1.A company’s culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur's job is to build the foundation.
2.. . . when you’re in a small boat, you can see who’s paddling hard and who’s looking around.
3.An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.
4.If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.
5.Talent is the multiplier. The more energy and attention you invest in it, the greater the yield.
6.A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains. Sell them on your roadmap and don’t compromise — care about the details, the fit and finish.
7.A company can’t buy true emotional commitment from managers no matter how much it’s willing to spend; this is something too valuable to have a price tag. And yet a company can’t afford not to have it.
8.Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.
9.Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.
10.Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.
11.“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” - Steve Jobs, co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc.
12.A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candour, if unchecked, ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.
13.No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.
14.So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.
15.“If you can’t fly then run. If you can’t run, then walk. And, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
16.In determining the right people, the good-to-great companies placed greater weight on character attributes than on specific educational background, practical skills, specialized knowledge, or work experience.
17.The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.
18.You want to set goals that you can hit, so when you start hitting them, you can celebrate those wins. People start trusting in your way of projecting the business.
19.Engendering a culture of trust also does wonders. This is because, even if you have a heated argument, as long as you keep in the back of your mind that the people you’re arguing with do have the best in mind for the company and wider team, you’ll always be able to make it to the end and remain friendly.
20.Starbucks was founded around the experience and the environment of their stores. Starbucks was about a space with comfortable chairs, lots of power outlets, tables and desks at which we could work and the option to spend as much time in their stores as we wanted without any pressure to buy. The coffee was incidental.
21.I look for two things when I hire a new employee: ambition and humility. Without a proven track record of initiative and ambition, it’s likely the person becomes a drain rather than a contributor to the company — even the really smart, talented ones.
22.A pattern of shared basic assumptions invented, discovered or developed by a given group as it learns to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration that have worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think and feel in relation to those problems.
23.The way I think about culture is that modern humans have radically changed the way that they work and the way that they live. Companies need to change the way they manage and lead to match the way that modern humans actually work and live. We're trying to re-craft culture in a way that really matches that. I think that 99% of companies are kind of stuck in the '90s when it comes to their culture.
24.Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity and meaning in their job.
25.Culture is the deeper level of basic assumptions and beliefs that are shared by members of an organization, that operate unconsciously and define in a basic 'taken for granted' fashion an organization's view of its self and its environment.
26.The most vocal challengers to most cultures are the first to be shown the door. It’s in human nature to want to eliminate the most disruptive people. And it’s also human nature to want to bring in more people that fit in well. Repeat these two behaviors over time and culture becomes homogeny, even if everyone still believes the culture values diversity.
27.Presenting leadership as a list of carefully defined qualities (like strategic, analytical, and performance-oriented) no longer holds. Instead, true leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed. ... Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.
28.Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own everyday, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.
29.This is not about fuzzy, holding hands around a campfire, kumbaya stuff. That’s not what values and culture and mission is about. This is about building an organization for success. This is about winning. This is about doing the tactical things to make sure your organization and your people are aligned around the same thing.
30.Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers — poets, actors, journalists — they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology.
31.Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers. But first they have to understand that their neighbour is, in the end, just like them, with the same problems, the same questions.
32.Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationships, customers, development, energy and happiness to leverage, sustain and transform work into results.”
33.Authentic engagement is not available upon demand. It’s less like today’s Keurig and more like the old-style percolator: instead of coffee at the push of a button, coffee grounds and water were put together, with heat applied and time allowed for one to permeate the other.
34.The biggest challenge was to restore a dying organization, which was losing money, to growth and profitability. The first steps were not: Cutting costs, developing new products and/or services, inventing clever new marketing concepts, or clever advertising! Instead, the first steps were: Rebuilding a culture where all employees were a family, striving for a “shared” success! The basis for this success turned out to be winning major races again.
35.Why is culture so important to a business? Here is a simple way to frame it. The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs. When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing.
36.Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization's makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like... I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.
37.There is a high cost associated with building a culture: team retreats, gym memberships, personal and professional development classes. All this is to facilitate the personal evolution of each person who contributes to the company. And, what are our results? In three years, not one employee has voluntarily left, which is a phenomenon that we believe can be replicated at any organisation. We have the receipts to show how much it cost, and we also have uncovered the more obscure internal metrics that impact employee satisfaction and prevent voluntary turnover.
38.Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.
39.If culture is like personality or character, then it matters in the sense to what extent is the culture adaptive to both the external and internal realities. If it’s not adaptive, it matters a lot. If it’s adaptive, it doesn’t matter much, people don’t notice it, they just go along their merry way. So culture really only matters when there is a problem. In the same sense that personality only matters when things aren’t working right for you. Otherwise it’s just there. It’s part of you.
40.I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise.
41.Every CEO is in fact a Chief Cultural Officer. The terrifying thing is it’s the CEO’s actual behavior, not their speeches or the list of values they have put up on posters, that defines what the culture is. Without these four powers (Hiring, Firing, Promoting, Punishing) any employee at the company is along for the ride in a culture driven by someone more powerful than they are.
42.I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that, you're well advised to go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.