The theme of this book, titled "WHO YOU ARE", "What are you?", is corporate culture. I wonder why this author is who he is. Eventually, when it became a line, a surface, a three-dimensional object, and culture, before it came to my eyes, I fell into Stone and myself. When the culture goes to the forefront, we end up with "who we are". No, that is the true identity of culture.
Until now, I thought that corporate culture would be completed only within the organization. If you're done and you're out of the office, you won't keep up with us. This book reminds me that such misunderstandings hindered the true form of corporate culture from hiding behind the fog.
The feature of this book is that it considers culture from a broader sociological point of view by taking leaders from different times and places. Like many business books, it does not go far beyond analyzing successful corporate culture. Rather, he points out that the causality is the opposite. Because there are companies that are successful even if the corporate culture is broken. So the authors turned their eyes to the only successful slave revolutionary leader in history, the samurai class that had ruled for about 700 years in Japan, the former prisoner who led the American prison, the Mongolian Empire. A man who led to prosperity until his death. How did they create the desired culture? The universal learning obtained from it can be applied to modern times.
The long-awaited second installment by the author of the popular work "HARD THINGS". If you want to clear the fog in front of you, this is an inevitable book.
Main points of this book
There are several techniques to create a new culture. Making good use of what is already working, creating shocking rules, and incorporating external leadership.
Culture is the accumulation of actions. Actions in the company that spend most of the day shape the person himself and, for better or worse, spill out of the company.
A diverse culture is created by finding and utilizing useful parts that are different from your own and even threats.
Culture creation never ends. It changes and evolves with the organization. Doing well is more important than aiming for perfection.
Why corporate culture is important
Evil behavior will eventually turn into an evil culture
What is corporate culture? Let's start here first. Corporate culture is a set of assumptions that employees rely on to make decisions when there is no top. In other words, how to act when no one is watching. That is the corporate culture. You can see how important it is by reading the following story.
There was an excellent middle manager in Loud Cloud, the company where the author first started up. He was good at speaking like a marketing expert. However, it was later discovered that the reality was a lie. By then, the company had promoted him many times, and employees were watching it. Then what happened? Before I knew it, there was a culture of being allowed to lie. I don't remember allowing that.
In the military, it is said, "If you leave below-standard behavior, it becomes a new standard." That also applies to the company. Accumulation of small daily activities can make a company prosperous or even destroy it. One thing to keep in mind is that once culture is created, it does not end. As with strategy, it will need to adapt to the business environment. There is no 100-point culture. You don't have to aim for perfection. Let's learn how to do it well.
[Must read point!] How to create culture
People do not easily accept different cultural norms
There is only one man in the world who has succeeded in the slave revolution leading to national independence. It is Tousent Louberture, a black slave of Saint-Domangue, Haiti before his independence from France. The atrocities that he receives turn him into a humble mass of suspicion. His technique of uniting such slaves into a fighting group has hints for making culture.
Louberture was born into a farm as a slave. A ruthless but scholarly student, he learned politics and the manners of war and economic knowledge from his book. Even before the Revolution, he was already at the center of attention among his colleagues. After that, a person who was a legal counselor of a farm was taken up by a person in a wagon and got a position to receive a salary. As the network of contacts broadened and I came to understand the French colonial tradition, I realized that culture, not skin color, determines people's behavior.
Some time after hearing the news of the French Revolution, Louberteur joined the rebels to France. After leading it to great success as a commander, he used his cunning military strategy to defeat European superpowers one after another. What kind of magic did he use to turn the rebels into a powerful army?
If culture is already rooted in it, it is almost impossible to overturn it and shift to a new system. People do not accept different cultural norms so easily. There, Louberteur capitalized on the strengths of the original slave culture. One is a slave song. A passage of lyrics signaled an attack that the enemy did not understand. It also combined the guerrilla tactics known to war-experienced soldiers with state-of-the-art European tactics to help create a compound unit unknown to the enemy.
A shocking rule for long-lasting culture
Trust is essential for running large organizations such as the military. The amount of trust and communication is inversely proportional. However, slaves who do not know tomorrow cannot have trust. That's why Louvelle Tulle created a shocking rule for the time. He banned married soldiers from having concubines. In the days when rape and looting were commonplace, he made his marriage vows respect.
If you want to make the culture last longer, you should make a rule that everyone asks back "Seriously?" If it represents the concept of culture and is used almost every day, it will remain in everyone's memory and permeate the organization. Louberteur showed the importance of trust to those who couldn't even keep their promises with their wives and showed that they couldn't keep their promises.
There are other examples of utilizing this principle. The New York Giants director Tom Coughlin has set a rule that he'll be late on time. All meetings began five minutes before the scheduled time and fined $1000 for players who came on time. At first there were pros and cons, but it was a good habit to make preparations by the scheduled time and be aware that it is natural.
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg has created an exciting rule to "move quickly and destroy." It was a message to inform the engineer of a speed-oriented strategy of moving forward even at the expense of existing code. However, if the phase of the company changes, the rules will naturally change. After that, the rule was to move quickly while keeping the infrastructure stable.
Leaders dare to hire from outside
To defeat an enemy, you must first know the enemy. In order to defeat France, Louberture brought in even white French soldiers to his army and used the enemy's culture and military strategy in his army. So is business. If you want to enter a new business, you need to bring in leaders who are familiar with new markets. If we cannot change ourselves according to the situation, we cannot obtain a good culture.
The original loud cloud, which the author founded, had a high priority to catch up with demand because it was a pulling task. Therefore, we tried to create a comfortable workplace by delegating authority to employees. With that background in mind, everyone was dressed in casual clothes like California. But it only worked until the dotcom bubble burst. As a result of being forced to transform into an enterprise software company and being turned into a rival company, bold cultural reforms with completely different values were needed.
At that time, it was a discipline's demon that hired him for the survival of the company, although he was bright in a new business field. He wore a suit and tie and was a person with a strong sense of crisis because he didn't want to lose. He hired a person from the outside as a leader, who was totally incompatible with the company's culture up until that point, and there was a big or small friction. But the culture he brought saved the company in four years.
How to root the culture
Behavior accumulates and becomes culture
The so-called "corporate philosophy" has no meaning. It's just a belief and no action. Culture is created by the accumulation of actions. What matters is not what you believe. There is meaning in what you do. The foundation of Japanese culture was laid down by the "Bushido" code of conduct. The samurai class has been able to rule Japan for almost 700 years only because of this concise, coherent and comprehensive framework.
The samurai norm consists of eight virtues. They interact with each other and function as a system without misunderstanding or misuse. In this book, we will focus on the three "honor," "respect," and "makoto." The actions a person takes affect their "honor". However, even if you think that you have acted prestigiously, you will be scolded if there is rudeness. Therefore, it is necessary to have a "gratitude" to show respect and love to the other person. But don't get caught up in hypocrisy or double-tongue. There is a need for honesty and honesty, that is, "faithfulness."
When the author founded venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, there were many venture capitalists around the world who were mistaken for themselves as entrepreneurs. A culture of "respect for entrepreneurs" was needed. However, I decided to set aside the value of respect and focus on the sincere behavior of punctuality, and to pay a fine if the meeting with the entrepreneur was delayed. It took a lot of effort and training, but with the punctuality, an honorable corporate culture that paid homage to entrepreneurs took root in the organization.
Culture is powerful even outside the organization
Where are the difficult places to create culture? A prison where common rules like "keeping promises" doesn't work is definitely one of those places. Shaka Sangor, who was imprisoned in the US for murder, founded a new culture there.
There were five gangs in the prison containing Sangor. Newcomers who didn't belong anywhere were recruited, so they joined the small gang. He was famous for his strict rules such as prohibiting violence within his allies, but in reality, the leader himself was dying for blackmail. While explaining the ideal leader image to the members, more and more people agreed with the idea of Sangor.
As the leader of the group, Sangor emphasized discipline and bond. Forbidden to behave in a bad manner, wear clean clothes, exercise every day, and thoroughly eat together. In the meantime, a great deal of loyalty and commitment arose among the members.
Many people think that corporate culture is only within the organization. But the reality is not that simple. Behaviors in the workplace that spend most of the day shape oneself. If everyone in the company uses dirty words, employees will use them when they get home. The culture of an organization affects everything.
Sangor did more than just change the culture of prisons. He also changed his behavior after the prisoners were released. And he was trying to create a better environment so that future children would not be in prison.
Yesterday's enemy leads today's diversity
People do not accept things that are different from them. Especially if it could be a threat. However, it was Genghis Khan who was not afraid of such things, found talent and used them for his goals. Let's take a look at the abilities of making great empire with small resources by utilizing diversity.
First, Genghis' tactic was "quick invasion." The army at that time usually walked on and off except for leaders, but Genghis gave horses to everyone equally and prepared and carried what they needed without a supply unit. .. As a result, the Genghis army was highly mobile and agile, often defeating troops larger than themselves.
The culture created by Genghis was made up of three pillars: meritocracy, loyalty, and diversity. He indicated that what is necessary to abolish the class system and become a leader is not the blood relationship but the ability, courage and intelligence of the individual. And loyalty was not only required for soldiers, but the governing side thought that it should be possessed by the soldiers under its control. No traitor left for 60 years. In terms of diversity, he was able to gain strong loyalty to Genghis not only by drawing the losing enemy soldiers into his army but also by giving him special treatment.
The rock-solid culture thus created continued the empire for 150 years after Genghis died.
Important things to create an ideal culture
Do it yourself
Culture doesn't work if you imitate someone else's way. First of all, it is important that the leader is who he/she is. Even if you have an ideal that doesn't go against your beliefs just because you're in the position of your boss, you can't guide someone without your charm. You don't have to force yourself to match someone's ideals or successes that you can't digest, because no one likes you. And reflect the sensitivity and customs of the leader in the culture. Unless it is so, there is no life in culture.
Also, culture is not comparable to strategy. It should coexist. For example, Genghis Khan's military strategy, which gave all soldiers the same role, fits well with his egalitarian culture. Shaka Sangor led a small group of gangsters, creating a culture of strong fellowship. Facebook thought its speed of innovation would win or lose, so its motto was "Move quickly and destroy." Choose a culture that will help your corporate strategy.
Recommendation of reading
Since it is the second installment of the author Ben Horowitz, which follows the previous book "HARD THINGS," many business people will be interested.
This book is a book that systematizes and verbalizes the methodologies in culture construction, and the essence of culture creation is condensed into this book. You can learn not only modern and historical leaders who have succeeded in building culture, but also unfortunate cases where culture did not work, and how to deal with it. The final chapter is a practical guide to entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to manage their culture.
This is a book you should get right away.