Walking The Talk: Building a Culture for Success Paperback – 3 Mar 2005
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Building a culture for success. An insight into company cultures and practical steps to develop an environment for success.
Carolyn Taylor provides a ground-breaking guide to all aspects of the crucial discipline of building an effective culture, showing readers how to lead, define, plan, analyse and capitalise on culture to transform themselves and their organisations. Divided into two halves, the first part of the book shows how a company culture is created and sustained (and the implications for company growth); the second half provides a practical step-by-step guide, covering everything you need to know about planning and implementing a culture programme in your business.
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The most recent research conducted by the Gallup Organization indicates that that 29% of the U.S. workforce is engaged and 55% is not engaged. What about the other 16%? They "actively disengaged" in that they are doing whatever they can to undermine their employer's efforts to succeed. These are stunning statistics. How to explain them? Reasons vary from one organization to the next. However, most experts agree that no more than 5% of any given workforce consists of "bad apples," trouble-makers, chronic complainers, subversives, etc. How to get as many as possible among the other 95% to become positively engaged? This is one of the questions to which Walker responds in her book.
Here is a composite of brief excerpts that explain her purposes: "The is a `how to' book. It will take you step-by-step from the decision to take on culture as a strategic imperative, to how the process should unfold over a three to five year period, and what should be included in each phase. It will show you how to tackle the most challenging aspects: How to change yourself and how to change other people...In doing so, it creates a blueprint...[Moreover, this book] will enable you to review what you have achieved, map out your next step, and identify factors along the way, which may be contributing to difficulties you are having achieving the traction you seek...[In fact,] this book will provide a whole range of steps you could take, a map of a typical journey, so that you are making choices within a logical framework."
This book is not for all organizations and those within them who are charged with designing and then launching change initiatives. Hence the importance of checking out reviews of this book and other works that are most often recommended. That said, some readers will find that Carolyn Taylor offers the information and counsel needed to build a "culture for success." Presumably she would be the first to agree that it would be a fool's errand to attempt to apply all of the material in her book. Rather, it remains for each reader to select only what is most relevant to her or his own organization's needs, interests, objectives, and resources.
Meanwhile, I presume to suggest that leadership of any initiatives must be distributed among everyone involved at each level and in every area of the given enterprise. Whether or not the change initiatives succeed will probably depend upon the extent to which "culture" and "character" are synonymous. Methodologies and technologies are needed to facilitate change initiatives but they must be guided and informed by shared values.
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Those who share my high regard for this book are urged to check out The Engaged Employee Network ([...]) founded and administered by David Zinger. I also recommend O'Toole's aforementioned book, Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor co-authored by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and O'Toole with Patricia Ward Biederman as well as Paul Spiegelman's Why is Everyone Smiling? The Secret Behind Passion, Productivity, and Profit, Sarah Cook's The Essential Guide to Employee Engagement: Better Business Performance through Staff Satisfaction, David Croston's Employee Engagement: The People First Approach to Building a Business, Richard H. Axelrod's Terms of Engagement: Changing the Way We Change Organizations, Michael L. Stallard's Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team's Passion, Creativity, and Productivity, Dean Spitzer's Transforming Performance Measurement: Rethinking the Way We Measure and Drive Organizational Success as well as Enterprise Architecture as Strategy: Creating a Foundation for Business Execution co-authored by Jeanne W. Ross, Peter Weill, and David Robertson.
If you are a leader who is asking HOW, this is the book for you.