Welcome to this interactive online event organized in partnership with the Culture & Leadership Learning Lab.

Culture and culture change are dominant topics across a range of industries. Often viewed as a lever at the disposal of senior management or an obstacle to commercial success, culture appears to be a powerful actor within corporate settings. Culture is frequently viewed as the key to unlock desired behaviours, mind-sets or attitudes. The right or strong culture can, seemingly, correct risky behaviour within financial services, kindle entrepreneurial environments and engender start-up mentalities within legacy organisations. Culture, apparently, determines shared beliefs and acts to maintain values across entire organisations. Reified, managerial, autonomous and pseudo-psychological, this understanding of culture is far removed from anthropology and the ethnographic record.

Breaking the Spell discusses the application of anthropological approaches to culture within a corporate setting. It demystifies notions of culture and presents an ethnographically evidenced case for doing culture anthropologically. The discussion explores a case study of culture change in a specific context, the success and limitations of the anthropological method and the manner in which the work has evolved over the past three years. It discusses culture from a seemingly banal perspective devoid of value, belief, mind-set and attitude where the minutiae of everyday life are the object of study.

Speakers , May 2021

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