This is an informational website for managers who want a more satisfying, competitive and profitable workplace.

There is a lot of misinformation in the business world about company culture. This website attempts to correct that. For openers, many people think developing a company culture is an operational problem. It isn’t.

    • Developing a company culture is a leadership issue — it cannot be delegated.
    • Developing a company culture is not a project — you cannot approach it like a regular operational issue with analysis, problem identification, corrective action. To change your culture you don’t analyze and write a report — rather you take small steps, moving in the direction you have determined with your leadership team.
    • Developing a company culture is the most difficult undertaking a manager will ever make — but it is often the most rewarding.
    • A well-developed company culture is an unbeatable competitive edge. It taps into the endless creativity, energy and enthusiasm of employees at every level. Nobody can beat that.
    • Developing a company culture does not require adding anything new — everything needed is already present in your company, it just needs noticing and reinforcing.

 

Barry head croppedBarry Phegan, Ph.D.

I was raised in Sydney and worked as an employee and manager in Australia, Sweden, Canada and the US. These 15 years told me first-hand there had to be a better way to manage companies.

To take a mid-career breather and think about my direction as a manager I enrolled at UC Berkeley. After graduating and working as consultant and lecturer, I discovered that my own experience as a manager was not unique. Most people experience confusion in their early years as supervisors and managers, and most people find their companies less than inspirational.

My business partner and now closest friend Royal Foote, had a similar career background. We both knew there had to be a better way to manage companies and build engaged, satisfying, productive workplaces. Over many years we learned exactly how to help leaders do that.

As far as I know, our company was the first in the US to focus only on organization culture. In 1976 the concept of organizational or company culture was unknown to corporate leaders, and rarely mentioned in academia. Today most managers accept that the right corporate culture is a major competitive advantage and profit source. Despite that, few CEOs know how to deliberately manage their company’s culture. This is a great loss to companies, to employees, to stockholders, and to our national competitive position. The annual national loss from under-developed company cultures is in the trillions of dollars.

As part of Meridian Group’s team for 30+ years, I enjoyed working closely with managers from many companies — from Fortune 50 to the very smallest — on major culture development projects that dramatically improved performance. I have spoken frequently on company culture and leadership to US and international management groups at universities, professional associations, conferences and corporations.

In addition to many papers and articles on management topics I wrote Developing Your Company Culture: The Joy of Leadership —A Handbook for Leaders and Managers. It is available through Amazon.com in English and an expanded 2010 version in Chinese.

Along the way I gathered a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Sydney, a Master’s degree from Washington University, St. Louis, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley where my interests were, and still are, business leadership, general systems theory, developmental psychology, group dynamics, planning, cultural anthropology, and evolution.

At this time in my life I’m happy to give back what I have learned. This website is part of that intent. I believe we are at a threshold where American companies are learning to engage their biggest asset, the vast and endless potential of employees.

I believe managing change is today’s top corporate challenge, and developing the right company culture is the best solution.