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How I Did It: Lessons from the Front Lines of Business by Daniel McGinn, Harvard Business Review

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BUILDING THE RIGHT CULTURE

“CULTURE” IS ONE OF THE SQUISHIER CONCEPTS OF MAN agement. It can be hard to define, even harder to quantify, and it often has nothing to do with what’s in the employee handbook or the corporate mission statement. But research shows that culture can often be an important driver of company performance.

In the essays that follow, leaders tell how they worked to create cultures that drive performance—or fix broken cultures that imperiled a business. One describes building (from scratch) a company where a telephone rep feels it’s perfectly okay to spend six hours on a single customer call. Another describes what it’s like to be hired into a company that’s had seven CEOs in the past 10 years. One faced an unusually grim ...

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