Center for Innovative Cultures

Helping organizations thrive by unleashing the talent, passion, and potential of people at work

The Thriving Organization

How does this sound?

Your organization is humming! People come to work every day energized, excited, and engaged—ready to provide the “discretionary enthusiasm” so crucial to the organization’s success. Performance is outstanding on all the critical metrics. Your customers are delighted.

Does that sound too good to be true? Impossible to achieve? It doesn’t have to be.

Thriving Organizational Cultures highlights the underlying dynamics that drive high-performing organizational cultures. The fact is that you can’t build a Thriving Organization in one, two, or three easy steps. But these pages are filled with detailed, real-world examples of what it means and what it takes to become a Thriving Organization—as Gary Hamel says, an organization “fit for the future and fit for human beings.” You’ll find a clear, practical blueprint to help you and your organization get there.

So, no, you can’t build a Thriving Organization overnight, in just one or two easy steps. But you can continuously improve your organizational culture. You can help your people realize their full potential. You can put your organization—whether it’s a team, a business unit, or an entire company—on the path to sustained cultural excellence. And you can start that exciting journey right now—right here.

From the book . . .

. . . So much of what constitutes culture lies below the visible surface, . . . trying to transplant practices and artifacts from one culture to another, without understanding and integrating the underlying assumptions, beliefs, values and principles, is like trying to transplant a flower from one geography to another without knowing anything about the environmental conditions in both places. Success is hardly guaranteed.’s companies operate in a . . . volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous . . . world. . . Traditional hierarchical organizations . . . were built to solve tame problems.

...culture is what sets [thriving] organizations apart . . . and enables them to create greater value for all their stakeholders.

What is a thriving organization? . . . an organization that is successful . . . achieving its strategic objectives and . . . enabling its people to be and become their best selves personally and professionally.