If culture eats strategy for breakfast – how can we get started?

Written by Stuart Haden on September 21, 2016

When you develop organisational culture there is no need for a fireworks display or a big bang to launch any new initiatives. In truth you have already started, because the change in some shape or form is already being practiced. The key aim to culture work is providing a bit more form. Gather some resources; read, listen or watch. This is akin to stocking the shelves in a shop, without it you haven’t got any products and the shop front window is bare. Where can you go for these bodies of information? A few books could start you off. Maybe some desk-top research. Step into your network and see what or whom you can access. Resources that fit your culture, resources that others will want to access.

One great way to capture these resources is to agree a ‘toolkit’ or otherwise. A resource that can be made available (in time) across the organisation. Outlining these appropriate resources is a great starting point. We all love a one stop shop, information to be found in one place. A ‘toolkit’ can be a wonderful way to achieve this. Find a niche in the market; underground, eccentric or controversial. Maybe you need to be more sub culture, than mainstream culture.

In order to maintain culture development you have to refresh your library of resources. For example, when it comes to developing coaching cultures in the last 12 months I’ve discovered Mastering Coaching by Max Landsberg. Particularly the links he makes to the sciences; simply having a copy on your desk spreads the word. High Consequences, & Hacking The Flow State is a podcast episode with Jamie Wheal & Steven Kotler. Whilst not specific to coaching it sets the benchmark for optimal performance. The energy of coaching is all around us, the 1993 film Searching for Bobby Fischer is based on the life of prodigy chess player Josh Waitzkin. Entertaining no doubt, but is also provides reminders about the timing and intensity of coaching. Read, listen or watch out for those cult classics.