Monthly Culture Inspiration: November 2017

Every month, I post three types of culture inspiration: a visual, a book, and an article to bookmark.

Visual: Culture Drives Performance

Vega Factor, a culture consulting firm created a video that explains how culture drives performance. I love the visuals and message.

Book: Principles by Ray Dalio

In Principles, Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Fund, shares what he’s learned about life, management, and culture. Here are some of my favorite highlights about organizational culture.

  • "An organization is a machine consisting of two major parts: culture and people. Each influences each other, because the people who make up an organization determine the kind of culture it has, and the culture of the organization determines the kinds of people who fit in. A great organization has both great people and a great culture. Companies that get progressively better over time have both. Nothing is more important or more difficult than to get the culture and people right." Dalio talks about how important it is for organizations to evolve by looping: converting problems into progress. 
  • "Build the organization around goals rather than tasks. Giving each department a clear focus and the appropriate resources to achieve its goals makes the diagnosis of resource allocations more straightforward and reduces job slip." For example, make sure that your marketing department is different than your client services department. 
  • Dalio writes, "Make departments as self-sufficient as possible so that they have control over the resources they need to achieve their goals. We do this because we don't want to create bureaucracy that forces departments to requisition resources from a pool that lacks the focus to do the job."
  • "Ensure that the ratios of senior managers to junior managers and of junior managers to their reports are limited to preserve quality communication and mutual understanding." Dalio recommends not higher than 1:10 and preferably 1:5.
  • Dalio also recommends, "Consider succession and training in your design. To ensure success that your organization continues to deliver results, you need to build a perpetual motion machine that can work well without you." This involves create a succession pipeline and training new leaders who preserve the culture and values.

Article to Bookmark: What Your Company Culture Needs at 10, 100 and 1,000 Employees

This helpful article from Culture Summit shares a few key things that every company culture needs at its critical stages of growth: 10, 100, and 1,000 employees. Learn how your approach to managing company culture needs to change as your organization grows.