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

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.

Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas in business, management, and thought leadership.

*mandatory field

Thinkers50 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide news, updates, and marketing. Please confirm that you agree to have us contact you by clicking below:


You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at . We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.