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The Best Books for Improving Workplace Culture

The article was originally published on Shepard and can be read here.

Who am I?

I see it every day. People wake up and trudge to work, resentfully working at a company that falls short of its promises and values. This is a problem that I've dedicated my career to resolving. My job is to ‘help organizations discover and live their possible’. This mission has guided me throughout my career as an international author, speaker, coach, and consultant with more than 25 years of corporate experience.

Your brand promise doesn't determine your customer’s experience, your culture does. The problem is that we see culture as a means to an end leading us to a “set it and forget it mentality.” Culture is a living, breathing thing that must be nurtured.

I wrote...

Cultivating Culture: 101 Ways to Foster Engagement in 15 Minutes or Less

Culture cannot be a set-it-and-forget-it aspect of your business. Weaving culture-building into your daily and weekly activities strengthens the engagement of your people and reinforces the key principles of your desired culture, making it a reality.

Cultivating Culture provides actionable tools for immediately promoting better teamwork, creating two-way conversations with your people, and gaining better feedback about how things are really going. The book shares more than 100 ways to engage your team in conversations that matter. That cultivate your culture in 15 minutes or less. This is a playbook; a book to use more than read!

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't

By Simon Sinek

Why this book?

Simon Sinek has a way of sharing ideas, principles, and more in a personal and powerful manner.

This book will pull you in and not only help you think about being a better leader, but also a better person. His examples and language makes everything that more meaningful and come to life. Ultimately, you can use this book to create the environment you want for your workplace.

The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups

By Daniel Coyle

Why this book?

This book uses real-life examples to weave together a compelling approach.

Some of the examples include stories related to Google, the Spurs, and Navy Seals. He presents a clear view of what culture is and how to achieve a better one. I love his definition of culture, “Culture is a set of living relationships working toward a shared goal. It’s not something you are, it’s something you do.”

The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business

By Patrick M. Lencioni

Why this book?

You probably know Lencioni from his book The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team.

This book is a bit different because it is not a parable. He lays out his premise using 4 Disciplines and 6 Questions. He makes an incredible argument that organizational health is the competitive advantage.

The opening to his book starts with, "The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to everyone who wants it."

Remote Not Distant: Design a Company Culture That Will Help You Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace

By Gustavo Razzetti

Why this book?

The world changed the moment we were hit with a global pandemic. Most books are out-of-date and irrelevant. Not this one.

This book is all about culture in a post-pandemic world. He built this book from extensive interviews and research. I know too many companies that are struggling with culture and remote workforces. This book is timely, relevant, and sorely needed.

The Insider's Guide to Culture Change: Creating a Workplace That Delivers, Grows, and Adapts

By Siobhan McHale

Why this book?

If you are linear and like steps and processes this book is for you.

You will most likely make notes and underline a great number of things in this book. This is a practical book that masterfully outlines the “how to.” The author writes it in a way that it feels like they are your coach. One of the best books written on this topic!

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