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Leverage—A Practical Handbook on Corporate Culture

February 6, 2017
“Anyone can copy your strategy, but no one can duplicate your culture!” —John R. Childress

What is corporate culture? That’s the million-dollar question on the minds of business leaders everywhere. With his book, Leverage: The CEO’s Guide to Corporate Culture, culture expert John Childress seeks to separate fact from fiction.

In his straightforward, easy-to-digest book, Leverage: The CEO's Guide to Corporate Culture, Childress breaks down the concept of corporate culture for business leaders, helping them better understand the impact culture can have on both business performance and attracting the right hires. As an author and student of corporate culture for the past 35 years, Childress explains how culture is far more than just an idea. He catalogs common types of corporate cultures, highlights leaders’ responsibility to construct a corporate culture, and details why and how a culture can shift over time. 

Unlike many writers who tackle this topic, Childress grounds high-level concepts with dozens of anecdotes about real companies. This engaging handbook will provide an excellent introduction—or refresher—for CEOs who want to energize their company cultures and mobilize their business strategies.

Throughout the book, Childress offers actionable tips for identifying and changing your corporate culture, such as:

>Take your culture’s pulse. If you never took the time to design a corporate culture, then chances are it’s developed on its own. Take stock of your culture by asking questions like, “What’s our culture’s personality?” and “What are our company’s assumptions?” From there, identify strengths as well as areas for improvement.

>Take a look at your senior management team. Childress believes culture is deeply rooted in behavior but that companies are hiring based on skill. If members of senior management aren’t behaving the way you think they should in order to fit the culture you want for your company, make changes.

>Align your company. Your strategy is where you want to go and your culture is how you get there. In order to succeed, you need a robust strategy paired with a high-performance culture.