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Culture

The question "What is Culture?" written in chalk on a blackboard.

What is Culture Anyway?

November 20 @ 1:11 am

When it comes to building great organizations, just about everyone would agree: culture is important. Culture is the heart and soul of an organization. When we hire people, we hire for “fit” into our culture. There are even companies who have Chief Culture Officers. And, of course, there’s the ever-popular trope that Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch.

But what is culture anyway? If it’s so doggone important, how do we know what we’re looking for? And how, perchance, might we shape and build the culture that we want?

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Man trying to work out how to get a square peg into a round hole.

Have we been looking at 'cultural fit' all wrong?

November 20 @ 1:11 am

Most of the time — especially when we are looking to hire someone — we put a lot of emphasis on cultural fit. We’ve got a round hole and we go looking for a round peg.

I’m afraid that we’ve got the idea of ‘fit’ backwards. You don’t go looking for someone who fits. You start by articulating what fit looks like on your team and then go looking for someone willing and able to adapt.

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Team Dynamics: Learn, Improve, Repeat.

November 20 @ 1:11 am

Continuous Improvement” is a mantra for just about all areas of our businesses and — if we’re ambitious — our lives. Companies make huge investments in everything from lean manufacturing to agile software development knowing that the best way to make things better is through steady and continual improvement. We reengineer our business processes to have feedback loops so we can learn from what we have done and build on those learnings.

Learn. Improve. Repeat.

It’s a no-brainer, right? The relentless pursuit of perfection, as Lexus would say. Everything is fair game. Nothing is exempt from the beneficent outcomes of continuous improvement…

Well, almost nothing.

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Let's Make 2014 The Year of the Strong Organization

November 20 @ 1:11 am

"The only way to change the world is through strong organizations. No visionary leader, no charismatic leader can change the world unless they know how to build an organization and a team around them."
— Sally Blount, Dean of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

We all need a livelihood. For most of us, that means going to work at companies and in organizations. Unfortunately, too many of those organizations manage to suck the life out of us. It doesn't have to be this way. I kick off 2014 with a call to put an end to the dysfunction and the insanity. Dilbert has been published since 1989. Why haven't our organizations evolved at all in the last 24 years? Why is it still funny?

Join me in making 2014 the year of building great organizations.

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