organizational culture

Want to change your company? Go viral

Want to change your company? Go viral

Scott Keller contributed to this article.

You've begun to make major changes at your company. Maybe you've decided to restructure your business to reach new markets or perhaps you're cutting costs in response to a crisis. » Read more

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What is organizational health?

We're at the end of an eight-year period, which was marked in the beginning by the demise of Enron and marked at the end by the demise of Lehman Brothers. During that near decade, the quasi-religious mantra of business was shareholder value: Focus on performance and on performance alone. That's what real managers did. They decomposed activity to work out the value creation potential and they focused on performance. Everything else was stuff that needed to be done to run the machine.

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Building a positive meritocracy: It's harder than it sounds

When Michael Young coined the word in 1958, he never thought that meritocracy would be idealized 50-some year later. Young's book, The Rise of the Meritocracy, was a satirical glimpse of what the future would look like if Britain continued down the road of ranking individuals with standardized testing.

Today meritocracy is revered. Unfortunately the systems we believe to be meritocratic have precisely the same problems that Young feared—plus a few more. » Read more

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Is your culture made of gold or fool's gold?

When I hear people talk about how awesome their organizational culture is, I often find myself wondering what sort of “great” culture it is.

For me, great cultures fall into two categories: entitlement and mission-driven. Those “best places to work” lists don't usually make a distinction, but I do. Here is the difference:

Entitlement cultures

The surest sign of an entitlement culture? When someone tells you why they like their work, they give you an example of a benefit not related to the work itself. Some examples:
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