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 the Laslo book.