Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

You Get the Culture You Pay For

ARCHIVES

For the past couple of weeks, I've been ignoring articles in the Financial Times about a cell phone hacking scandal in England. Last week, the New York Times picked up the story in a big way and I started paying attention.

Here's the very quick recap. It's been determined that, for a number of years, reporters and contractors for the News of the World tabloid have been hacking the cell phone voice mail accounts of celebrities and athletes. The practice didn't stop there however. They also hacked the phones of a 13-year old girl who was abducted and murdered, the families of victims of the July 2005 London bombings and the loved ones of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The News of the World is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp which also owns the Fox Networks, the New York Post and many other media properties around the world. As is usually the case in stories like this, Murdoch and his senior managers say that they're shocked and appalled by these breaches of ethics (and violations of the law) and that they're not representative of how the company works.

Here's the thing. You get the culture you pay for. Your people will do whatever you encourage and reward them to do. If, as has been the case at News of the World, people are rewarded to get the most sensational, profitable stories no matter what, then that's what you'll get. If you send the message that there are no boundaries in getting the story, then the boundaries that most people would honor will be violated.

Needless to say, that cultural dynamic is not just limited to media companies. Whether they intend to or not, leaders establish the culture in any organization by what they reward, encourage, talk about, pay attention to and ignore.

What have you done this week to establish the culture you want in your organization? What kind of culture are you paying for?

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.