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Culture.com: Building Corporate Culture in the Connected Workplace

ISBN: 978-0-471-64539-9
384 pages
July 2000
Culture.com: Building Corporate Culture in the Connected Workplace (0471645397) cover image
We are living in a .com world. The old rules are changing, but it is not yet clear what the new rules are. Everything is in flux, and the speed and complexity of the changes are difficult for many of us to absorb. Futurists, historians, and social scientists tell us the transition to a networked economy is the biggest shift in the way the world functions since the Industrial Revolution. The people working today are the bridge generation, spanning the gap between the old and new ways of doing business.

The business and professional world is working feverishly to learn how to change its business strategies to capitalize on this .com world. A great deal of attention is directed at the external business issues of designing, marketing, selling, and delivering goods and services in the networked environment. But the internal infrastructure and culture changes that are needed to deliver on those new business strategies have received very little attention so far.

Culture.com tackles the question of how to create a corporate culture that matches the new .com business strategy. It explains how a company’ s internal culture must adapt to complement, support, and be properly aligned with the organization’s external business strategy. And it shows how failure to adapt can undermine, or even destroy, a company’s ability to carry out its objectives.

Culture.com is a highly practical guide to the pressing corporate culture issues that face every e-business, from .com start-ups to traditional organizations making the transition into the clicks-and-mortar world.

  • Explains the 9 key characteristics of a .com culture that are vital for all organizations.
  • Offers practical tips and strategies to ensure that your corporate culture can be a competitive advantage, rather than a liability, in the .com world.
  • Provides hands-on advice on changing your corporate culture to reflect the new realities of e-business: debugging on the fly, rapid risk taking and decision making, developing a culture of collaboration, building corporate culture in virtual organizations, and much more.
  • Shows how to break old organizational habits that no longer fit in the world of e-business, and how to learn now ways to think, believe, and behave.
  • Features examples and interviews from a wide range of companies, government settings, and not-for-profits.

Praise for Culture.com

"What a simple, yet profound, understanding of culture! This is a wise, practical and important guide in navigating today's 'dot com' whitewater world."
— Dr. Stephen R. Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

"At last someone has paid attention to that most powerful force called 'culture' at just the right time. As has always been the case, either we manage culture or it manages us. As we go deeper into this new world of bricks and clicks, it is imperative that we rededicate ourselves to the creation and survival of exceptional business cultures."
— Jim Hammock, CEO and Chairman, Hire.com

"Fast-paced and readable, Culture.com combines examples from successful .com companies with practical tips to guide executives struggling to build lasting corporations in the virtual settings of the global economy. The authors are well ahead of most business school research."
— David O. Porter, Professor of Management and former Dean, School of Management, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Founding Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce

"Competing in the e-business world requires companies to shape their corporate culture to implement their business strategies. The authors of Culture.com have recognized this reality and provide practical tips, real-world stories, and smart guidance vital to executives, managers, and employees alike."
— J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International

"Culture.com is a much-needed, practical, and complete guide to help companies make the transition in today's workplace in order to survive and succeed. Focusing on the use of every individual's creative power, talents, and experience has been lacking, is needed, and this book shows the way."
— John D. Baker, President, John D. Baker & Associates, and retired Vice President, Commercial, Mars, Inc.

"With the speed and complexity of the business environment today, Culture.com is a lighthouse beacon offering direction out of the fog and uncertainty. It provides all of us who are journeying to new places a solid bearing and sage advice to chart a safe course."
— Janice Wismer, Vice President, Human Resources, Canadian Tire Retail

"No matter where you are in an organization, or who you work for, having a 'living' corporate culture in place that supports the values of what you believe in-and is demonstrated every day in your actions-is key to the degree of your success. It is the deciding factor between just succeeding, and being great. Developing and living those values that are at the core of your culture, is the challenge we all face. It requires continuous learning and change. Culture.com can help you with this."
— Bruce Freeman, Vice President and Information Officer, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

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Preface.

Acknowledgements.

Chapter One: Your Corporate Culture in a Clicks-and-Mortar World.

Corporate Graffiti Moves to the Web.

The Rules of the Game Are Changing.

What Is Corporate Culture?

Shared Underlying Assumptions and Core Values of the Group: The Deepest Layer of Culture.

Behaviors and Habits: "The Way We Do Things Around Here".

Symbols and Language: The Most.

Visible and Simplest Level of Culture.

What Do You Change and What Do you Keep?

Cultural Change is Disrupting and Upsetting to Employees.

Breaking Old Habits and Forming New Ones.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Two: Making the Jump to Warp Speed.

Living in Net Time.

Acxiom's 100-Day Story.

Lessons Learned for the Acxiom 100-Days Project.

Launch and Learn Is Standard Procedure.

Do Products on the Fly Mean the Demise of Quality?

How to Produce Both Speed and Quality.

How to Use a Fast/Slow Strategy to Improve Quality.

Quicker Prototyping to Improve Quality and Speed.

Creating a Culture That Supports Risk Taking.

Making Decisions at Warp Speed.

Changing Your Approach to Decision Making.

Loosening Up on Control Can Be a Difficult Habit to Change.

Coping with the Resistance to Rapid Change.

The Difference Between Ability and Willingness Resistance.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Three: Building a Corporate Culture in a Virtual Organization.

What is a Virtual Organization?

Why Did We Go Virtual?

Virtual Organizations are Used to Recruit and Retain Employees.

Being a Virtual Worker Can Feel Like Bowling Alone.

Examples of Strong Cultures Supporting the Ability to Perform Well in Virtual Settings.

Passing on the Culture through Socialization of Employees.

The Challenge of Passing on the Culture to Virtual Employees.

The Seven Steps of the Socialization Process.

Step One: Selecting.

Step Two: Conditioning.

Step Three: Training.

Step Four: Measure and Reward.

Step Five: Shared Values.

Step Six: Legends and Folklore.

Step Seven: Role Models.

The Downside of Socialization.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Four: Living with Parallel Cultures During the Transition to E-Business.

How to Get from Here to There.

Key Differences in Transition Strategies.

Parallel Operations Create Parallel Cultures.

Convert All Operations to the Internet.

Company Examples of Parallel and Integrated Approaches.

IBM.

Chapters Inc..

Lucent Technologies.

Procter Gamble.

Sears and Whirlpool.

Schwab Changed Its Mind.

Six Criteria to Use When Determining Whether to Go the Parallel or Integration Route.

Is Your Dominant, Mainline Corporate Culture Likely to Be Hostile to a .Com Type of Culture.

Do You Need Separate E-Business Operations for Recruiting Purposes?

Are You Changing Business-to-Business Processes or Business-to-Business Activities?

How Clear and Unifying is Your Leadership Vision and Strategy?

Do You Have Enough Resources to Create Separate Parallel Operations?

Do You Have a Large Number of New Employees in Your Company?

A Painful Case of Moving from Parallel Cultures: Four Considerations.

1. Plan the Reintegration from the Beginning.

2. Involve Members from Both Cultures from the Start.

3. Reward Cooperation.

4. Expect Emotional Reactions.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Five: A New Breed of Teams in a .Com Culture.

Fast-Moving, Temporary Teams Are the Norm.

Lego Teams: Aggregate, Disaggregate, Reaggregate.

Characteristics of a .Com Team.

1. Obsess with Their Goal.

2. Creative and Unconventional Style.

3. Informal and Democratic.

4. Team Member's Feelings or Personalities Are Not Important.

5. When the Team is Done, It's Done.

These Teams Are Not a New Creation.

.Com Teams Are Not Just for .Com Companies.

Encouraging and Supporting .Com Teams.

What do .Com Teams Require of Leadership?

What You Do Not Need.

Two Kinds of Leaders Playing Different Roles.

There are Different Challenges for .Com and Conventional Teams.

1. Hostile Reaction from the Larger Organization.

2. Looks Don't Matter— Results Do.

3. Do Not Use Individual Incentives in a Culture of Teamwork.

4. Keeping People from Feeling Isolated When They Have No Home Base.

5. Employees Find Their Own Ways to Stay Connected.

6. Burn Out is a Serious Danger for a .Com Team Culture.

Has Tribal Warfare Disappeared?

Why Would a .Com Culture Have Less Tribal Warefare?

What Type of Tribal Warfare Still Exists?

Appying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Six: Communication Belongs to Everyone in a .Com Culture.

Companies Lose Control Over the Distribution of Information.

The Upsides and Downsidge of the Wired Workplace.

1. Dealing with Cyberspace Name-Calling.

2. Coping with E-Mail Hell.

3. Changing from Push to Pull Communications.

Getting the Right Information to the Right People.

4. Moving From Hoarding to Sharing Information.

A Case Study of Conflict.

What is the Cost of In-House Competition?

Changing From a Culture of Hoarding, Conflict, and Competition to Collaboration.

Laughter is a Sign of a Collaborative Culture.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Seven: Knowledge Management Is Managing People's Brain Power.

What is Knowledge Management?

Is Sharing an Unnatural Human Act?

Looking for Examples of Knowledge Sharing.

The Field Marshal Case: A Study in Ancient History, the Eighties.

The Field Marshal and the Knowledge Worker: A Disaster in the Making?

Old Veep and New Veep: Doing and Undoing.

The New Veep (and His Ego) Arrives on the Scene.

Learning from the Case: What Was the Difference Between the Successes and the Failures?

How Did the New Veep Go Wrong?

How Does Your Company Compare? The Knowledge Audit.

Kinds of Inquiry for an Inventory-Style Audit.

Tacit Knowledge and Explicit Knowledge.

The Kinds of Work that Workers Do Affect the Knowledge Culture.

Examples of Explicit Knowledge Management Systems for Routine, Structured Work.

Tacit Knowledge Management Systems for Unstructured Work.

A Case of Knowledge Mismanagement: The Saturn Project for the Apollo Missions.

You've Got All This Technology: Use It!.

Technology Is Not Always the Answer.

A Cultural Characteristics Audit for Knowledge Management.

A Cultural Characteristics Audit.

A "Community of Practice" Cannot Be Appointed.

Communities of Practice Go to Cyberspace.

A Good Knowledge Management Culture through Recruitment and Retention.

A Quick and Easy Knowledge Audit.

At the End of the Day: You'd Never Not Ask.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Eight: The New Corporate IQ and Getting Smart.

How Do You Know If Your Company Has a High IQ?

Symptoms of a High IQ Culture.

Symptoms of a Low IQ Culture.

Learning to Identify What You Don't Know Is a Key to Getting Smart.

Individuals in High IQ Cultures Have Three Kinds of Smarts.

Job Smarts Focus on the Capacities to Do the Job Well.

Thinking Smarts Is Not Necessarily Learned in School.

Emotional Smarts Bring It All Together.

Increasing Your EQ: Park Your Road Rage at the Door.

How To Smarten Up: Creating a Learning Culture that Produces a High Corporate IQ.

Who is Responsible for This Rapid, Complex Learning?

Helping Employees Improve Their EQ.

The Company That Changed By Using Conversation as Its Learning Tool.

Sheep Dip Training Is Not Adequate Anymore.

Alternatives to Sheep Dip Training— Learning and E-Learning.

What Is High-Quality E-Training?

Learning By Doing.

Mistake Learning Becomes Acceptable in the Corporate Culture.

A Conversation Tool for Developing Job, Thinking, and Emotional IQ.

You Must be Willing to Change Yourself.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Nine: Linkages and Relationships Outside the Organization: A Cultural Challenge.

Mergers and Acquisitions: The Traditional Option Is Still Used in a .Com World.

Why Merge and What Are the Risks?

The Odds Are Against Pulling Off a Successful Merger.

The Culture That Can Be Stumbling Block.

What Happens When a Merger Is Announced?

The Different Ways to Deal with Culture After the Merger.

1. Keeping Separate Cultures After the Merger.

2. The Acquiring Company Dominates and Absorbs the Other Culture.

3. Blending Cultures in an Attempt to Retain the Best of Both Cultures.

Choosing An Option: Separate, Dominate, or Blend.

Merging at .Com Speed.

Cisco Systems: The Acquisitions Success Story.

Alliances Are Not New to the .Com World.

Four Types of Alliances.

1. Transactions.

2. Performance Contract.

3. Specialized Relationship.

4. Partnerships.

Factors Determining the Success of Alliances.

Factors Affecting the Long-Term Success of Alliances.

Factors Affecting the Day-to-Day Actions in Alliances.

The E-Business World Requires the Full Range of Relationships.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Chapter Ten: Leading the Journey to the Wired Enterprise.

The Leader as Culture Carrier.

Defining Leadership in the E-Business Arena.

The Difference Between Leadership in Traditional Companies and the .Com World.

Core Activities of a Leader that Shape the Culture.

Broadcasting the Guiding Principles.

Creating a Vision.

Day-to-Day Activities of a Leader that Shape the Culture.

Paying Attention to the Right Things.

Reacting to Bad News.

Allocating Resources.

Being a Role Model.

Rewarding the Right People.

Using Influence More and Power Less.

E-Business Requires More Leadership and Less Management.

Peacetime Management and Wartime Leadership.

Informal Leaders and Empowerment in a .Com Culture.

Complexity of the E-Business World: Leading at the Edge of Chaos.

Applying This Information in Your Organization.

Conclusion: Ten Final Tips on Building a Corporate Culture for the Connected Workplace.

1. Recruiting for Cultural Fit.

2. Speed Up Your Culture.

3. When Changing Your Culture, You Get One Point for Each Action.

4. Lead More, Manage Less in a .Com Culture.

5. Pick Credible Role Models.

6. Protect the .Com Teams for the Corporate Immune System.

7. Increase the Collective IQ of Your Company.

8. Enhance Your Company's Knowledge Management System.

9. Plan the Integration of Your Parallel Cultures.

10. Clarify Each Party's Commitment Level in Alliances.

We Will Keep You Posted as the Story Unfolds.

Index

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Peg Neuhauser has worked for over eighteen years as a speaker and organizational consultant, specializing in the areas of organizational culture, communication, and conflict management. Her company, PCN Associates works with clients in many industries, including high-tech, health care, finance, and publishing. Peg completed studies in the United States and England with an M.A. in psychology and undergraduate work in sociology. She is the author of two other books, Tribal Warfare in Organizations and Corporate Legends and Lore: The Power of Storytelling as a Management Tool. Ray Bender, Ph.D. is a speaker and consultant specializing in alliances, leadership, and organizational change. Prior to establishing his own company, he was a Vice President and Research Director for executive programs at the Gartner Group, where he was responsible for setting the research agenda to support the issues of Chief Information Officers of large North American organizations. Prior to joining Gartner Group, he was a Consulting Instructor at IBM's Advanced Business Institute. He has a B.S. in History and Sociology, an M.S. in Industrial Administration, and a Ph.D. in Management. Ray is a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff Course and a retired Army Colonel. Kirk L. Stromberg is the managing partner of the StarCompass Group, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in organizational and individual change. Previously, he was an executive at the senior management level at AARP responsible for strategic planning, several major change initiatives, and management of its research and training operations. He was also a lobbyist at the state and federal levels for two major associations and an Operations Officer in the clandestine services of the CIA.
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"The book provides a practical roadmap of strategies to shift an organisation's culture from a liability to a competitive advantage in a dotcom world." (Computer Weekly, 2nd November 2000)

"The book has many qualities. ...Thorough, accessible, with lots of sound advice presented in nugget form." (Human Resources, October 2000)

"What a simple, yet profound, understanding of culture! This is a wise, practical and important guide in navigating today's 'dot com' whitewater world."
Dr. Stephen R. Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

"At last someone has paid attention to that most powerful force called 'culture' at just the right time. As has always been the case, either we manage culture or it manages us. As we go deeper into this new world of bricks and clicks, it is imperative that we rededicate ourselves to the creation and survival of exceptional business cultures."
Jim Hammock, CEO and Chairman, Hire.com

"Fast-paced and readable, Culture.com combines examples from successful .com companies with practical tips to guide executives struggling to build lasting corporations in the virtual settings of the global economy. The authors are well ahead of most business school research."
David O. Porter, Professor of Management and former Dean, School of Management, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Founding Director of the Idaho Department of Commerce

"Competing in the e-business world requires companies to shape their corporate culture to implement their business strategies. The authors of Culture.com have recognized this reality and provide practical tips, real-world stories, and smart guidance vital to executives, managers, and employees alike."
J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Marriott International

"Culture.com is a much-needed, practical, and complete guide to help companies make the transition in today's workplace in order to survive and succeed. Focusing on the use of every individual's creative power, talents, and experience has been lacking, is needed, and this book shows the way."
John D. Baker, President, John D. Baker Associates, and retired Vice President, Commercial, Mars, Inc.

"With the speed and complexity of the business environment today, Culture.com is a lighthouse beacon offering direction out of the fog and uncertainty. It provides all of us who are journeying to new places a solid bearing and sage advice to chart a safe course."
Janice Wismer, Vice President, Human Resources, Canadian Tire Retail

"No matter where you are in an organization, or who you work for, having a 'living' corporate culture in place that supports the values of what you believe in— and is demonstrated every day in your actions— is key to the degree of your success. It is the deciding factor between just succeeding, and being great. Developing and living those values that are at the core of your culture, is the challenge we all face. It requires continuous learning and change. Culture.com can help you with this."
Bruce Freeman, Vice President and Information Officer, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway

See More
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