Tag Archives for " intentional culture "

Intentional Culture by Design; next best action?

David Friedman, VISTAGE best practice speaker on the topic of Intentional Culture recently visited with our CEO peer groups in North Carolina. David, a former CEO, recently published Culture by Design.


Intentional culture by design

Culture by Design (cover)


This may be one of the best business books I’ve ever read. A guide to the tactics for building a highly successful culture. It is fast paced, clear persuasive and credible. (Bellamino)

In David’s foreward, he asks: “What is the implication of this recognition of the influence that culture has on performance as it relates to leadership? Well, as a leader, think of the enormous impact you could have if you had some way that you could mre purposely or more intentionally create the kind of culture that would help your team to perform at their highest level.”

In Friedman’s presentation , he reinforced that your culture can be a competitive differentiator. Friedman outlined an 8-step framework (see below) for designing the culture that you want.

Intentional culture: the 8-steps are:

  1. Define
  2. Ritualize
  3. Select
  4. Integrate
  5. Communicate
  6. Coach
  7. Lead
  8. Drive

As your next best action, please consider defining or re-defining your desired behaviors (culture). Consider ritualizing the behaviors with your employees or associates in a daily or weekly huddle. With repeated impressions, behavioral rituals will begin to permeate the organization.

Similarly, some leaders embraced Friedman’s HPCWayFinal and called it their own. Others set out on a journey to (re) define their unique behaviors & culture.

For illustration, let me give you an example.

Intentional culture desired behavior: Go above and beyond.

Supporting behavior narrative: “Be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish the job…plus a little bit more. Take the next step to solve the problem. Even if it takes doing something that’s not in your job description, it’s the extra mile that separates the average person from the superstar. Be a superstar.

In conclusion, if you had a simple and effective way to disrupt and transform your intentional culture that not only engages employees and gets results, why wouldn’t you?


Lencioni “What Matters Most”

What Matters Most? Patrick Lencioni recently weighed in on the topic in a CEO Briefing.

Lencioni What Matters Most

Patrick Lencioni What Matters Most

Check out Patrick’s website www.tablegroup.com for access to AdvantageComprehensive_Checklist(4)

“Companies, especially in technology, that love the accoutrements of culture, that’s not really culture. To me that’s excess. And I have to say I think it’s rooted in narcissism.”

Lencioni cites the causes of strategic miscues or even failures as rooted in fear, greed, and mistrust.

“Organizational health” will prove to be the decisive edge among companies in the future. 

Crib notes

  1. Great CEOs feel…the pressure to do the right thing, to work really hard and be a good steward of the opportunity.
  2. If you really want to get a sense of a healthy and successful company, attend a leadership meeting. If the meeting is boring with no tension and no emotional engagement, there are really bad things going on. Good leadership teams have to push each other.
  3. The great thing about millennials’ is that they sniff out the BS. (If you have a foosball table or a kegerator, and the managers treat people like crap, management is trying to manipulate you into staying there.) Touchy feely stuff doesn’t work. Collaboration and engagement does.

Because competitive advantage comes from four (4) simple things:

A cohesive, frank leadership team.

  • Do you have one?
  • Ideally, 3-10 people.
  • Team dynamics include trust both ways; with a willingness to be vulnerable with each other.
  • Engage in unfiltered conflict around important issues, opportunities and challenges.
  • Hold each other accountable.

Clarity about what matters most for company’s success.

  • First off, why do we exist?
  • Similarly, what business are in?
  • How do we behave?
  • What is the most important thing we could be doing for the organization, right now?
  • Who must do what by when (roles, responsibilities, accountabilities)

Communicating that message over and over again to everyone in the company.

  • Cascading messages.
  • Top-down, lateral and upward communication.
  • Constantly reinforce the key messages.
    • This is what we’re about, and I’m going to tell you over and over again.

Structure—without bureaucracy—that reinforces the clarity.

  • New hires integrated based on company values and behaviors.
  • Put just enough structure in place to reinforce the culture without bureaucratizing it.
  • Employees who don’t fit the culture are managed out.
  • Compensation and reward systems are built around the goals of the organization.

Most importantly, what is the best piece of advice for a leader today? Make your organization as healthy as it can be and you will become resilient. When the inevitable crisis occurs, together, we can weather that storm.