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The Culture Game: Tools for the Agile Manager Paperback – May 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: FreeStanding Press (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0984875301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984875306
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,966 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dan Mezick is an authority on culture, self-management and self-organizing teams. He is an adviser and consultant to teams and organizations seeking great results. An expert on culture design and business agility, Dan speaks frequently at industry conferences on culture change, organizational learning, and teamwork. Dan's organization New Technology Solutions provides training, consulting and coaching to businesses of all sizes that are seeking more business agility. Dan Mezick is available to address your group meeting with keynote sessions, seminars and workshops. Call or write to arrange speaking engagements. You can reach Dan as follows: Dan Mezick http://newtechusa.net 203 915 7248 dan@newtechusa.net

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
Finishing the book made hungry for more reading on related topics.
Kevin Best
I think you will be amazed at how much fun meetings and work can be and will go back to learn even more.
Dehra Glueck
The Culture Game will help you take the next step in developing your team.
Mark D. Isabella

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark Kilby on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
In his book, The Culture Game, Dan addresses a key problem that I still see after 10 years of agile coaching: What can a manager who has authority and influence accomplish in changing the organizational culture for the better? For many, this seems to be a monumental task and Dan has chiseled the challenge down into the small steps managers need to take that road less travelled.

If you are one of those managers considering an agile transition (or struggling with one), here are some greats about the book:
- The 16 key practices are concepts I coach clients on all the time. I truly appreciate how Dan emphasises gaming, structure, open space and focus as small changes that can have tremendous impact within the team and beyond. Keep in mind that you don't have to take on all 16 practices at once. As Dan points out much later in the book, you can start to see improvements if you take on four of the practices.
- Dan's introduction of the concept of triads is a fabulous way to work with others on the change and not feel you are at this alone

For Dan and the book, here are some gifts:
- Reduce the repetitive prose. I realize that repeating concepts is very popular in business books today, but I felt there was too much. The book could almost be a quarter to a third shorter by reducing some of the repeated concepts and would likely make it more attractive for Dan's target audience: busy managers wanting to develop a learning organization.
- The first few chapters and some of the later chapters exhibit multiple typos. I found this very distracting (even irritating). This point and the last point had me struggling to finish reading it.
- pp 229-238 (Ch 23 - Develop Your Triad) might be better in the front of the book and not the back.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hamman on October 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was enjoying this thoughtful book on my kindle touch when, upon turning a page, an error popped up with the following message "An error occurred. If you purchased this item from Amazon, delete the item and download it from the Cloud." I did this. Twice. Same outcome. There are other Kindle-ese annoyances (poor formatting of footnotes, no Table of Contents, generally poor formatting) which make the reading flow rather clunky. Otherwise, some good work here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doug Kirkpatrick on February 28, 2013
Format: Paperback
With "The Culture Game: Tools for the Agile Manager", Daniel Mezick has given organizations a high-performance set of not-so-secret success formulas. His writing is crisp, cogent and to the point. Best example: his riposte to people that check e-mail in meetings is "Give me a break". Best of all, the advice is fully actionable. Right away. Anyone can pick up a copy of Culture Game and, within a couple of hours, brainstorm multiple ways to apply Agile thinking and Tribal Learning Practices to their organization. This book is designed to give leaders (and those aspiring to be leaders) the kinds of powerful business execution techniques that elude most organizations. If you don't recognize the terms Agile or Tribal Leadership, they are easily googled for a quick intro.

Mezick's first sentence in Chapter 22 is: "Eliminate the distinction between work and play"--what a concept! When you really think about it, despite the massive amounts of literature dedicated to achieving work/life balance, there is really only life (unless people at work are somehow zombies!). Why not use games to make life at work as enjoyable as possible?

The author has a cohort of like-minded thought leaders and fellow experimenters (including Robert Richman, former head of Zappos Insights, and Michael Margolis, master storyteller), and he draws them out skillfully in interviews. Throughout, he builds out Agile principles in a logical sequence upon a solid foundation of history and context, and does so in an authentic and entertaining way. He gives full credit where credit is due, not only to Agile and Tribal Leadership, but to every resource that defines and/or reinforces his principles (including complexity theory, brain science, psychology, Toyota, systems theory, and many others).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Penning on November 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very poor Kindle version of this book. Chaotic layout, no diagrams, no table of contents, na paragraphs. Unreadable in this form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Richman on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Length: 1:05 Mins
Dan's work on culture is incredible. The Culture Game creates a framework that get everyone on the same page, and it makes work fun again. If you want to see it immediately, just go to the chapter on Meetings and shift this typically awful corporate institution into one that people love, where you really get things done.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deirdre G. on June 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dan's passion for learning cultures comes shining through in this book. An easy read, the magic happens when you begin implementing the actions associated with each of the 16-patterns of team behavior.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dave Logan on June 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. Had the pleasure of working with the author in the early stages of his efforts. Dan is fully credible in the Agile world, and also gets culture, making him a rare combination. This book is full of specific actions that will implement a learning organization.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David A. Koontz on August 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Hacking your company culture is the only way to transition the large enterprise to agile. This book is for the change agent, and the director of these change agents. Many actionable techniques to accelerate learning and modify behavior toward a collaboration culture.
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More About the Author

I'm a management consultant & keynote speaker. My focus is on your culture-- the operating system of your enterprise. My book THE CULTURE GAME describes 16 patterns of group behavior that can help make any team smarter. The book is based on 5 year period of experience coaching 119 software teams across 25 different organizations. NOTE: The Kindle of THE CULTURE GAME is being edited & will be available for purchase again soon. You can buy the print version today.

I am the formulator of Open Agile Adoption, a technique for creating rapid & lasting enterprise agility. My next book on agile culture, THE OPEN AGILE ADOPTION HANDBOOK, will appear soon, in print & Kindle formats, on AMAZON. You can learn more here: www.OpenAgileAdoption.com

You can learn more about me and get in touch with me, at www.DanielMezick.com.