Maddie’s February Culture Picks

Written by Maddie Grant on February 26, 2016

Once a month, I’ll round up some links to posts from around the internet on our culture topic of the month. Here’s this month’s reading list for you.

Creating Culture: An Imperfect Recipe (Andy Dunn, CEO of Bonobos)

“Most of the time when you need something at a company, you make it. If you want to sell a product, you create it. If you need a head of marketing, you hire one. If you want to create a great company culture, what do you do? The lack of a clear answer on this is why I believe most companies don’t have a great culture. They want culture to matter so they say it does—but wanting culture to be great doesn’t mean it will be. The reason: it’s not obvious how to make great culture. It can feel as if—instead—it is revealed to you, and what is revealed at best can be articulated.”

A Company’s Purpose Has to Be a Lot More Than Words (

“A company’s purpose is more than a mission statement or a vision cast from the C-suite. In fact, Gallup finds that when it comes to communicating an organization’s purpose to your employees, customers and stakeholders, words don’t matter nearly as much as actions do.

At its core, a company’s purpose is a bold affirmation of its reason for being in business. It conveys what the organization stands for in historical, ethical, emotional and practical terms. No matter how it’s communicated to employees and customers, a company’s purpose is the driving force that enables a company to define its true brand and create its desired culture.”

The Art of Motivation (Bloomberg)

“At Nucor the art of motivation is about an unblinking focus on the people on the front line of the business. It’s about talking to them, listening to them, taking a risk on their ideas, and accepting the occasional failure. It’s a culture built in part with symbolic gestures. Every year, for example, every single employee’s name goes on the cover of the annual report.”

Dear United, I Solved Your Problems (WorkXO)

“From what I can tell from the outside, United seems to lack an intentional culture. In an interview this summer after Oscar Muñoz took over as CEO, he said that employees had been “allowed to be disengaged, disenchanted, and disenfranchised.” Um, you don’t “allow” someone to be disenfranchised. You disenfranchise them. And disenfranchised employees are never going to do what it takes to reduce the misery of air travel. They just aren’t going to treat you decently. And ultimately, as United has discovered, they’re not going to do what it takes to get you where you want to go (effectively, anyway).”

How to Evaluate Company Culture (Work Design Magazine)

“If you’re currently thinking about your next career opportunity, ask yourself if the grass is really greener on another playing field. What’s the right place for you — the one that will allow you to write your own story — in a job that is enjoyable, rewarding, and fulfilling, too. To understand career success, here’s the trifecta — drivers, core values, and culture.”

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