First of two parts
You could accurately call me Dr. Speed because I love speed.
I don’t mean the speed associated with fast cars, but instead, organizational speed. I really admire large organizations that have a track record of doing everything really fast.
Organizational speed means that as a result of purposeful actions, the organization does all important things measurably faster than its competitors.
Many don’t realize it but one of the constants since the beginning of human life has been that everything that man has touched has continually gotten faster. Everything, including cars, airplanes and even Olympic athletes, get faster each and every year. And now organizations are also becoming part of this speed movement. Read more…
Today’s workplaces are fraught with disruptions, interruptions, and setbacks, even for the most successful among us.
Companies at the top of their game still have times when they are blindsided by market forces and must play catch-up. When faced with adversity, the difference between the winners and losers is often how they handle the upset.
That’s a key finding from Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s ongoing research on great companies and effective leaders. No one can completely avoid trouble, and potential pitfalls are everywhere, but resilience is the trait that helps us climb out of the hole and bounce back. Read more…
When a company culture is dysfunctional, it can affect business success.
HR or Organizational Development (OD) may try to change it. And sometimes they do — for about a day. But most blanket attempts to change the culture of a whole company are wasted efforts.
Why is culture so difficult to change? Because we think of company culture as if there is only one for the whole company. Everyone having the same mindset, thoughts and views about how a company should work. Kind of like the “Stepford Wives” of the corporate world.
We conveniently forget the fact that no real-world company works as one uniform whole. In the 21st Century, the business world is far too complex for companies to function as a single culture. Read more…
Once upon a time, I worked for a company that used epic storytelling in their cultural narrative.
The annual company-wide party was a chance to recount the early, sputtering days of the company: the group ran out of money, and when the CEO met with the team to lay them off, all the employees volunteered to work for free, or at greatly reduced salaries. The company bootstrapped and clawed their way to a successful technology organization that sold for a handsome profit, rewarding all those volunteers and the employees who had followed.
The tale of “the little company that could,” the nights and weekends spent building the business, were part of the story that employees told each other. Read more…
“Ron, you know someone needs to talk to XXX because he does not know how to talk to people. He is so rude.”
The other gentleman in my office said, “you have to realize that he has worked here for seven years in HR under XXX.” That statement changed the conversation immediately.
Everyone knew that the person he mentioned was beyond difficult to work for. It was like he had a vendetta against anyone that walked through the door. So as the saying goes, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
We have all run into these type bosses in our career. If you have not, my father has a favorite saying for you — “Just keep on living.” Read more…
This morning I read a blog post by Penelope Trunk that seems to argue we cannot be happy in our work and have that work be meaningful, too.
She arrives at this position through telling a story about going apple picking with her sons on their farm, but ending up rescuing a stranded, scared calf. She comments:
You’d think that picking apples was the fun part of the day, interrupted by a farm emergency. But in fact, the best part of the day was saving the calf. We look for moments of happiness, but there is not much lasting happiness from a few bucolic moments in a field of apple trees. Read more…
The current pace of change in business is unprecedented, and many leaders are looking to refine — or even overhaul — their cultures to better position their organizations for success.
Change is never easy, but changing corporate culture needs to be approached thoughtfully and with resolve. Drs. Kevin and Jackie Frieberg specialize in culture, and the following strategies have been adapted from their work. Read more…
Nice guys finish last. We’ve all heard that phrase before. Which probably means that there’s something to it.
Now why is that?
Because we’ve seen it happen, haven’t we? Again and again.
In the work environment all too often the steady and reliable performers — those who follow the policies and procedures, who stay on the right side of ethical dilemmas and controversy, the “nice guys” that every manager would like to have on their team — they can come up short when recognition and rewards are being passed about. Read more…
Many in business, and most in talent management, fail to realize that as soon as you open your mouth, it’s immediately obvious to almost all leaders and executives whether you are “strategic” and “know the business.”
If you have ever been a CEO or senior executive (as I have), you already know that strategic individuals use a completely different language than the tactical “do-ers” who populate the lower levels of the organization.
If you are satisfied with being a tactical person, that’s OK, but if you expect to get promoted and to quickly take a leadership position in management, at some point you have to learn how to think and talk strategically. Read more…
I encounter many myths about employee recognition in my role as a consultant to companies looking to establish or strengthen a culture of appreciation in their organizations.
One of the most common myths I look to debunk quickly is “top performers are the only people deserving of recognition and rewards.”
Why is it important to recognize beyond the top performers? Three reasons:
- The middle 70 percent of performers are the “Steady Eddies” who constantly crank out good, solid work, making it possible for your top performers – the stars – to shine. Read more…