July 19, 2010
News & Opinion: Culture Building
Vineet Nayar's Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down, and Ed Muzio's Make Work Great: Supercharge Your Team, Reinvent the Culture, and Gain Influence - One Person at a Time, are two recent books for managers about making a difference through culture change. Why is culture change the solution? Both authors stress that creating stronger teams is the best way to adapt to changes in industry, and being prepared for future changes. According to Nayar, "A company's performance in relation to its peers is just one factor that defines its point A. It is equally important to look at the entire landscape of the industry in which you operate and to see how it is evolving. Often, the landscape has shifted so much that the original point A has fallen off the edge of the map." As change continually happens, it is important to consider and understand it, and then plant the seed for adaptation within your teams. Muzio offers a similar view: "It's no small consideration; the workplace has changed more in the past 15 to 20 years than it did in the entire century or two before that." Both authors present chapters on how to address change by working with your team, integrating personal influence, being transparent, and making everyone responsible for positive change. Through personal stories, researched quotes, and other insight, both books are solid guides for managers (and even employees) to follow toward creating a better place to work - and who doesn't want that?