The Many Myths of Corporate Culture

myth

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.  ~ John F. Kennedy

 Corporate culture is one of those business issues that, as we have seen, is difficult to define and certainly more difficult to manage than a supply chain or even the business brand.  And yet corporate culture is one of the most talked about topics.  I recently spoke with a senior investment manager who had just returned from an investor conference in Brazil and he was floored by the number of times culture came up during investment presentations!

 Anything popular is also subject to exaggeration, misinformation and just plain myths.  Corporate culture is no exception.  Below are some of what I believe to be the most pervasive myths relating to corporate culture.

 Myth 1:  Culture is built from the top-down

 While the rules, processes, business model and behaviours laid down by the founders are the fundamental building blocks of a corporate culture in early stage companies, quickly a second, and I believe even more powerful determinant of culture comes into play.  And that is group socialization, peer pressure and the human need to fit in and belong.  Often subcultures are far stronger than the original beliefs and ways of working set down at the beginning by the founders.  And if culture is not continuously managed by the leaders, then the influx of new employees make peer pressure a powerful force in shaping the culture.

Myth 2: There is just one culture

While everyone knows there are subcultures, and some culture assessments can slice their data by employee or management level or by department, most culture metrics look at the overall average scores, plot them on their culture “map” and voila, there’s your culture.

subculturesThere is no single, overriding central corporate culture, but instead most organisations are a collection of subcultures of various strengths and characteristics.

In the case of high-performance and cult-like cultures (where culture is actively led and managed), subcultures have more or less the same characteristics, giving a great deal of alignment and strength to the overall culture.

Myth 3: Culture can be measured

Yes and No!  Predetermined characteristics that probably are a part of the cultural makeup can be assessed on a scale (say 0 – 5) and, when combined with the scores for other characteristics, do present a picture or description of the existing culture.  The question that every culture assessment begs is: Do these characteristics accurately describe the culture?  I would say that the well researched “business and behavioural characteristics” provide a closer estimate to the culture than those surveys that seek to measure individual values.

One of the ways to get a good understanding of culture is when the same assessment is conducted at two or three different time periods, say one year apart and the resulting culture descriptions can be compared for changes with the actual business changes and pressures the company has faced over that period of time. These longitudinal looks at culture are very revealing.

Another key point here is to distinguish between a culture assessment and a climate survey.  The climate survey identifies current employee feelings and morale more than the actual deeper business characteristics and habitual behaviours that drive the way we do business. Climate surveys do not measure culture.

 Myth 4:  A high performance corporate culture cannot be defined.

One aspect of this myth is absolutely true. It is next to impossible to define a high performance culture by asking employees to choose the elements of the “desired” culture!  Culture is more than just how well employees feel they fit with the company and how well the company matches their personal values. There are business processes and other characteristics that go into the make up of corporate culture which I believe carry a great deal of weight in determining a high-performance culture.

That said, every industry has different success drivers and by looking at the success drivers of your industry in a balanced format (employees, customers, financials, products, operations, etc.) a management team who understands their business can craft a good list of the behaviors required by all employees, and the ways of working, that will best ensure competitive advantage and effective internal functioning.

Note:

Over the next few days I will be posting my remaining Corporate Culture Myths from my book, LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, available on Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

John R. Childress

Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid

+44-208-741-6390  office
+44-7833-493-999  uk mobile
e: john@johnrchildress.com

Read John’s blog
Business Books Website

Twitter @bizjrchildress

Just published: LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture
View   The Economist review of LEVERAGE

Also on Amazon:   FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution

 

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Good Culture . . . Bad Culture

mae west

When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.  ~ Mae West

A culture isn’t good or bad in and of itself. Cultures develop by design or default based on numerous causal factors. When people say this company has a ‘bad’ culture or that company has a ‘good’ culture, they are usually describing the culture in relation to something else. Perhaps it is in relation to employee engagement or overall morale. This is the common connotation used when most people talk about good or bad cultures. But for the CEO and the success and sustainability of the company, another important comparison is between the culture and the business strategy.

Corporate culture either supports and empowers the strategy, or acts as a barrier. While strategy determines the direction the company takes across the competitive landscape, culture supplies both the fuel and the constraints. A culture well aligned with the strategy provides the integration between actions and objectives and offers little constraint. A culture aligned with the strategy can, in most cases, provide significant leverage for effective strategy execution. A culture out of alignment with the strategy adds multiple constraints and significantly slows down the process of strategy execution, much like an automobile with its tires out of balance.

A strategy can only be effectively deployed if the culture supports it. And yet a positive, employee-engagement culture will not make up for a weak strategy.

“They may be going fast, but they’re headed in the wrong direction!”

Southwest Airlines is a classic example of an effective, and designed, relationship between strategy and culture. Southwest turns a plane (the time elapsed from parking to unloading, loading, and pushing back) faster than any other airline, a product of a culture designed with the customer in mind, as well as the bottom line. They delight passengers and they make money, every quarter for the past 40 years! The combination of a high-performance, customer-focused culture in conjunction with a focused business strategy of point-to-point destinations and only one type of aircraft is simple, focused and profitable.

More often than not the difference between a ‘good’ culture and a ‘bad’ culture is visible in where executives spend their time, focus and energies. At the two extremes are internally (process) focused cultures and externally (customer) focused. Southwest is a good example of a customer focused (external) culture. Most other big US airlines are more internally focused, with a myriad of rules and schemes to get more passenger dollars. Even the common phrase in the airline industry, ‘bums on seats’, says a great deal about the culture. Many dysfunctional cultures spend far more time on internal meetings and internal process than on listening to and satisfying the customer.

People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.  ~Thomas Sowell

(this section was taken from my new book – LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats)

John R. Childress

Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid

+44-208-741-6390  office
+44-7833-493-999  uk mobile
e: john@johnrchildress.com

Read John’s blog
Business Books Website

Twitter @bizjrchildress

Just published: LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture
View   The Economist review of LEVERAGE

Also on Amazon:   FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution

 

Posted in consulting, corporate culture, John R Childress, leadership, Organization Behavior, strategy execution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Collateral Benefits ?

Bee

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them.  ~Saint Francis

As a result of the recent conflict in the Middle East, we have all become familiar with the term, “collateral damage”, which of course in this context refers to the unintended damage caused by a roadside IED, guided missile or smart bomb as it slams into its intended target.  Often the collateral damage is greater than expected with civilian casualties and extensive damage to nearby properties.

Another example of “collateral damage” is the use of the class of drugs called statins to control cholesterol levels.  While daily use of a statin (Lipitor or other brands) is effective at reducing cholesterol levels in the blood stream, it comes with some “collateral damage” or “side effects”, such as diarrhoea, upset stomach, muscle and joint pain, and changes in some blood chemistry tests.

Collateral Benefits?

I was thinking the other day about what terminology we would use to describe the “opposite” of collateral damage.  “Collateral Benefits”?  My definition would be when we engage in an activity or do one thing that generates multiple value-add benefits beyond the initial intent.

Here’s a good example, regular physical exercise; an activity which definitely generates multiple value-add benefits.  The collateral benefits of regular physical exercise have been shown to be stronger heart muscles, weight loss, greater lung capacity and better blood oxygenation, improved stamina and posture, reduced risk of heart attack, greater joint flexibility, improved circulation, improved mental attitude and positive outlook, faster healing from cuts and bruises, a reduced risk of diabetes, and also reduced cholesterol levels.  A lot more collateral benefits than just treating each of the issues separately.

It’s the difference between treating health issues holistically, as with exercise and diet, or individually with drugs and medications, which often comes with collateral damage.

The more holistic the solution the greater the potential for collateral benefits.

So, let’s move to the world of business and organizational performance.

Like modern medical approaches, business improvement solutions are often piece meal in their approach, with improvement actions focused on specific business problems.  For example, slow IT processing or frequent systems down-time is often dealt with by purchasing and installing a new computer system, with larger memory, more storage capacity and faster processors.  The new system definitely will solve the IT speed problems, but some of the collateral damage can be user resistance, incompatible databases, cost overruns, the need for extensive tailoring, increased training costs, and a host of other unintended issues.

Strategy Execution:

An area of business that is definitely in need of a holistic, collateral benefit approach is strategy execution.  This is definitely the CEO’s lament.

Right now there are a plethora of piece-meal approaches to trying to overcome the fact that most strategies fail to get implemented, not because the strategy is defective, but because of poor execution.  Some of these solutions include: improved spreadsheets and more data, additional performance metrics, strategy mapping, balanced scorecards, greater employee engagement, team building workshops, culture change, updating corporate value statements, focusing on the customer, and a host of other “solutions”.  All of which are supplied by a plethora of consultants and outside experts.  Even with the adoption on several of these fixes, the problem of poor strategy execution often remains.

What if there was a holistic, integrated approach that not only greatly improves the probability of successful implementation, but also has multiple collateral benefits? Some of the collateral benefits I would like to see are:

  • Improved senior team alignment and the leadership of change
  • Increased transparency and speed of decision-making and problem solving
  • Strategic goals and measures (metrics) available and clear to all employees
  • Focused accountability on who is responsible for what at all levels
  • Clear line-of-sight from the overall strategy to the monthly metrics.
  • Engage all employees (hearts & minds) in strategy delivery
  • Take strategy out of the executive suite and into the workplace
  • In a real and meaningful way, link employee goals to corporate goals
  • On-going governance. Provide for regular review of corporate goals and current performance at all levels
  • Ability to rapidly change parts of the strategy when the business environment changes
  • Encourage real-time input from employees with ideas, innovations, observations, suggestions, etc. that can improve the plan and results.

Imagine a Strategy Implementation business process that could deliver all that?  I can !

If you are curious and interested in a different (collateral benefits) approach to strategy execution, take a look at FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution.  This book not only explains the Non-Obvious barriers to strategy execution, but also presents a framework for developing and implementing a strategy execution roadmap, built by your management team and employees, not outside consultants.

You might find added benefits that translate into a more effective business!

————————–

John R. Childress

Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid

+44-208-741-6390  office
+44-7833-493-999  uk mobile
e: john@johnrchildress.com

Read John’s blog
Business Books Website

Twitter @bizjrchildress

Just published: LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture
View   The Economist review of LEVERAGE

Also on Amazon:   FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution

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George and Harry Take a Trip . . .

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”  -George Bernard Shaw

One of the marvels of modern aviation transportation is the autopilot which on a long distance flight effectively and safely guides the jumbo jet directly to the proper airport and puts in on course for the designated runway landing.  This has been of great benefit to long distance travel since the pilots can relax during most of the trip, thus remaining fresh and alert for the important process of landing and manoeuvring around weather patterns.

The autopilot process is actually a special relationship between two instruments, the Autopilot, which controls the speed, altitude and direction of the airplane, and the Inertial Navigation System, which is like a GPS and communicates constantly with the Autopilot about the exact location, speed, altitude and other key bits of information. These two, we can call them George and Harry, are in constant communication as they fly the plane along its preset course. This “special relationship” is actually a very sophisticated form of two-way feedback.

Here’s how this “special relationship” works.  Harry (the INS) tells George (the Autopilot) the plane is a little slow and needs to speed up.  George says “thank you” and makes the corrections.  Harry then tells George his needs to increase his altitude.  George again says “thank you” and makes the altitude adjustment.  Harry then tells George they have reached a point where the plane must make a course change.  George says “thank you” and adjusts the compass bearing.  All through the long flight George and Harry are in constant communication and as a result they reach the designated airport safely and effectively.

Now, let’s imagine George and Harry were two senior executives, each responsible for a different department.  Harry tells George he needs to speed up.  George, somewhat incensed that a “peer” is telling him how to run his area, grudgingly complies.  Harry then tells George he is too low and to increase the altitude.  George snaps back that Harry should mind his own business.  Harry tells George about the upcoming course correction and at this point George stomps off muttering something about how he doesn’t have to be told how to run things.  Before long Harry and George are not speaking to one another.  Or worse, they are both talking to a third executive about each other’s nosy behavior.

I wouldn’t want to fly on that plane.  And I wouldn’t want to work in that company either. But because most business executives don’t appreciate and understand the value of continual constructive feedback (they mistake it for “criticism”), too often meetings are filled with “hidden agendas”, defensiveness to outside ideas or input, hurt feelings and in a few instances, Vice Presidents not talking to each other.

A good friend of mine used to say:  “Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions”.

No business decision, no project plan, no strategy is ever perfect the first time.  As they begin to be implemented they all run into either external change or unexpected obstacles. The most important ingredient in keeping your plans and strategies (and your airplane)  on course is constant feedback.

In our leadership alignment and strategy execution work we often spend a considerable amount of time on practicing the skills of giving and receiving real-time, appreciative and constructive feedback in order to keep things moving forward and to avoid project roadblocks.

If your senior team is not hitting the bullseye, take a look at the amount of feedback passed around and how people respond to direct feedback.  In my business experience, teams comfortable with frequent, real-time, information rich feedback outperform those who focus on their individual functions and keep others (and new ideas) out.

I’ll fly with George and Harry anytime!

John R. ChildressN2Growth: President, Europe and Chair, Culture Transformation Practice

Author of LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, and FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution, available from Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

See the review of LEVERAGE in The Economist (January 9, 2014).

John also writes thriller novels:  novels.johnrchildress.com

Posted in consulting, corporate culture, Human Psychology, leadership, Organization Behavior, Psychology, strategy execution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Will It Make the Boat Go Faster?

Bruce lee

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”  ~Bruce Lee

Sir Peter Blake was a New Zealand yachtsman who won the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Jules Verne Trophy – setting the fastest time around the world of 74 days 22 hours 17 minutes 22 seconds – and led Team New Zealand to successive victories in the America’s Cup in 1995 and 2000. While the American teams had more money, New Zealand had a singularly effective strategy, the brain-child of Peter Blake.

blackmagicWhen Blake was asked to take over as skipper for Team New Zealand, they weren’t considered much of a real contender, especially with the better financed American “Stars and Stripes”.  As you can imagine, there are a myriad of things that go into preparing a racing yacht for competition, from types of sails, ropes, winches and cranks, electronics, rigging, crew composition and training, and hundreds more.

So with all these enablers and influencers for success, what should the team focus on?  If you say all of them, then you have lost in both time, money and prioritization.  Some are obviously more important than others,  yet all are critical for success.  Like any complicated endeavor, finding and keeping focus on the right things is crucial.

Peter Blake was a practical New Zealander and a veteran of ocean sailing and racing so instead of fancy spread sheets and performance metrics, he focused the team on one single strategic question:  Will it make the boat go faster?

Every decision was evaluated against that one simple, yet holistic and powerful question.

The New Zealand team began to rethink everything they knew about sailing and racing with this one strategy in mind.  Training and team composition changed, equipment size and weight changed, sails changed.  Even the crew comforts were looked at through the lens of “will it make the boat go faster?”

The results, real team spirit, alignment and focus, and back to back America’s Cup wins in 1995 and 2000.

Are You Focused?

Over the years I have worked with many organisations and senior teams as they struggle to implement business strategies. One of my key observations is the fact that most organisations have too many “critical” objectives.  Not only do all these objectives compete for limited funding, but some even compete with each other.  As a result it is easy to evolve a culture of strong silos, each of which believe their objectives are more important than any others.

One popular, but often ill-fated approach to trimming down the number strategic objectives is to engage the senior team in a prioritization process and to separate the requirements from the “desirements”.  This is often attempted by assigning numerical values, say 1 to 5, to each objective.  For example the scale can go from Must Have (= 5) down to Not Now (= 1).

There is a practical flaw in this approach however, and that is without a single point of focus and alignment among the senior team, the exercise quickly turns into a mine against yours argument and the scores are all over the place, necessitating the need for the CEO to play King Solomon.  When this happens, alignment and collective commitment suffers.

Will it make the boat go faster?

It’s not about which department wins, it’s about the whole company winning!

By having a single strategic focus, like “will it make the boat go faster”, all potential wants and desires can be measured against this single, overriding metric.  Thus the discussion moves from mine versus yours into we agree that these few objectives, if properly executed, will deliver on our overriding strategic focus.

As I review some of the most successful turnarounds in corporate history there always seems to be one overarching strategic focus that all initiatives aligned around.  For the turnaround of Continental Airlines in 1993-1994 it was “will it win back the business traveller”?  For the recovery of Three Mile Island Nuclear it was “will it make us safer”?

What is your organisation’s single point of strategic focus? Or do you suffer from “initiative overload”?

John R. ChildressN2Growth: President, Europe and Chair, Culture Transformation Practice

Author of LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, and FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution, available from Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

See the review of LEVERAGE in The Economist (January 9, 2014).

John also writes thriller novels:  novels.johnrchildress.com

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Life Lessons from a Classical Music Festival . . .

YV 14

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.  ~Denis Waitley

While the audience has the opportunity to enjoy a spirited evening of classical music in small medieval churches for six days, the Young Virtuosi Classical Music Festival we sponsor each July in the south of France is much more than just evening performances.  The logistics rival the military invasion of a small country and the coordination of volunteers is a daunting task.

Yet somehow, it all comes together and everyone seems to enjoy themselves; the audience, volunteers, sponsors, festival leaders, and of course the musicians. But every massive project of this size and calibre presents numerous learning opportunities, especially for young musicians.  They have the opportunity to not only play some of the world’s best-loved classical music (Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Paganini, Ravel, Debussy), but to also learn about the art of performance (how to engage the audience, where to stand for solos, the use of facial expressions, and most importantly bringing the notes on a page to life).

Here’s an example of excellent music and great audience engagement in a violin and viola duo of Johan Halvorsen’s Passacaglia.

This year we all agreed that tour goal of each concert would be for the audience to feel better going out than they did coming in! In other words, it’s not about the musicians, it’s all about the audience.

Lessons in Responsibility

The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.  ~John C. Maxwell

This year we have two different age groups at our festival, 23-28 year old semi-professional musicians desperately seeking full-time employment opportunities, and 15-17 year olds dealing with music lessons and practice, high school studies, and “teenage social disorientation”.

What is fascinating to watch (and difficult to deal with) is the different levels of responsibility displayed by the different groups. The semi-professional musicians are disciplined and dedicated to their craft.  They eat quickly in order to get back to practicing before the concerts.  They only drink after the concert, never before, unless it’s a day off! The seem to enjoy the entire process, practice, being in each other’s company, performing on stage, mingling with the audience after the performances.  And they are extremely open to feedback and suggestions for improvement, especially tips and tricks on “stage presence” and performing.

It’s amazing how sharp your focus and commitment to succeed when your stomach is empty and you don’t know where your next meal is coming from!

The younger group, on the other hand, is not quite certain how to behave.  Is this a holiday, social time, a festival, a time to show off my stuff? Their personal “responsibility meter” is set on low; they show up late for rehearsals, oversleep in the morning, leave music and clothes scattered about, are last on the bus to leave for the concerts, and seem to have a very valid excuse for everything that goes wrong.

One of our strategies is to get the older musicians to share some life lessons so we encourage lots of stories around the lunch and dinner table.  It seems that young people tend to listen and accept suggestions and input from these older musicians.  Certainly more than they do from parents or adults. Having such a mixed group is good for peer-to-peer learning and having role models to learn from.

And when they get on stage, the younger ones put their learning to good use and perform brilliantly.  Here’s a trio performance of a piece by Luigi Boccherini:

 

I just wish I had this level of training, performance opportunities and coaching when I was a teenager.

John R. ChildressN2Growth: President, Europe and Chair, Culture Transformation Practice

Author of LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, and FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution, available from Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

See the review of LEVERAGE in The Economist (January 9, 2014).

John also writes thriller novels:  novels.johnrchildress.com

 

Posted in Classical Music, Human Psychology, leadership, Life Skills, parenting, Personal Development, Self-improvement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Classical Music in the South of France

If music be the food of love, play on!  ~William Shakespeare

No more “business” posts from me for a while (I can hear the cheering!).

YV in the field

For the next two weeks I will be helping my wife run and manage the 7th Annual Festival de Musique de la Vallée du Cougain in the South of France.

The Festival is her brain child and as Executive Director she has almost single-handedly built it from a couple of evening recitals in one small village to this year’s festival with 6 concerts in six different villages and towns over an eight-day period.

And through persuasion combined with infectious passion, she now has the six local village mayors doing most of the work, gathering sponsors, organising meals and transportation, and converting small Medieval stone churches into concert venues. My job is “chief gofer” (go for this, go for that), taxi, barbecue chef, and I do all this without trying to get in the way of her whirlwind activities.

Young Virtuosi

This year her UK registered music charity, Young Virtuosi, is bringing ten young up-and-coming musicians (aged 14-26) from England, Portugal, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and a few other places to the tiny village of Castelreng, just 20 km south of the famous Medieval Cité of Carcassonne.

carcassonne_n119._paul_palau

The festival starts at 9pm in the small village of La Digne d’Amont on July 16th with music from Mozart, Schubert and Brahms. The next day, July, 17th they will be playing in the Èglise de l’Assomption in the town of Limoux, then on the 18th in the small Medieval church of Saint-Couat du Razes.  After a day’s rest, the festival resumes on July 20th in the village church of La Digne d’Aval. Then it is on to the village of Ajac on the 21th July, culminating in the final Gala Concert in the church of Castelreng on 22nd July.

And there is no repeat music! Six different venues, six different concerts of trios, quartets, solos and sonatas. The musicians will be playing pieces from Prokofiev, Debussy, Berstein, Shostakovich, Kodaly, Salonen, Tchaikovsy, Ravel,Lovreglio, Biber, Teleman, Hayden, Boccherini, Janacek, Dvorak, and a special piece composed by Ikuyo Kobayashi, one of the young musicians from Young Virtuosi.

If you have never been to the south of France or heard classical music played with passionProvence-Ansouis-The-altar-of-the-medieval-church-of-Ansouis-in-South-France in small, candlelit Medieval churches, then hop on a plan or train and come the festival.  You will be delighted and moved. And if you have been to France, then come again for this special musical feast. And there is a sparking wine party after every concert!

If you are curious, you can download the 2014 Festival Program here.

And if you can’t attend, but would like a professional recording of the festival, and also if you have the urge to help with a donation to sponsor these fine young musicians for this week, please let us know at info@youngvirtuosi.com. You can also donate easily through the Young Virtuosi website.

So, I will be running hard, enjoying the music, and having my share of the famous sparking wine,  Blanquette du Limoux.

Here’s a small taster of last year’s concert.

Come to France and celebrate with us!

John R. ChildressN2Growth: President, Europe and Chair, Culture Transformation Practice

Author of LEVERAGE: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, and FASTBREAK: The CEO’s Guide to Strategy Execution, available from Amazon in paperback and eBook formats.

See the review of LEVERAGE in The Economist (January 9, 2014).

John also writes thriller novels:  novels.johnrchildress.com

 

 

 

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