Strategy is one of my passions. I’m fortunate that helping clients formulate strategy is also my job.
Indeed, my title is Vice President, Client Strategy and Consulting. I greatly enjoy my work helping organizations of all stripes develop a strategy for proactive management of their company culture. Yet, I also believe that everyone is (or should be) strategist in their organization.
Two pieces on strategy I read last week helped me coalesce my thinking. First, from Strategy + Business comes the ideas of Cynthia Montgomery, Timken Professor of Business Administration and former chair of the strategy unit at Harvard Business School. Read more…
Last week on an upgraded flight between Denver and Orlando, I was given a warm cookie after the meal service. This is a nice touch United Airlines does and has done for first class passengers for years.
But as I examined the little brown paper sack the cookie came in, I was amused by the sentence printed on the bag: Made fresh, especially for you.
Something about that woke up the stand-up comic that resides deep within me as I began to imagine how Jerry Seinfeld might relate this story on stage. Read more…
What does the ideal organization look like?
Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones have been looking at this question for more than three years. Their research found six common principles that cut across circumstance, industry, and individual ambitions.
In their Harvard Business Review article, Creating the Best Workplace on Earth, they reveal these six principles: Read more…
Culture. I write about it all the time, yet I never seem to unpack all the myriad facets of culture.
Just think about all the different ways the word itself can be used:
- A “cultured” person – one who carefully monitors their own behaviors so that they align with the best expectations of the environment they are in.
- Cultured pearls – a thing of beauty created by human intervention into a natural process.
- Ethnic or geographic culture – the traditions, behaviors and even expectations of a people group as defined over a very long period of time.
- Company culture – “the way we do things around here.” Read more…
How are you going to deal with a new culture? Do you think the leadership style in another country will make a difference? I know that you can be very opinionated, but you may need to tone it down in another country.
Questions about workplace culture have always intrigued me. What is a successful model so that you are accepted into a new environment?
What if you are rejected? How can you get a sense up front to make the changes to increase your chance of success? What will you have to give up — and what will they have to give up?
These are all interesting questions, and they are all relevant. Read more…
I have to say that one of my most well-read posts, ever, and one that I continue to take the most crap about, is What Would it Take to Get You to Work 80 Hours Per Week?
People actually take this post as a personal attack on their work ethic. So, I’m here to say – I still don’t believe you!
And now, I have research to back up how you don’t really work 80 hours in a week. This is from Fast Company and titled The Truth About How Much Workaholics Actually Work: Read more…
We’ve all heard the truism that people quit managers not jobs.
If retention of top performers and key talent is a priority for you, then one of the first places you should look for improvement is in the relationship between managers and employees.
This recent article, for example, points to a recent survey showing 20 percent of people say their bosses hurt their career. Half of employees, on the other hand, said the boss had a positive impact. Read more…
I’ve never thought of it this way before, but is your workforce happy because they’re performing well and at a high level, or, are they happy because HR is doing a lot of silly things that masquerade for being happy?
I know; the concept of managing for a happy workforce isn’t exactly in anyone’s MBA studies, but The New York Times’ You’re the Boss blog brings it up in a post titled Where the Happy Talk About Corporate Culture Is Wrong. It’s an interesting discussion because it gets to the issues of performance and workplace happiness (or more correctly, satisfaction) in a way I haven’t seen before.
Here’s the key issue, from the blog post: Read more…
“If you have always done it that way, it’s probably wrong.” — Charles Kettering, American inventor.
“The only completely consistent people are dead.” — Aldous Huxley, British writer.
As surely as hair grows and flowers bloom, change will come rolling through your organization today, tomorrow, and always.
Trying to resist it would be like trying to hold back the ocean. That didn’t work for King Canute, and it won’t work for you. Instead, take advantage of change: catch the wave, hang 10, and use its energy to your advantage. Read more…
What does wading through mud pits or running a grueling half-marathon sound like to you?
If you’re like a growing number of companies, the answer is “team bonding.”
Fitness events like mud runs, bike trips, and other sporting challenges are increasingly common in businesses of all sizes, as companies work to increase employee engagement through teamwork, while simultaneously promoting healthy lifestyles and wellness for their workers.
For some employees, however, participation is a luxury that’s far out of reach. What happens if other commitments, different abilities, or varied interests keep some of your team from participating? Is physical exercise the best way, or will it work to marginalize some of your staff? Read more…