Quotes

Best Quotes on Culture and Change

“Our number one priority is company culture. Our whole belief is that if you get the culture right, most of the other stuff (like delivering great customer service or building a long-term enduring brand) will just happen naturally on its own.” -- Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos (founded in 1999, sold to Amazon for $1 billion in 2009.)


“Corporate cultures that inhibit strong long-term financial performance are not rare; they develop easily, even in firms that are full of reasonable and intelligent people. Un-adaptive cultures will have an even larger negative financial impact in the coming decade.” – John Kotter, Harvard Professor and Author, from Corporate Culture & Performance, © 1992


“If you do not manage culture, it manages you, and you may not even be aware of the extent to which this is happening.” – Edgar Schein, Professor & Thought Leader on corporate culture.


"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them." - Ralph Nichols


“A teaching moment is worth a thousand CEO speeches. CEO’s can talk and blab all day about culture, but employees all know who the jerks are. They could name the jerks for you. People just don’t want to do it.” –Jack Welch, on why he publicly fired managers at GE


“I sit down with employees in intimate settings and talk through what we’re doing, where we’re going. We try to keep it very casual, informative, no secrets.” – Casey Sheahan, CEO, Patagonia


“No one grows and thrives alone. We all grow and thrive in relationships. That’s why our employee resource groups are so important because this is where people come in from all walks of life and become part of a community. They get connected and become part of a relational community, irrespective of where you come from or what part of the globe you sit on. You can come to this company and you can be your best and you can do your best work.” – Steve Price, CEO, Dell


“Corporate cultures that inhibit strong long-term financial performance are not rare; they develop easily, even in firms that are full of reasonable and intelligent people. Un-adaptive cultures will have an even larger negative financial impact in the coming decade.” – John Kotter


“Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its worldview; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world …. And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living through just such a transformation.”  -- Peter Drucker


“The real damper on employee engagement is the soggy, cold blanket of centralized authority. Not only are most employees disenfranchised from policy decisions, they lack even the power to rebel against egocentric and tyrannical supervisors.” –Gary Hamel, author and innovation thought leader