Cheeseburger in Paris

August 10, 2010
cheeseburger in paris

Are people looking at you when you’re eating a cheeseburger and walking the streets of Paris?

Am I the only sane person in the organization? If you don’t feel like you fit into the culture, that’s a question you might ask yourself regularly. Chances are, you were energized by the opportunities to help change the organization initially. But when time passes and no one joins your crusade, you start asking a new question: Am I the insane one in this organization?

You are neither sane nor insane; you are simply a cultural misfit. This feeling is like eating a cheeseburger while walking down the street in Paris. If you try this, you’ll draw a lot of unfavorable looks from Parisians because it runs counter to their culture. In Minneapolis, on the other hand, you and your cheeseburger would not be given a second thought.

If you feel like you are in the wrong culture and you do not have both the power and authority to create significant change, you either have to learn to manage your expectations or move to a new organization that is more aligned with your world view.

Does your culture fit your view of the world? If not, what steps do you need to take?

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