Cultural norms are the embedded reactions to historic stupidity

Change management is well understood in a corporate environment – both in terms of its importance to overall performance, and the mechanics/tools to change/adapt cultural values as organisational needs dictate. Business psychology now also starts to become an allied specialism aimed at ensuring people and processes function in harmony, not conflict. Systems invariably fail not just from design, or planning, but because of the human interface, hence total systems methodology, and total quality management.

Social re-engineering at a national level is less mature and has added complexities in balancing multiple interests and sub-cultures, and a far longer time-frame in achieving any significant results, but nevertheless it is a conscious strategic goal in many countries, and individual initiatives/policies form part of a holistic approach where the objectives are clear and the benefits quantifiable.

As any business consultant or change agent knows, culture lies at the root of most problems, and becomes either a driver for change, or conversely a barrier to progress, or in many instances both at the same time.

In the Philippines it is predominantly a barrier to progress since the centralisation of power, and the related systems/institutions, are more interested in maintaining the status quo, and retaining a plutocracy rather than establishing a meritocracy. Modern day luddites with an island mentality, where superficiality rules, individuality is discouraged, and criminality abounds.

GRP is an oasis of enlightenment, but for a country of 100 million which likes to claim a high penetration of technology, few such sites/forums exist, and rather than being used for education, advancement, or discussion, the personal use of technology is almost exclusively for games, selfies, and text voting! Anti-cultural drunks.

The political use of technology extends to propaganda, misinformation, and trolls! Anti-intellectual p!ss artists.

The country needs a 12 step programme aimed at cultural change to enable sober and productive citizens, rather than barflies scrounging drinks, bartenders who water down the drinks, and bar owners who don’t know a negroni from a pepperoni.

Step 1. Identify the key component parts of current culture/psyche – in terms of values etc. and major groupings. A cultural and societal audit.



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