Would anybody care to share any thoughts on the meme cultures in your organization?
Here’s the introduction to a new report to be published soon about the cultural dimensions of organizations.
[A] potential universal law governing life and cultures – ‘All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities’. (Dawkins 2006)
It is this profound view of evolution by a process of differential selection proposed by Prof. Richard Dawkins in his 1976 classic – The Selfish Gene (Dawkins 2006), that the question arises how much is it possible to proactively influence the culture of organizations, using planned interventions and focussed management of people and situations? He suggested that culture is a combination of ideas and behaviours. In organizations these combinations seem to occur randomly and for them to survive they must strongly align and adapt to organizational environments and be capable of replicating many times, very quickly, thereby giving a sense of the survival of a successful culture. Dawkins named these units of replicating cultural elements ‘memes’ and thought of them as being analogous to ‘genes’ – the replicating unit of biology (all life). The supplementary questions in respect of organizational cultures are, can this process be managed, should it be managed or is it impossible to manage?