come from. In many—if not most—instances, they are a reaction to the written rules. Sometimes the influence is constructive. When the written rules are bureaucratic, unthinking or unfeeling, the unwritten rules and resulting behaviours can also be subversive. And sometimes they’re just destructive.
“Why?” is a critically important question to ask. It’s a challenging one to ask at times, and sometimes it’s a more challenging one to answer. What is less expected is when the people asking the question are seen as part of the problem, and not part of the solution. That doesn’t mean that we stop asking why. But we may need to think carefully about the way that we go about doing it.