In an organization the unwritten rules are just as, if not more, important than the written rules. If you are considering making changes, implementing something new, adding staff, or any of dozen other decisions in your organization, you need to also consider the unwritten rules of the organization.
Here are a few examples:
The culture of the organization…How it responds to change…How it addresses problems…How it plans for the future…
The leader’s accessibility and temperament…Is he or she considered approachable? Does he or she participate with the team normally? Would he or she know if there was a perceived problem in the organization? Do team members trust the leader?
The relationships of team members to each other…Is there a friendship or just a working relationship? Is conflict acceptable? Do team members feel freedom to speak freely?
The sense of job satisfaction within the organization…Are there long-term team members? Are team members generally happy with the organization? Is there current unrest among team members?
The common and expected practices of the organization…Is there a way it’s always been done? Has change usually been accepted or resisted?
The way information flows…How does communication really happen? What are the circles of influence? Who drives discussion? Who has influence with peers?
As a leader, it’s important that you not only concentrate your attention on what is easily measured, written in a policy manual, or even spoken as a value. Other considerations may be more important, even though they may have never been expressed formally. When change occurs or is to be implemented in an organization, paying attention to these unwritten rules is necessary for success. BTW leaders, most likely you helped write these unwritten rules.
What are some of the unwritten rules of your organization?