The Culture EngineA Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and Transforming Your Workplace
An organizational "North Star," codifying valued behaviors for optimal performance The Culture Engine shows leaders how to create a high performing, values aligned culture through the creation of an organizational constitution. With practical step-by-step guidance, readers learn how to define their organization's culture, delineate the behaviors that contribute to greater performance and greater engagement, and draft a document that codifies those behaviors into a constitution that guides behavior towards an ideal: a safe, inspiring workplace. The discussion focuses on people, including who should be involved at the outset and how to engage employees from start to finish, while examples of effective constitutions provide guidance toward drafting a document that can actualize an organization's potential. Culture drives everything that happens in an organization day to day, including focus, priorities, and the treatment of employees and customers. A great culture drives great performance, and can help attract and retain great talent. But a great culture isn't something that evolves naturally. The Culture Engine is a guide to strategically planning a culture by compiling the company's guiding principles and behaviors into an organizational constitution. Decide which behaviors and attitudes are desired in the organization Secure leader commitment to planning, drafting, and implementing the document Learn the most effective way to socialize the draft statement and get everyone on board Model desired behaviors to boost employee engagement throughout the process Organizational culture is not an amorphous thing – it comes down from the top, inspired and exemplified by the leadership. It can steer a company up or down, keep it on mission or force it off-course. For an organization to fulfill its potential, the culture must be on-point, truly reflecting the heart of the company from leaders to team members across the company. The Culture Engine helps leaders define the playing field, pushing performance to the next level.
Foreword xi Acknowledgments xiii Introduction xv How Did I Learn about Organizational Constitutions? xvii How Is the Book Structured? xix Chapter 1 What Is an Organizational Constitution and Why Do You Need One? 1 What Is the Condition of Your Team or Company’s Culture, Right Now? 3 The Concept of Perfection 8 How Civil Is Your Workplace? 10 Who Is in Charge of Culture? 12 Create a Pocket of Excellence 14 An Organizational Constitution Is a “Disruptive Technology” in Your Workplace 16 The Performance-Values Matrix 20 The Costs of Measuring Only Performance 23 How Does an Organizational Constitution Help Your Company, Department, or Team? 30 Client Impact 32 Your Leadership Legacy 34 Chapter 2 It Starts with You 39 Clarify Your Personal Purpose 43 Clarify Your Personal Values and Aligned Behaviors 46 Define Your Values 48 Add Observable, Tangible, Measurable Behaviors to Each Value 51 Your Values, Definitions, and Behaviors 54 Formalize Your Leadership Philosophy 56 Key Elements (Present Day) 60 Desirable Outcomes (Future State) 61 Live Well to Serve and Lead Well 63 Servant Leadership Is the Foundation 67 Chapter 3 Clarify Your Organization's Purpose 71 What Is an Effective Purpose Statement? 74 Communicating Your Company’s Reason for Being 78 What Is Your Team or Company’s Actual Purpose? 79 Humans Are Drawn to and Inspired by Great Purpose 81 Crafting a Compelling, Inspiring Purpose Statement 82 Chapter 4 Define Values in Behavioral Terms 89 Why Do You Need Values Defined in Behavioral Terms? 91 Your Beliefs May Not Be Aligned 93 Build Your Values Foundation on Behaviors 94 Step-by-Step Guidelines for Creating Valued Behaviors 97 Define Your Values 102 Include Observable, Tangible, and Measurable Behaviors for Each Value 105 Your Values, Definitions, and Behaviors 108 Chapter 5 Outline Strategies and Goals for the Coming Fiscal Year 113 Five-Point Strategic Planning Wheel 120 Who Is in Charge of Communicating Your Business Strategies and Goals? 123 Measure the Right Things 125 Build a Draft of Your Team or Company’s Strategic Plan and Goals 127 Chapter 6 Your Organizational Constitution Must Be LIVED 133 Engage All Leaders in Your Organizational Constitution’s Implementation 135 Describe the Way 141 Model the Way 147 Align the Way 150 Contribution Management instead of Performance Management 151 The Values-Aligned Tribe Culture at WD-40 Company 154 Chapter 7 Gathering Formal Feedback on Valued Behaviors 163 Is it Responsibility or Accountability? 171 Crafting Your Custom Values Survey 174 Leaders Must Be Rated on Their Values Alignment First 182 Chapter 8 Dealing with Resistance 189 What Does Resistance Look Like? 196 How Must a Leader Address Resistance? 198 Chapter 9 Hiring for Values Alignment 203 How Do You Hire Today? 205 Before the Hire—Recruiting, Interviewing, and Assessing 207 After the Hire—Orientation and Integration 211 What if the New Hire Just Doesn’t Fit? 216 Chapter 10 Don't Leave Your Organizational Culture to Chance 219 Long-Term Alignment versus Short-Term Results 222 Scoring Your Culture Effectiveness Assessment 222 Implementing an Organizational Constitution Is an Ongoing Project 225 Keep Me Informed 227 Notes 229 About the Author 235 Index 237
S. CHRIS EDMONDS is the founder and CEO of The Purposeful Culture Group, an organizational culture consulting firm. Since 1995, he has also served as a senior consultant with the Ken Blanchard Companies. Over the course of his career, Chris has delivered over 100 keynote speeches, authored or coauthored 6 books, and consulted for clients in almost every industry. He is an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego’s School of Business.
We are more aware now than ever before of the vital importance of organizational culture. No one is inspired to perform in dreary, frustrating environments, and, in the 21st century, inspiration and engagement are often the only things separating the successes from the failures. But an earnest desire to improve your organization’s culture will only get you so far. You need a tangible framework that will give shape to your good intentions. There are many such frameworks out there, but The Culture Engine is the only one that’s really in tune with the daily realities faced by leaders at all levels. It’s true that culture-building is an ongoing process, but leaders also need to contend with the day-to-day responsibilities. Until now, no book has provided a way to solidify the culture you want without falling behind on everything else. In fact, The Culture Engine, with its emphasis on developing an organizational constitution, never loses sight of the fact that it’s the everyday tasks that add up to a successful team. The goal of this book is to provide readers with a way to build a foundation that will guide daily implementation, allowing effective leadership to really kick in. Many managers and team leads have a nagging feeling that their people aren’t performing to their full potential. Sure, the job is getting done, but is it getting done well, or is it just “good enough”? Without a set of principles to point the way to leaders and team members alike, no amount of intervention will squeeze success out of a troubled culture. The Culture Engine shows that those principles don’t have to be nebulous and vague—quite the contrary. Author S. Chris Edmonds walks readers through the steps to drafting an organizational constitution with the goal of clarity and a shared vision. With this vision in place, employees feel engaged and inspired to be a part of something with tangible meaning. A culture like that is the holy grail of leadership. Defining, crafting, and managing an organizational constitution per The Culture Engine’s clear instructions brings that goal within reach for all of us.
Praise for the culture engine “Chris Edmonds has spent his career helping organizational leaders clarify, communicate, and align actions around shared values. In this book, Chris reveals his tools of the trade. This practical, experience-based, easy-to-use guide enables you to build an inspiring organizational culture with confidence and determination.” —Jim Kouzes, coauthor, The Leadership Challenge, and Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University “Culture drives every aspect of an organization’s success. In The Culture Engine, Chris clearly spells out how to shift your focus from chasing markets to building a strong, flexible organizational culture founded on clarity of purpose, workplace satisfaction, and bottom-line success.” —Marshall Goldsmith, author of the global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There “Chris Edmonds’ approach will boost your team’s spirit, trust, and performance. WD-40 Company’s tribe culture is built upon these same concepts. Get this book and create your organization’s constitution!” —Garry Ridge, president/CEO of WD-40 Company, author, Helping People Win At Work “Organizational culture and performance are intricately interwoven. In this book, Chris shows how to create and use an organizational constitution, a breakthrough tool to help you shape this elusive yet critically important ingredient to organizational success.” —Jesse Stoner, coauthor, Full Steam Ahead: Unleash the Power of Vision “Where has this book been? The Culture Engine demystifies the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of driving your company’s culture to produce transformational business success. Chris operationalizes culture while offering practical tools necessary to align your people and gain profound competitive advantage.” —Joseph Michelli, New York Times Bestselling author of Leading the Starbucks Way and The Zappos Experience “Chris’ book is a concrete road map to creating and managing a productive and inspiring organizational culture. His idea of an organizational constitution is brilliant! Everyone deserves a purpose-driven work environment where employees feel trusted, valued, and respected. Chris shows you how.” —Hyrum Smith, cofounder of FranklinCovey “Everyone knows culture is important but most don’t know ‘how’ to change their culture. Chris presents a detailed road map to help any leader deliver an inspiring culture that generates lasting organizational success.” —Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com
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