“Out of control!” This is what I hear over and over, when I ask people about their processes. Despite the best of intentions, planning and execution keep getting interrupted by burning issues. According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 52% of employees are not engaged at work, and another 18 percent are actively disengaged. When I ask what their biggest problem is, managers usually say they can’t find and retain good people. They work too many hours and fear they are burning people out, yet much of the time is wasted. If good people are leaving, it could be a sign that the culture is the problem.
The Culture Deck
It may have started back in 2001 with the Agile Manifesto, but there are now a growing number of videos and slide decks on lean/agile corporate culture. Several new books on management focus on culture and process in place of predictive strategy. In this article, my goal is to put all these messages in perspective by outlining a new role that I believe will become more and more important: the Minister of Culture.
WARNING: REAL CONTENT AHEAD! This essay links to most of the best research on culture. I suggest you skim it quickly to get a sense of what’s here (5-7 min). At the end, there’s a reference section linking to key content, so you don’t have to hunt for it. When you have more time, read it from top to bottom (20 min — 16 percent of readers). I’ll also show how to generate a culture score for your company and work to improve it. Finally, by clicking on embedded links and reading suggested books, it becomes a full 3-6 month course on culture that I hope will help lead companies to create this important role. Don’t think of this as a long post — think of it as a short e-book.
Ivan Tasovac, the Serbian Minister of Culture
What Does a Minister of Culture Do?
The Minister of Culture could also be called the Chief Culture Officer, Leadership Development Director, or simply the person who helps everyone create a great place to work. The Minister of Culture works with individuals, teams, and groups to build culture from the bottom up. As Bill Aulet writes in his excellent piece Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast, “… culture happens whether you want it to or not. It is the DNA* of the company and is in large part created by the founders — not by their words so much as their actions.” Culture isn’t about what gets done, it’s about how and why things get done. Seen at this level, culture represents two thirds** of a company’s investment in human capital …