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Original articles from David Friedman.
Do You Have a 'Curriculum' for Your Culture?
Imagine that you want your entire staff to be really good at math. You announce that everyone should have good math skills and you ask your management team to begin teaching math to those who report to them. Most likely, some would teach algebra, others might teach geometry, perhaps some would teach calculus, and undoubtedly others would teach the most basic math skills.

Does Voicemail Have to Be a Pain? Use Yours Effectively
Have you ever tried to call someone, desperate for an urgently needed answer, only to get their voicemail message announcing that they’re away from their desk or on another line? How ‘bout when you can’t even leave a message because their mailbox is full? How do you feel when you get a computerized voice giving you instructions to leave a message at the sound of the tone?

Creating Accountability Around Our Values
Does this sound familiar? Your company went through an exercise to draft a vision, mission, and a set of values that was to define its purpose and its culture. With plenty of fanfare, the statements were distributed to all employees and then posted in prominent places throughout the office and/or plant. Meanwhile, nothing has really changed.

Practice Your Corporate Values
It’s the very end of an NFL game and the tension is thick. The home team is down by three points and they have the ball for one final drive, but the clock is ticking away. In fact, they’re now inside two minutes to go and they’ve got to summon some magic. Do you think they’ve spent any time preparing for these types of situations in practice? You can bet your bottom dollar they have!

Are We Setting People Up to Succeed or to Fail?
If we were to ask most managers about their most valuable competitive advantage, the vast majority would describe it as their team. After all, regardless of how good the design of our products or services may be, it still almost always requires people to produce and/or deliver them.

Cultural Alignment in Your Company
Have you ever interviewed an employee who you knew in your gut was not going to be a good fit, but you hired them anyway? Maybe they had the right skills or experience and you figured you could overlook their lack of cultural fit. Or maybe you thought you could get them to change. Most of us have made this mistake at some point in our careers and we’ve lived to regret it. As simple as it sounds, developing cultural alignment starts with choosing the right players.

Do We Really Need to Have a Vision, Mission, and Values?
If you peruse the websites of most companies today, you’ll likely see an elaborate description of their vision and mission, and perhaps even a listing of their core values. It will probably say something about “exceeding customer expectations,” “taking care of all our stakeholders,” and creating a culture that promotes “respect and dignity for all.” In my experience, most of these statements are usually meaningless drivel that have little to no relevance to how the company operates.

Corporate Culture — Does it Really Matter?
There’s a lot of talk these days about organizational culture, and more and more companies are beginning to describe their cultures as key differentiators. Is this just a passing fad, or is it really that important? Let me answer that for you from three perspectives — from leadership, from customers, and from workers.


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