20 Culture Strategy Quotes Every Consultant Should Know
The conversation about culture is growing louder. The most successful organizations, small and large, are leveraging culture to create value and drive growth. Their leaders understand that establishing the right culture strategy for their business can help them:
- increase employee engagement
- motivate and support creativity and innovation
- recruit and retain talented people
- build a strong brand and meaningful marketing messages
- guide successful transitions, mergers, and acquisitions
- design and develop productive organizational structures
- And so much more.
That’s why a culture strategy is no longer optional. Whether you are just starting to explore your organization’s culture – or need renewed energy around the effort, we hope this collection of culture strategy quotes will challenge you to think a little differently. The authors run the spectrum from thought leaders challenging old conventions to CEOs putting new ideas into action.
“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them … When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
– Simon Sinek, Author, Start with Why
Related Reading: Creating Extraordinary Cultures
“The crew’s attachment to procedure instead of purpose offers a clear example of the dangers of prizing efficiency over adaptability.”
– General Stanley McChrystal, Author, Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World
“Culture is more like chemistry than math.”
– Theresa Agresta, Co-founder, CultureTalk
“Corporate Culture is a staunch defender of an organization’s status quo, even when status quo behavior is dead wrong for a company. So beware, even if you see your culture as virtuous. Strengths carried to an extreme become weaknesses −you can have too much of a good thing.”
– Price Pritchett, Ph. D., Author, Lessons from 1,000 Deals
Related Reading: Wells Fargo Case Study.
“Purpose is a better motivator than money. Money, while necessary, motivates neither the best people nor the best in people. Purpose does.”
– Nilofer Merchant, Author, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the Social Era
“One source of frustration in the workplace is the frequent mismatch between what people must do and what people can do. When what they must do exceeds their capabilities, the result is anxiety. When what they must do falls short of their capabilities, the result is boredom. But when the match is just right, the results can be glorious. This is the essence of flow.”
– Daniel H. Pink, Author, What Successful People Know About Leadership
“Culture is action, not words.”
– Jason Fried, Author, ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever
“To change a culture, the leaders have to change the messages people receive about what they must do to fit in. When people understand that there are new requirements for belonging, they adjust their behavior accordingly. Cultural change starts with a new set of messages.”
– Fred Kofman, Author, Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values
Learn more: Unlocking Culture Code
“When it comes to looking honestly at your own ‘culture’ — it can be like trying to see your backside in a mirror. You might ask: Do these jeans make my butt look big? ”
| Cynthia Forstmann, Co-founder, CultureTalk
“If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.”
| John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market
“Just like your lawn, your culture is going to grow whether you are conscious of it or not. The question I ask people is, ‘Would you rather have weeds or a garden …? Because it’s up to you.”
| Brian Rollo, CultureTalk Certified Partner, Brian Rollo Consulting
“Authentic engagement is not available on demand. It’s less like today’s Kuerig and more like the old-style percolator.”
| Julie Winkle Giulionil, Author, Help them Grow or Watch them Go
“Your company’s culture is your operating system.”
| David Gray, Founder, Xplane and Boardthing
“Thanks to the radical transparency made possible by a connected world, your business is a glass box. People can see all the way inside. And that means that now the brand is everything they see. Every person. Every process. Every value. Everything that happens, ever. There’s a single word that sums up what a person sees when they look deep inside your business: they see your culture.”
| David Mattin, Trendwatching
Related Reading: Help Wanted: Dirtbags and Dragon Slayers
“When two or more individuals come together, it’s like there’s a third person in the room. ‘Culture’ is the third person.”
| Fabiana Nardi, CultureTalk Certified Partner, DisruptHR Sao Paulo
“For me, my role is about unleashing what people already have inside them that maybe is suppressed in most work environments.”
| Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos
“Culture is often considered an input to your organization, meaning I want to have a good culture so I can achieve operational excellence, and culture definitely helps in that way. But culture can also be an output in the sense that if you design your organization in a certain way and you run it in a certain way, you end up with a certain kind of culture.”
| Denise Lee Yohn, Author, Fusion
Want to learn more? Check out our interview with Denise Lee Yohn on her book Fusion.
“Company culture is a religion, not a sermon.”
| Gary Vanerchuk, Author, Crush It
“Brand and culture are opposite sides of the same coin. Brand is the outward expression of what your company stands for and culture is the internal expression. They reinforce each other and there needs to be a consistent thread that binds them together.”
| JP Lacquer, CultureTalk Certified Partner
Related Reading: Two Sides of the Same Story: Corporate Brand & Employment Brand.
“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.”
| David Cummings, Co-Founder, Pardot
What can be measured, can be molded.
A strong culture strategy starts with metrics.
Organizational culture can be elusive and difficult to define. You need a tool for measuring it and a framework for talking about it.
CultureTalk for Organizations is a simple, story-based framework that identifies the strengths and shadows of your client’s culture through 12 Archetypal storylines. Companies are using the results to integrate culture in their action-plan including:
- Growth, change and culture shift initiatives
- Space design to enhance experiences and outcomes
- Organizational and employment brand positioning
- Recruiting and retention
No matter what type of consulting you do: your clients want a culture strategy. Certification in CultureTalk will empower you to answer their questions confidently and add culture consulting to your offerings.
(Want More? 20 Company Culture Quotes Every Leader Should Read)