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How to build an 'All In' corporate culture

Nancy Weil | April 30, 2012
In recent years, consultants Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton kept hearing the same lament from corporate clients: "It we can't get our culture right, nothing works."

Grumpy attitudes about having fun at work also tie directly into the need to get people to believe in the company's mission and goals -- the "all in" of the book's title. People have to be persuaded to believe, Gostick and Elton write. Like many other business and management-focused books these days, they bring neuroscience into the mix, as research into how our brains are wired and how they work (or don't work so well) increasingly is linked to all areas of life, including the office.

It can be woefully difficult to get people to give up their routines -- even those that don't work well -- and their bad habits. Banishing ingrained skepticism and pessimism to achieve an "all-in" environment requires patience, perseverance and skill. But even in a place that falls short of the high-performing success stories that Gostick and Elton use as examples, individual departments can bring about positive cultural changes.

"The ideal way is top down, but if you find yourself a manager of 10 people in an IT department, don't give up hope," Gostick said. "You can still have a great team."

That great team, he added, will influence other teams and that's how the roots of a more successful corporate culture will begin to take hold.


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