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Guest Podcast: On Creating a Culture from the Outside in with Dave Ulrich

By Aga Bajer

Dave Ulrich is the father of modern HR. Ranked as the #1 management guru by Business Week, profiled by Fast Company as one of the world’s top 10 creative people in business, a top 5 coach in Forbes, and recognised on Thinkers50 (Hall of Fame) as one of the world’s leading business thinkers, he has a passion for ideas with impact.

When asked about ideas with the most impact that he encountered in his 40-year career as a management thinker and consultant, he mentioned the shift of focus – from individual talent to culture.

But, just because focusing on culture is so important, it doesn’t mean that organizations do a good job at cultivating cultures that help them win in the marketplace. 

Dave noticed that, in most cases, companies approach shaping culture from the inside out – focusing on who they are, what they do and how they do it. While it’s not necessarily wrong, Dave suggests that it’s certainly not enough. 

He encourages leaders to identify the right culture and shape it “from the outside in.”

Interview highlights

  • Dave Ulrich’s first encounter with HR
  • What is the “value of values” and why the phrase “…so that” should be an integral part of our conversations about culture
  • Who has the primary responsibility for shaping culture
  • What’s the role of HR in shaping culture
  • How to be a culture architect and anthropologist in your own organisation
  • Why senior leaders have resistance to doing culture work in their own organisations
  • Key competencies HR executives have to master to be a valued member of management teams

If you enjoyed listening to this, you can find more episodes of the CultureLab with Aga Bajer here.

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