Share Something Meaningful with Your Top Leaders

Recently, I wrote my first book, Creating Constructive Cultures, with Dr. Robert A. Cooke. I am writing to share one of the most important insights from the book with the Constructive Culture blog audience. I also want to thank everyone who has supported us by contributing to, purchasing, and/or reviewing the book.

In Creating Constructive Cultures, we first journey through 40 years of research based on a few hundred to over 60,000 respondents. We then take a deep dive into the culture change experiences of top leaders of nine organizations in eight different countries to show why and how leaders create more effective organizational cultures. The book offers readers a practical, evidence-based approach along with specific tips on what does and does not work in creating more effective workplace cultures.

Among the most important and unique points of Creating Constructive Cultures is that leaders affect culture—and culture affects leaders.1 At least half of this is missing from just about every culture conversation. Culture affects leaders’ thinking, behavior, and decisions—including about change—in ways that they do not necessarily recognize when they are intentionally trying to redirect their organization’s culture. Alternatively, leaders may recognize culture’s influence on them, but they don’t believe they can influence the direction of their organization’s culture. As the examples in this book show, until leaders recognize the implications of both sides of that statement for their own leadership, their actions and inactions are likely to reflect and inadvertently perpetuate the counterproductive beliefs and behavioral norms that they hope to reduce or replace.

“Leaders affect culture—and culture affects leaders. At least half of this is missing from just about every culture conversation.”

Creating Constructive Cultures was specifically written for business owners, CEOs, and other C-suite executives, along with managing directors and general managers to give them confidence in their ability to make constructive changes. That said, other change agents both internal and external to the organization are equally likely to find the research, examples, and insights to be beneficial to the work they do.

Recently, Dr. Robert A. Cooke sat down and answered a few questions about the book. You can see him speak about what inspired us to write this book and his goal for change agents around the world in this video brief.

In addition to showing how culture can help or hinder attraction and retention of talent, adaptability, innovation, problem-solving, strategy implementation, and expansion and growth, Creating Constructive Cultures will give you and those who you share it with answers to critical questions such as:

  • What is the ideal culture for your organization?
  • What do toxic cultures look like—and what are the forces that enable them?
  • What is the biggest obstacle to change that most leaders miss?
  • What are the ways in which leaders purposefully or unknowingly impact culture? 
  • How can you and other leaders recognize—and overcome—the negative impact of culture on your own thinking and behavior to create desired changes and achieve goals?

With the unexpected opportunities and problems that leaders of all organizations face, there has never been a more critical time than now to start creating a more Constructive culture.

Thank you again to everyone who supported us through this journey! Creating Constructive Cultures is available in both eBook and softcover on Amazon and in softcover directly on the Human Synergistics website.

1 For more about this point, see our recent post in SmartBrief, “Are you leading the culture of your organization—or is your culture leading you?

About the Author

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Janet Szumal, PhD

Dr. Janet L. Szumal is a senior research associate for Human Synergistics Inc. and is the author of Creating Constructive Cultures, with Dr. Robert A. Cooke. She has developed various assessments and simulations including Management/Impact®, Organizational Change Challenge™, Project Management Challenge™, Performance Management Challenge™, and Cultural Change Situation™.