Bill Higgs, an authority on corporate culture, is the author of Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business. He recently launched the Culture Code Champions podcast (learn more at www.culturecodechampionspodcast.com).
Higgs is also Co-Founder and retired CEO of Mustang Engineering Inc., which he and two partners started in Houston, Texas in 1987 to design and build offshore oil platforms. Over the next 20 years, they grew the company from their initial $15,000 investment and three people to a billion-dollar company with 6,500 people worldwide. Since then, it has grown to a $2 billion company with more than 12,000 people.
Higgs is a distinguished 1974 graduate (top 5 percent academically) of the United States Military Academy at West Point and runner up for a Rhodes scholarship.
In this post, Higgs shares his experience writing and publishing Culture Code Champions: 7 Steps to Scale & Succeed in Your Business.
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Elevator pitch for the book: Teaches leaders how to intentionally create a people-first culture. This will reduce turnover, increase efficiency, and increase the bottom line. Pushes to include suppliers and clients in your culture to dominate your industry in good times and bad.
What prompted you to write this book?
We went from zero to one billion dollars in annual revenues based on a people-first culture that included our clients and suppliers. The culture positively changed lives in the company, the families and the communities where we worked worldwide. Ten years after the founders left, the culture is still strong and they are now doing eight billion per year. We want to teach other companies how to craft a culture that differentiates them in the industry. They will attract better people, better clients, and better suppliers as they spiral attitudes upward. And…they will have more fun doing it!
How long did it take to go from idea to publication?
I taught Vistage classes for two years in order to perfect my message on how to change a culture to improve lives and improve the bottom line. I submitted my book outline to turn the Vistage classes into a book, and Forbes Books selected me as an author. Outline to publication took 18 months. One change was improving the marketability by asking what people’s culture is costing them.
Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?
The end process after the manuscript was approved took 12 weeks when I thought it would take four.
Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?
We did not get much editing help and had to rely on friends to get a good final product.
What do you hope readers will get out of your book?
I want them to believe they can change and improve the culture wherever they are by using the “how-to” steps provided.
If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?
Write something you are passionate about. Your passion will carry you through the ups and downs of the process.
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