Culture Hacking: The Future of Organizational Storytelling

A couple of months ago nearly 600 members of the Get Storied tribe gathered online for Reinvention Summit 2: Storytelling’s Biggest Online Conference. This included 20 sessions from the world’s leading storytelling experts.

Alas, one of our sessions experienced technical difficulties. So my good friends Robert Richman (formerly) of Zappos Insights and Dan Mezick of New Technology USA graciously returned recently to chat about the process of culture change and innovation. It was such a provocative interview, we decided share it with everyone in the Get Storied tribe. Enjoy, and please feel free to share with others.

In this 31-minute video trialogue, Dan and Robert talk about the very powerful notion of “culture as software.”

  • Why the most iconic brands are also great culture creators
  • What it means to “hack” culture (and story!)
  • How culture hacking speeds up learning and brand adoption, makes meetings more effective, and creates cohesive, focused teams
  • How storytelling and culture intersect and feed into each other
  • How to “heat map” a situation and instantly shift the culture toward the positive
  • Effective methods for change agents to operate without needing permission Most overlooked sources of untapped power when doing culture work

As an intrapreneur, Robert Richman built Zappos Insights from a proof-of-concept web site to a thriving business helping over 1000 members every month. Business leaders, managers and entrepreneurs take the Zappos Insights training to discover how a workplace can help people grow, inspire amazing service, and ultimately drive revenue. Robert recently left Zappos Insights and currently consults to organizations on these issues. He also has a forthcoming book in the fall.

Dan Mezick coaches organizations and is the author of The Culture Game, the tutorial and reference guide for company leaders, change-makers and culture hackers. The book describes sixteen organizational learning patterns derived from Agile software development, and how to actively socialize these patterns throughout your organization. His company New Technology Solutions Inc. provides business agility training to organizations of all sizes.

Want to learn more on this breakthrough topic? Join me, Robert Richman, and our host Dan Mezick at the first ever Agile Culture Conference this September 12 in Philadelphia, and September 13 in Boston. We’ll all be speaking in addition to Harrison Owen, David Logan, Traci Fenton, and other visionary minds.

Do you have any takeaways or questions about culture hacking? 

Join the conversation by leaving your comment or asking a question below.

2 thoughts on “Culture Hacking: The Future of Organizational Storytelling”

  1. Hey Michael. A fantastic, thought-provoking piece, thanks for sharing.

    Agree entirely that you can “feel” an organisations culture as soon as you walk through the doors. Is it uptight, stuffy and energy sapping? Or playful, innovative, creative, and energising? If you walk into an office with your eyes wide open, its amazing what you can spot.

    When I think about the brands that I most admire, they all have a clear sense of purpose in the world, coupled with a very strong, collaborative culture. For me the two go naturally hand-in-hand. A brands purpose is the guiding light that can help incubate, nurture and develop a strong culture.

    Culture is about consistency. It’s not built by some fancy values or a website, or on a wall that nobody reads. It’s something that’s treasured, nurtured, and developed from the moment a new hire joins the organisation – the best brands recognise that hiring for skill is not enough, to build a long-lasting culture, you have to hire for fit and belief.

    Keep up the great work.

  2. What’s One Small Action

    I can take today to change the story

    Of My Life

    and What I see around me? –
    including my colleagues and society.

    What story do I want to believe????

    Who Do I want to Be?

    It begins with one’s Beingness.
    By Fully Expressing Who We Are…

    We are making the Unknown Known

    Within Culture.

    Beware though…
    If we resist he world around us
    We will co-create more of the same.
    Instead, turn attention to
    Inspired Stories and Action.

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