I referred to a good article in Forbes the other day, but one note needs some clarification. In speaking of culture, Mike mentioned all the “all the ping-pong tables and funky offices.” I do not think he thinks that culture work is about ping pong tables, but I sense some people have gained that bad impression of culture work.
Culture work begins and ends with Mission and Values and Strategy, or it should not be done. Workers and owners want to achieve. They both want their company to prosper. Culture work is about helping them to achieve that vision.
I personally do not like team building where people fall into each others arms. Team building should be closely tied to actual work. Naming a vision and expecting everyone to connect the dots does not work either. Culture work examines and fills gaps where the dots are not connected well enough. It drives out the assumptions that cap achievement. It creates enthusiasm that comes from real hope that we will work together for common good to build a company. Hope comes from connecting the dots and uncovering unseen barriers. It is often heavy lifting, so perhaps some put in ping pong tables rather do the heavy lifting. However, that will not merge strategy and culture to create higher achievement. It may lead to some very good ping pong players.