The 18th Amendment - Legislation Vs Culture
I watched the PBS special on Prohibition this week and it was a great example of how NOT to affect cultural change.
"Fer it or Agin it?"
I'm not going to go into great detail about the "wets" and the "drys" however they were both passionate, both had good opinions and the drys won.
You can't legislate change
For 13 years it was illegal to make, transport or sell alcohol but it didn't stop anyone. Those who disagreed with the law chose to ignore it because they thought it was silly. Additionally the police mostly chose not to enforce it for the same reason.
You lead by example or you don't lead at all
Many of the drys who originally voted for prohibition continued to buy, continued to drink and continued to set a terrible example.
They didn't believe in the law so why should anyone else?
Does this sound similar to your company?
- Asked to obey rules that don't make sense
- Leadership that doesn't follow their own set of rules
- Threatened with punishment if you don't do what your told
- Nobody "rats out" anyone else
- You spend time finding loopholes in the rules
You can't demand that people do things and expect it to happen. You need buy in, you need cultural change.