5 Best Books About Culture Update 05/2022

The CultureIQ family has read a lot of books about culture together. Not only that, but we’ve even helped write some of them. 2020’s Employee Surveys and Sensing, and the Oxford Handbook of Organizational Climate and Culture, are two of the books. Here is a list of our top five must-read books about company culture. We hope we can spread the love with this list. We hope that their use of hard data, quantifiable actions, past experiences, and a healthy dose of literary genius will make you think about your own life. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. They look great!

Primed to Perform Author: Neel Doshi & Lindsay McGregor

Primed to Perform is one of those books that will make you question everything you think you know about the world. Doshi and McGregor will change the way you think about culture by using the most up-to-date human psychology. In addition to the most up-to-date science, Primed to Perform has a tool called the “Total Motivation Factor,” or “ToMo Factor.” This is a tool that can be used and can be measured. People can use this tool to figure out how strong a company’s culture is based on six different reasons, or three contributors and three detractors:
Contributors
They are more likely to succeed if they are driven by “Play.” The work is fun and rewarding on its own. Purpose: People who are driven by purpose are more interested in the end result of their work than the work itself. As a result, those who are excited about the work believe that it will eventually lead to something that is in line with their values, not the immediate result.
Detractors
Emotional Pressure: People who are motivated by emotional pressure are basically pressured by their peers. This motivation is good for how you feel about yourself and how people think about you, but it’s not good for the work itself.

In this case, people who are motivated by money want to get paid or avoid getting punished. It’s less likely for people to succeed if they are motivated by inertia because this is the reason that is the farthest from the work itself. They are just doing the work because they have always done it that way. As the authors talk about motivation, expect your mind to be blown by the cutting-edge science behind some of the world’s best-performing cultures. Warning: Rewards and praise aren’t always the best way to get people to do what they want to.

The main thing to remember:
Never forget the value of having fun at work. These are my favorite quotes. “Culture is too important to leave up to chance,” says the author.
“Great cultures make people more motivated, and more motivated people make more people do well.”
“Culture is one of the most important things you can measure and build.”

How Google Works Authors: Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg ( With Alan Eagle, foreword by Larry Page)

Before we get started, this is not a book about how to live in the world. How Google Works is a book about business. In our opinion, this makes it even more interesting.

Execs who have worked for Google for a long time, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, talk about how innovative work environments and creative people were the strategic assets that helped the internet company rise to its height. In this book, Schmidt and Rosenberg tell an interesting story and share some secrets along the way. They give concrete advice on how to start and grow a successful business. The story starts with them turning down a request from a board member for a detailed business plan. Instead, they said, “hire as many talented engineers as possible and give them freedom.” When you read on, you’ll learn about a company that never backed down when it came to who they hired, how they treated people, or how much freedom they gave their employees!

The main thing to remember:
Culture is very important. Autonomy is important. These are my favorite quotes. Having faith in your people and enough self-assurance to let them come up with a better way is important. It doesn’t matter if people are told to do something, they need to be able to do it.

Turn the Ship Around Author: David Marquet

Ex-US Navy commander David Marquet talks about how a culture change made the USS Santa Fe the best nuclear submarine in the Navy. The USS Santa Fe used to be the worst performing nuclear submarine in the Navy. Marquet made everyone in his crew into leaders by giving them responsibilities and giving them a sense of ownership. Marquet’s sailors were able to think and act on their own in a high-stakes situation. They won awards and recognition for the USS Santa Fe, as well as honors and promotions for themselves.

This is a great example of how a culture of individual responsibility can make a real difference in your company. This is also proof that strong cultures aren’t just found in trendy internet businesses with kegs, ping-pong tables, and flat organizational structures. The right leader can help build a strong culture even in a place where there are strict rules and hierarchies. You can do it, too! If a nuclear submarine can do it, your company can too!
The main thing to remember:
Don’t tell people what to do, tell them what you want. Give those who have technical skills and know how to work with groups a lot of freedom. People in charge should move to where the information is. Create a place where people can think.

The best quote:
In order to be a good leader, you have to tell people about their worth and potential so clearly that they can see it in themselves.

Everybody Matters Authors: Bob Chapman Raj Sisodia

Chapman, the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, was inspired by a father’s words to his daughter on her wedding day. Chapman believes that every person is special and deserves the chance and support to become the person they were meant to be. Even though there was a recession in 2008, he then started a “Continuous Improvement, People-Centered” leadership strategy. Every day, project, and person, Chapman built a culture that recognizes the value of each person by creating a place where people can find, develop, and share their gifts while being recognized and appreciated along the way. When Barry-Wehmiller Companies used “employee divorce rates” as a strategic metric, they were able to not only deal with a lot of cultural change but also save money. When Chapman was told that everyone would have to go through a little pain in order to avoid a lot of pain for one person, he turned down layoffs and took 4 weeks of furlough. This led to employees trading time with each other inside their company. Apparently, those who made more money were able to take more time off, saving the company money when the economy was down. Definitely a great story about the human spirit and how it works in a company that thinks of its customers as family.

The main thing to remember:
If you treat your employees with respect and consideration, they will treat you the same way.
The best quote:
In this case, though, it’s not just a case of “idealism,” even though there’s nothing wrong with it. Business leaders are always looking for investments that could make them money, but our main goal is to make things better for everyone. Machinery can make a real difference in productivity, and new processes can make a big difference. However, only people can make quantum leaps that will surprise and shock you. It’s only people who can do ten times what they thought they could. In the end, it’s only people who can make you feel good at the end of each day. Everything we value in life and business starts and ends with people.

Firms of Endearment Authors: Raj Sisodia, David B. Wolfe and Jag Sheth

The authors say that capitalism has a bad effect on people. Cash is gone. People and a goal are in. A thought that used to make people roll their eyes is now at the heart of the best-performing businesses in the world. In our world, instead of maximizing value for shareholders, organizations are maximizing value for all of their stakeholders, like customers and investors, as well as their employees, partners, communities, and the world at large. Sisodia, Wolfe, and Sheth’s data is so important that it can’t be ignored. Firms of Endearment will not only change how you think about business, but they will also give you hope for a better tomorrow. Another set of case studies are shown in the book’s second edition. They show how businesses can be more successful when they look at the whole picture.

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