Category: Great cultures

Was it Boeing’s technology that failed, or the culture?

Robots don’t make planes (yet). People do. And when Boeing opened up a new plant, in a new state, the demand to meet deadlines was prioritized over procedures and standards. It’s all well-covered in a podcast by the New York Times.  It’s amazing how it can take decades to build a reputation, and only moments […]

Should we actively go for failure?

There’s a lot of talk about failure these days. It’s such a strange word because no one actually wants to fail. I just experienced it this weekend. I found a new group of guys to play soccer, and man they were on a totally different level. I couldn’t keep up. Not only that, I let […]

Don’t outsource your culture to HR.

Many CEO’s think that culture is HR’s responsibility. But the best leaders realize that they ARE the chief culture officers.  Culture is people, and the best people can take on market changes, competition and shifts in product. Steve Jobs called Apple (the company) his best invention. Here’s the bottomline: HR’s main job is to manage […]

Are you starting with culture?

Do you think culture comes first, or after the success?  Dan Gould has had many successes and now that he’s starting a new company, he’s starting with the culture. Just got this photo from him… You can start with the Culture Blueprint here, or on Amazon.

Your people are not loyal.

Navy Seals are the best bed makers you’ll meet. They learn how to make beds to perfection as part of their training.  If it’s not perfect, then they have to do it over.    But sometimes they will have do it over again, even if it is perfect. This drove some recruits mad – to […]

3 Conditions for Disruption

3 Conditions for Disruption These are the conditions for disruption, and I’ll use Uber as the example. A market is ripe for disruption when: 1. Existing solutions are far below satisfaction And yet users tolerate existing offers because there is no alternative. Taxis are stereotypically old, smelly cars, with gruff drivers, and high friction payment […]

The culture of a great podcast

“The Medium is the Message.” – Marshall McLuhan. Rogan has guests from the cultural zeitgeist, and he discusses current issues so the audience feels like they’re being educated (much the way people would get their news from the Daily show). But I find his use of the medium the most compelling reason. Here are the […]

What are you leaving on the table?

I walked away from what I thought was the best meeting ever… “Yes, we got everything we asked for!” I said. We had just walked out of a meeting with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, and he gave us all the resources we asked for to launch a new project. My colleague said, “That’s not good.” […]

Have you hired a ghost?

Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership, helped me see the power of a good listener, who has the ability to influence conversation without even saying anything. He said, “You can tell who has that kind of power because if they look at their watch then the whole room.”  Their presence holds the space of the […]

Do you have counter-balancing values?

In the Culture Blueprint I talk about how culture is related to systems theory.  There are feedback loops (culture feeds on itself). Here are the two kinds and why you should know about them: 1. Reinforcing Loops These are the values you want to be known for. You want reinforce behaviors that support these values. […]