In response to my earlier posts about corportate blogging, Steven Vore pointed me to a post he'd made last year on changing corporate culture. I've read the 3-5 year timeframe before and it rings true. Its kind of depressing that it takes that long. I can serve as a witness that it doesn't take that long to build a great culture from the ground up. I've been part of such an organization and that is an exhilarating experience.
In the Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge says that once a person has been part of such an organization they'll do anything to do it again (I'm paraphrasing because I can't find my copy of the book). That's really true. I've talked to many of the people from the old iMALL team and a lot of them would jump at a chance to work with that team again. The work wasn't easy and we had a lot of rough spots, but there was an open, positive culture of competence and success that the entire team shared. Part of the pain of seeing it come to an end was that it was like watching a group of thugs rip apart a beautiful work of art that they had no context for understanding.