Tribal Leadership – the cultural development of tribes

The past days I listened to the free audio version of Tribal Leadership. A fantastic book about organizational culture and the stages companies can be in. Listening to the book I recognized many ways how departments within companies I know operate. Unfortunately only a few appear to be operating in stage 5, most operate in stage 3 and a few in stage 4.

Listening to the book also made me recognize how difficult it is to maintain an organizations culture after a merger. In one example a couple of years ago an organization of about 130 people was acquired by a large multinational. The culture I met at the company was clearly a tribe in stage 4, with occasional stage 5 behavior. Now, about 5 years after the merger, many people have left the original organization, the culture has submerged into the larger multinational culture resulting in slipping back to mainly being a stage 3 culture.

The book also made me think about the culture of other tribes, like situations where people work together or support each other to get their work done without any obligations to do so. In this case I am thinking of tribes that develop in social networks like Ecademy. Here the members of Ecademy work together to support each other in our journey, be each others sounding board and form triads to connect one another. This applies for most members, but more particular for Blackstar members who have committed themselves to Ecademy and the other Blackstars to help each other forward and to be helped by the others moving forward. Listening to the book I would argue that the Blackstar community of Ecademy could very well be a stage 4 tribe: “We are great” is the mantra for stage 4, where members unite around values, hold each other accountable and work to outdo the competition.

Have a look at the video and follow or join the conversation on Ecademy where this article has been cross posted. In case you are not an Ecademy member yet use this link to register with a free three months PowerNetworker status. Then go back to the link of the article and join the conversation.