7 Great Books on Company Culture

7 Great Books on Company Culture

Company culture goes to the roots of an organization. It's the way how people feel about the work they do and the values they believe in. Everyone is able to influence this culture - whether it's within your team or on a large scale. There are some great books on how famous organizations built a culture that led to success, how you as a leader can set a certain culture, or how teams as a whole can shape a companies culture overall. We've listed our favorite ones!

Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
by Simon Sinek

Why read?

In this book, the renowned leadership expert Simon Sinek is continuing his bold move to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.

368 pages, Portfolio 2017

No Rules Rules

No Rules Rules

Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention
by Reed Hastings, Erin Meyer

Why read?

Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies. At Netflix, Hastings set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, and giving employees context, not controls. At Netflix, there are no vacation or expense policies. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance, and hard work is irrel­evant. At Netflix, you don’t try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead. At Netflix, employees don’t need approval, and the company pays top of market. When Hastings and his team first devised these unorthodox principles, the implications were unknown and untested. But in just a short period, their methods led to unparalleled speed and boldness, as Netflix quickly became one of the most loved brands in the world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings’s own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

320 pages, Penguin Press 2020

Radical Candor

Radical Candor

Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
by Kim Scott

Why read?

Radical Candor has been embraced around the world by leaders of every stripe at companies of all sizes. Now a cultural touchstone, the concept has come to be applied to a wide range of human relationships. The idea is simple: You don’t have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor―avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy―you can be kind and clear at the same time. Kim Scott was a highly successful leader at Google before decamping to Apple, where she developed and taught a management class. Since the original publication of Radical Candor in 2017, Scott has earned international fame with her vital approach to effective leadership and co-founded the Radical Candor executive education company, which helps companies put the book’s philosophy into practice.

272 pages, St. Martin’s Press 2017

Reinventing Organizations

Reinventing Organizations

An Illustrated Invitation to Join the Conversation on Next-Stage Organizations
by Frederic Laloux, Etienne Appert

Why read?

The uplifting message of Reinventing Organizations has resonated with readers all over the world, and they have turned it, one conversation at a time, into a word-of-mouth phenomenon. The book has helped shift the conversation from what’s broken with management today to what’s possible. It is inspiring thousands of organizations — corporations and nonprofits, schools and hospitals — to adopt radically more powerful, soulful, and purposeful practices.

172 pages, Nelson Parker 2016

Creativity Inc.

Creativity Inc.

Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration
by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

Why read?

This book is a joy from the first page to the last. I have learned so much by reading about the life of Ed Catmull and how he founded and led Pixar. Since I’m a big Disney and movie fan I was also super interested in how they not only shot new animated pictures but also how he and his team disrupted an entire industry. I find it really interesting how close making a movie and building a digital product in the end are and how the so-called “braintrust” meeting can be adapted for the digital space to build better products.

368 pages, Transworld Digital 2014

The Culture Code

The Culture Code

The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups
by Daniel Coyle

Why read?

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations—including the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs—and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls, and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.

Culture is not something you are—it’s something you do. _The Culture Code _puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of your group or your goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.

304 pages, Bantam 2018

What You Do Is Who You Are

What You Do Is Who You Are

How to Create Your Business Culture
by Ben Horowitz

Why read?

Ben Horowitz has long been fascinated by history, and particularly by how people behave differently than you’d expect. The time and circumstances in which they were raised often shapes them — yet a few leaders have managed to shape their times. In What You Do Is Who You Are, he turns his attention to a question crucial to every organization: how do you create and sustain the culture you want? What You Do Is Who You Are is a journey through culture, from ancient to modern. Along the way, it answers a question fundamental to any organization: Who are we? How do people talk about us when we’re not around? How do we treat our customers? Are we there for people in a pinch? Can we be trusted?

288 pages, Harper Business 2019