Cultures that Drive Value

How Culture Makes or Breaks an Organization

For purely practical reasons, Digital Clones defines corporate culture as the complete collection of habits through which an organization conducts its business. This puts culture on a completely behavioral footing, and removes the need to understand individuals' motiviations for the things they do.

Adversarial Cultures

Most organizational cultures are adversarial. This comes from our animal roots. The behavioral and emotional habits of the alpha player (male or female) are followed by the minions, just like any other great ape troupe in nature.

It takes a lot of training to disrupt the natural evolution of corporate culture in any organization. But if the natural flow isn't disrupted, what could have been generating value gets squandered by petty empire builders and turf battles.

Collaborative Cultures

One of the easiest identifiers marking a collaborative culture is a broadly shared sense of mission. There are a variety of ways to generate a person's dedication to the mission. Context often drives which forms of motivation the leader can use to build dedication.

In high-tech teams, a sense of mission often forms out of the common backgrounds many scientists and engineers share. Long-term discipline to build up bleeding edge skill sets often leads to an extension of respect for co-workers simply because of the acknowledgement of the personal effort expended to “get here.”

— Consulting —
— Presentations — Books —

Leadership Services for Tech Research and
Major I.T. Initiatives

Digital Clones can supply pre-paid, retained services for major project design and launches. Retainers based on a 160 hour (four week) engagement. Send consulting enquiries to Consultants At DigitalClones Dot Biz.

Presentations on LO+FTTM in the R&D Setting

We would also be happy to supply speakers to your organization to present on the principles of LO+FTTM and how they work in research and development teams. Send speaking enquiries to Speakers At DigitalClones Dot Biz.

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Optimizing Luck is our primary case study on leadership in high-stakes, high-tech businesses. Get your copy while they're still available.

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Value Generation and
Culture-based Efficiency

I learned how to build successful corporate cultures at NASA's IUE Astrophysics Mission. Obviously, all forms of corporate culture at NASA have to lead to success. NASA's responsibilities are just too risky and too expensive to aim for anything less.

That being said, each of NASA's main projects has their own culture, and there's very little consistency of culture from project to project. These cultural differences change the cost structures for each of these missions.

I recently spotted this chart at an IEEE meeting on systems engineering. It shows a relationship between the amount of system engineering that went into a NASA mission and its cost overruns. I worked at IUE. Its position at the bottom of the chart indicates that its overruns were ZERO! In addition to operating on budget, IUE was also NASA's most productive science mission prior to the Hubble Space Telescope.

We worked hard to do that. What we learned also made us very competitive in bids for other NASA science support contracts, and we got a lot of them. When you're good at making expensive, high-risk business activities succeed, people in the know want you there..


How it works — LO+FTTM, Problems, and Innovation

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Even in pure research contexts
it's all about problem solving.


Problem solving always begins with
careful problem characterization.


Innovation is the art of turning
a great solution into a great application.

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