I have noticed lately that the relative size of products is shrinking each time I purchase them. The dog treats are just a wee bit smaller in the new package. Snack bags used to be in boxes of 50 for $1, then 45 and now 38. Fountain beverages were 32 oz. and now are only 30 oz. in some places. The scrubbing pads used to be packaged 10/box but are replaced with 8/box for the same price.

Unless you are really paying attention or happen to have both the old and new side-by-side, you likely won’t notice these changes…

…until they reach a tipping point and you do.

The same is true of organizational culture. It’s barely perceptible when civility first takes a hit or morale shifts a little in the wrong direction or the vision becomes a bit fuzzy. People don’t notice when the standards start to lax or the transparency begins to fade – until the culture reaches that tipping point and suddenly the lapses aren’t so insignificant anymore.

Most changes – for better or worse — occur incrementally. It’s far easier to pay attention and address minor shifts rather than being oblivious until an obvious change has occurred.

 

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