Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization. Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright. HarperBusiness.

Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization Book Cover Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
Dave Logan, John King, Halee Fischer-Wright
January 22, 2008

Every company, indeed every organization, is a tribe, or if it’s large enough, a network of tribes – groups of 150 people in which everyone knows everyone else, or at least knows of everyone else. Tribes are more powerful than teams, companies, or even CEOs, and yet their key leverage points have not been mapped – until now. In Tribal Leadership, Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright show leaders how to assess their organization’s tribal culture on a scale from one to five and then implement specific tools to elevate the stage to the next. The result is unprecedented success.

In a rigorous eight-year study of approximately 24,000 people in more than two dozen corporations, Logan, King and Fischer-Wright refine and define a common theme: the success of a company depends on its tribes, the strength of its tribes is determined by the tribal culture, and a thriving corporate culture can be established by an effective tribal leader. Tribal Leadership will show leaders how to employ their companies’ tribes to maximize productivity and profit: the authors’ research, backed up with interviews ranging from Brian France (CEO of NASCAR) to “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams, shows that more than three quarters of the organizations they’ve studied have tribal cultures that are merely adequate, no better than the third of five tribal stages.

Leaders, managers, and organizations that fail to understand, motivate, and grow their tribes will find it impossible to succeed in an increasingly fragmented world of business. The often counterintuitive findings of Tribal Leadership will help leaders at today’s major corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits learn how to take the people in their organization from adequate to outstanding, to discover the secrets that have led the highest-level tribes (like the team at Apple that designed the iPod) to remarkable heights, and to find new ways to succeed where others have failed.

Dave Logan is cofounder and senior partner of the management consulting firm CultureSync which specializes in strategy, cultural design, and high-performance. A professor at USC’s Marshall School of Business, he is a former associate dean, and holds a PhD in organizational communication from USC. A frequent keynote speaker, he has worked with groups as diverse as Fortune 500 companies, universities, nonprofits, and high-tech start-ups. He and his wife, Harte, live in Los Angeles.

John King is cofounder and senior partner of CultureSync. A frequent international speaker, he is part of the leadership development team at Sierra Health Foundation and is on the faculty of several corporate universities in the California Leadership Institute. The more than 25,000 graduates of his training programs have gained worldwide success and appeared on all national media. John lives in Marina del Rey, California.

Halee Fischer-Wright is a partner of CultureSync, focusing on healthcare, education, high-tech and financial services. Also a practicing physician, faculty member at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and president of a 400-physician group, her work focuses on creating cultures that inspire excellence. She received her M.D. from the University of Colorado, and her business masters from USC. She and her husband, Michael, live in Denver.