Creating Winning Cultures

I am just reading the latest must read book by Laszlo Bock (Head of People Operations at Google) entitled, Work Rules! Why Google’s Rules Will Work for You. The one phrase which jumped right out at me (and there are plenty others) was his comments about culture, “leaders who build the right kind of environments will be magnets for the most talented people on the planet”. Lots has been written in the past about the “War on Talent” but building the right culture is all we need to do…. easy right? As Jack Welch puts it “changing culture is like moving a graveyard, you can’t count on getting much help from the residents”. The starting point is always recognising the culture you have, measuring it and defining what you would like to change, keep, re-model etc.  Too often culture is that thing that we don’t talk about,the elephant in the room that we can’t discuss when the boss is around! Working on culture without strategy is useless but too often I see organisations starting with strategy when they either don’t understand if the strategy and the culture are a good fit or they do not see it as important. I hate to end with a cliche…. but I will!  The well trodden quote that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” is as relevant today as it was when Drucker said it … if he did actually say it is a different discussion! A culture isn’t something to be passively accepted, it is “the” most important outgrowth of leadership and as such leaders should get real serious about culture. PS - I would recommend...
Get ready for a lot of long nights where you think you are useless!

Get ready for a lot of long nights where you think you are useless!

I came out of the gym this morning and whilst waiting for a meeting I was reading the newspaper - remember those things? Not the tablet versions, but a real life newspaper!! Anyway, I was reading an article where the current Scotland football coach (Gordon Strachan) was honest in his assessment of what faces any up-and-coming Scottish coaches, telling them to “get ready for a lot of long nights where you think you are useless”. This resonated with me as somebody who is making the move from corporate leader (gamekeeper) to business coach and consultant (poacher). I wanted to share this within the coaching group as no doubt many of you will have had similar thoughts when you embarked (or are embarking) on your individual journey’s to becoming coaches. It got me thinking about why those types of thoughts permeate our minds? why when we have been successful in one arena do we doubt ourselves? Human nature? Inevitable? DNA? I think the difference between the “useless” and “useful” is down to how we view the change - either as an opportunity or a problem? Glass half full or glass half empty? I believe it is those people that are proactive (half full), begin with the end in mind (vision) and form winning habits that are the “useful”, and the rest……………… well, enough said! We can all doubt ourselves but it is those that have the positive habits that get to where we want that go! The full article is below for those interested in football!...

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