Most senior leaders put greater thought into their organization's products than they do its culture. Yet culture drives everything that happens in an organization day-to-day, including what the organization focuses on, whether problems are ignored or resolved, and how employees and customers are treated. How does one go about creating a culture, something that, on one hand, is so important, but, on the other hand, seems so amorphous? Through the creation of an organizational constitution.
An organizational constitution is a formal document that states the company's guiding principles and behaviors. These liberating rules present the best thinking on how the organization wants to operate. It's a "North Star" that outlines the company's or team's clear playing field for performance and values. "Purposeful Culture "is the first book to show how to create a high performing culture through the creation of an organizational constitution. The book outlines who should be involved, provides samples of effective constitutions and valued behaviors, how to socialize the draft statement, and how to engage employees in the process from start to finish.
After having a very cordial relationship for years with this author on Twitter he chose to block me with no explanation. An author espousing the values Edmonds supports in his book he himself does not live by therefore making it very hard to think he is anything other than another talking head selling words and talk for profit. All relationships depend on open lines of communication, that’s what type of managers are ‘Transforming the Workplace’: open, honest communicators who see themselves as equals rather that pompous dictators. Each management problem in my career as an Executive Marketing Team Leader, Trainer for Fortune 50 Companies at the top with leaders such as this author with poorly trained managers in the craft of communication who practiced a ‘closed door’, or would ‘slam the door in the face of employees. Communication is a two way street. And when one party also censors the ability of the practice of ‘free speech’ because they themselves have decided to dictate ‘set terms’ of the relationship there is no relationship. My recommendation is to read a book by an author who walks the talk like ‘In Search of Excellence’ by Tom Peters.
4 stars. A simple model for adopting an organizational constitution to drive company culture. He does a good job calling out potential problems for the reader. However, I wish there were more “Patrick Lencioni” style examples.
5 simple steps to create an organizational constitution:
1. An org constitution serves as a cultural foundation. It is essentially a set of rules delineating what is and isn’t acceptable at your company. 2. Leaders must have a personal const. before developing one for their org. Employees will not tolerate hypocrisy. 3. When developing an org constitution, start with a meaningful purpose statement for both employees and customers. List up to four values. Connect behaviors to each of the values. 4. Anticipate (change) “haters.” Nip resistance in the bud. Listen. Validate non judgmentally, but hold your ground. If they won’t comply, let them go. One person can corrode the organization. 5. Align hiring practices with constitution. Include your company’s purpose, values and expectations for behavior in every job posting you make! Make the constitution a part of onboarding but experiencing cultural exposure. Assign constitutional champions as mentors so new employees can have a safe space to ask questions.
Over the years since I received this book, I've picked it up, flipped through it and then put it down again. It'd just not a really attractive book to read with all the text to slog through. With a stronger layout to make it less academic -- spacing, headlines, call out sections, etc. -- it would've been easier on the eyes.
When I finally sat down to more systematically work through it, I discovered it's more like a workbook. Just wish it had a separate section with examples. I would've loved to see a back section with companies' visions, values, etc. to help inspire or mock ups of one to help us jump start. While he did provide sample words to consider and some stories of other companies, like WD-40, it just needed some more love to take this book to the next level.
Management-by-values takes the lead over management-by-performance.
Developing a Corporate Constitution. (or organizational/team/etc as applicable to your influence)
Overall I like the "start with how your people-management qualities" and then evaluating performance. This book has a really good walk-through on (a) deciding the values you want to manage by, (b) how to evaluate the performance of your organization against those values, and (c) advice on what to do when your organization or specific people are out of step with those values.
An interesting book that outlines in more detail the idea of a "code of culture" or "culture farm" that I've heard colleagues talking about and working to implement in their organizations (and that I wonder if they got from this book.) The book gets a little self-referential at times, but overall thought the description of how to clearly outline values and incorporate them into leadership, hiring, training, and promotion/discipline was well done and will definitely refer back to this book in the future.
Great book explaining that culture in an organization is the most important factor. Leadership has a responsibility to guard the organizationals culture and create a HP culture. New way of Leadership required. This is explained very clear and easy to read.
Decent insight, a fair amount of it is common principles and ideas. The voice its written in is very business focused, as you might expect. Some of the more original ideas are decent and make the book worth the read.