Hi Adam Grant. Great piece! I’m on the waitlist for “The Originals” and looking forward to digging into the ideas more deeply.
This risk of mono-culture is so important to flag. I run an innovation lab embedded in a large non-profit organization, and my team is always thinking about how to create space for more (productive) dissonance within the organization. Like polaroid experienced, success can be your greatest danger if you hold onto it and stop evolving. The greater the success, the more confident and insulated employees at every level naturally become (unless you actively combat the tendency). New people come in with fresh eyes and great new ideas but are told “You don’t understand how we do things,” or “Wait til you’ve been here for as long before making suggestions;” but this is really dangerous for the organization’s long-term success.
Have you looked at BRAC? They’ve been voted one of the most effective non-profits in the world several years running. Their experience is fairly consistent with your recommendations — while salaries are relatively low, they have invested heavily in training at the frontlines and sent a number of talented junior staff for higher studies abroad. They were one of the first organizations in Bangladesh to really recruit women and added transportation, onsite daycare and maternity leave (6 months paid) to retain them. Still no remote work policy, but we’re working on it :)