As part of my investigation of high-performance organizational culture, I share the results of an interview with Vickie Gray who has been training people in the Core Protocols for 10 years. “The Core Protocols are our “best practices” for people, teams of people and organizations that want to get great results – all the time.” – Jim McCarthy. The interview question is based on the KrisMap workshop and is brilliantly simple:

If you expressed the culture of a typical booted (adhering to Core Protocols) organization as a person, what would she be like?

It could be anyone – Core Protocols requires diversity

Vickie’s first response to the  what a booted organization’s persona is like is that “It could be anyone.” It’s about the best idea and delivering greatness on time. And this requires diversity in culture. This response is of particular significance – the Core Protocols would appear to be on the surface culture agnostic, since it is a set of rules. See below for further discussion.

Booted (Core Protocols) Persona: Michelle is results-oriented, coherent, and asks for help

With some additional prompting Vickie ran a “film roll of all the booted people I know”. The result is Michelle:

  • Knows what she wants
  • Not afraid to tell people what she wants
  • Results-oriented
  • Coherent in Thought, Word, Action
  • Has Fun
  • Integrating Beauty and rationality. e.g. Music and Philosophy
  • Seeks out help from anyone without knowing the help she will get

Some Observations

On reflection, I do not think that the Core Protocols is neutral in terms of Culture. Themes like greatness, personal competence and strong focus on results is suggest a focus on Competence Culture (in context of Schneider culture model). One example of how it differs from Agile is that Agile promotes collaboration


I would like to thank Vickie Gray for playing with me in answering such a strange question at CultureCon Philadelphia. I would like to thanks Olaf Lewitz for co-creating the KrisMap Persona workshop. P.S. Check out Vickie’s new book – Closing the me-you gap.