Working within Global Boundaries Part 3

The forces, trends, and pace of the business environment have the single greatest influence on shaping organizational culture. But there are even more global forces affecting the business environment in subtle, but profound ways. The Breckenridge Institute® has identified Four Global Boundary Conditions that will define the logical geography of the business environment for the next 50 to 100 years. This month we feature the third of four – Competing Political, Cultural, and Religious Ideologies.

For thousands of years, people around the world have developed different languages, cultures, religions, and political ideologies, often holding strong convictions that these belief structures were reality itself. Today’s conflict about competing political, cultural, and religious ideologies is not so much a conflict about different beliefs as it is a conflict about the nature of belief itself. “Typified by Stephen R. Covey’s claim that we see the world as we are, not as it is, reality is now viewed as a social construct – reality is man made,” states Mark Bodnarczuk, Executive Director of the Breckenridge Institute. Because the media makes it so easy to create and globally disseminate new structures of reality, the world has become an unregulated marketplace of differing ideologies that compete for people’s time, attention, and resources. “As traditional views are increasingly undermined,” Bodnarczuk comments, “people become more deeply committed to maintaining and defending their way of life - sometimes even by force and intimidation.” Many suspect that a new global super culture and global belief system is forming, but have little or no idea what that ideology will look like. As more and more people come to believe that reality can be constructed, the media-world becomes a kind of global stage upon which groups of people act out their reality in the hopes of convincing others that their way of believing is the way. “Consciously creating a corporate culture that interacts within this global cultural relativism is the key strategy for controlling an organization’s destiny,” states Bodnarczuk.

Next Time: The lead article in the March issue of the Pinnacle will feature the final of Four Global Boundary Conditions within which organizations must operate – Sustainability of the Physical Environment.

HBR Editor’s Blog

Every month, the senior editors of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) invite internationally recognized organizational theorists and practitioners to raise issues and answer questions about leadership and management issues on the HBR Editor’s Blog. This month, we provide Pinnacle readers with links to two important and interesting discussions (see below).

Marshall Goldsmith, Four Ways to Bounce Back from Setbacks
Vineet Nayar, Look for Leadership at the Bottom of the Pyramid

We encourage you to join the conversation on the HBR Editor’s Blog and voice your opinions, commentary, and insights on these and other important topics.


Listen to Mark Bodnarczuk’s recent radio interview on Voice America Business entitled, “Don’t Make Organizational Changes in a Cultural Vacuum” with talk-show hosts Don and Bonnie Fowke from the New Management Network in Toronto, Canada.
The Breckenridge Institute® has developed a key partnership with Inc. - one of the world’s largest and most well-established providers of qualifying programs in the areas of personality and leadership development. will be offering a webinar-based qualifying program for the Breckenridge Type Indicator™ (BTI™) beginning in February 2009. For more information or to sign-up now for the BTI™ qualifying program go to, or contact them at 336-774-0330 or
The Breckenridge Culture Indicator™ (BCI™) is an effective alternative to 360-Degree-Reviews that allows you to evaluate a manager’s leadership and management skills within the context of an organization’s structures, systems, and culture. The BCI™ is now available to qualified users 24X7 anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Contact Elin Larson for details on how you can begin using this exciting new tool in your organization or with your clients (970-389-4666 or
For a more complete listing of recently published on-line articles, white papers, and books from the Breckenridge Institute® go to
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Underwater Photo: © Annie Crawley, 2009,


Culture Corner

“If you truly want to understand an organization, try to change it.”

Kurt Lewin,
Field Theory in Social Science


Enneagram Assessment Tools

The Breckenridge Institute® has developed two new assessment tools based on an Enneagram model of personality that are the most reliable and valid on-line Enneagram assessment tools available anywhere. These are the Breckenridge Type Indicator™ (BTI™), and the Breckenridge Relationship Indicator™ (BRI™). The BTI™ and BRI™ are the only Enneagram assessment tools that precisely measure both the nine personality types and three instincts (sub-types) in a single instrument, providing new insights into a wide range of cognitive, emotional, sensory, and biological dimensions of personality. Previously, many type professionals have had reservations about using the Enneagram as a personality typology because they have not had a psychometrically validated instrument with reliability and validity equal to (or greater than) the MBTI® tool. The BTI™ and BRI™ are designed to meet these psychometric challenges and will add new dimensionality to more traditional approaches to personality. The BTI™ and BRI™ are B-Level instruments that require training and qualification to administer.

Contact Elin Larson at or 970-389-4666 for details about how you can begin using this exciting tool in your organization or with your clients.

What We’re Reading

Alan L. Wilkins, Developing Corporate Character: How to Successfully Change an Organization without Destroying It

A refreshing perspective on the more human side of organizational culture that argues that too many executives and managers have tried to change their organizations’ culture and succeeded only in destroying its character. Wilkins uses the notion of organizational “character” rather than “culture” because he believes that cultural theorists and practitioners alike have trivialized the notion of culture by using it to describe almost everything organizational – so culture has lost much of its special meaning. In addition, Wilkins believes that many leaders have given culture a bad name by initiating cultural change programs and simultaneously announcing significant layoffs. “The employees who are left have no faith in either the new vision or the company’s ability to implement it,” Wilkins states. Wilkins’ focus on organizational character is consistent with the view that an organization’s culture is like its unique personality. He argues that statements about managing or fundamentally changing culture make no sense because like a person’s character, organizational character must be developed - it can’t be managed or fundamentally changed. The key is to harness the positive power of culture, rather than dismantling it and starting over.