Chapter 9Measure Once and Cut Three Times

The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor;he took my measurement anew every time he saw me,while all the rest went on with their old measurementsand expected them to fit me.


“MEASURE THREE TIMES before you cut once”. I call this the carpenter’s mantra. It’s a proverb about detail and precision, about not wasting materials or wasting time, and about not having to redo your work later.

We think the opposite is true when you’re measuring culture. Yes, culture needs to be measured regularly and fairly often. And when you cut it for the first time, that “cut”, if you will, needs to be made to “fit” with what is going on within your organization at that time and place. But if we argue ...

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