Let me preface this post with a confession about my fan love for classic Sci Fi films.
The story of George Taylor from Planet of the Apes. tells us how underestimating or judging a culture at face value can lead to missteps and frustration when it comes to being an agent for change. Near the beginning of the film, George was convinced that he could take over the planet, because the first sentient beings he encountered were primitive & “simple.” As he sardonically cracks:
Alas, poor George ends up finding himself in this situation.
Then ultimately coming to this conclusion:
Of course at moment George made his initial assessment, he didn’t know what he was truly dealing with.
Making assumptions about the culture of the organization you when you’re attempting any change effort can result in the worst sort of initiative sabotage. It’s important that we instead really understand the culture of the groups we are working with and then plan accordingly.