Bad Behavior and Organizational Culture

“The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.”

I was reading about the demise of RainFurrest (no, I’m not a Furry, however it was a major area con and I do pay at least passing attention to such things) and a comment in reply to the ex-board member’s long post had this quote. That quote had me thinking about some of the organizations, groups, conventions and games I’d been a part of in my past.

There are some games and/or organizations that I will NEVER* play or be a part of again because of how I was treated when I was a member or player. It was never anything that was illegal, but it made me feel unwelcome and unwanted enough that when I left I knew I wasn’t going to miss the game and/or organization and the rampant garbage that those that ran things had allowed to perpetuate.

Back when I was running LARP Lab (yes, I have the website up at a subdomain for archival purposes) with a few others I stressed the importance that we as the leadership team had in crafting and directing the culture that would surround that organization, even to the point that we had a well-crafted code of conduct that we all agreed we’d not be afraid to enforce. Everyone understood that and knew that the culture that we’d craft would be important to the success of the organization. Unfortunately for LARP Lab many of the other leadership team members didn’t quite understand how big an undertaking it is to found an organization and the amount of work involved and after a year it folded and was shut down.

Getting back to the point, this particular quote rings true. Each different organization, group, convention, or game has its own culture that those who participate help craft. The leadership of what-ever-it-may-be have a huge effect on the nature of that culture by what they will or will not tolerate by those who participate. While a group, organization, convention, or game shouldn’t be too strict as that sucks the fun out of everything, being too lenient is just as deadly, if not worse. RainFurrest found this out the hard way … and too late.

* I do feel a slight need to caveat this by noting that if reparations are ever made then I may consider a return, however the chances of reparations happening are slim to none, thus why I just state never.

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