Caution: Company Culture Disruption Ahead!

You may have read my 3-part series on Company Culture. It was featured in this column last month. In it I suggested that there were 6 levers available to leaders that enable culture transformation. Buried inside of those were digital business practices and social impact elements - two paradigms worthy of further exploration because their potential for startling impact on organizational dynamics.…

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What We’ve Got Here Is A Failure to Communicate

Many firms suffer from poor communications. It's my theory is that too few firms have the necessary communications program in place to do it well. Take the following steps to develop an effective communications program plan: 1. Delineate your objectives - Determine what you expect to gain from your communications program. Objectives could range from enhancing service delivery and improving staff…

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Culture By Design: The 6 Levers of Customization

Last week, we published the 2nd installment of our 3-part series on corporate culture transformation. It focused on core work products that must be produced to transform a corporate culture. Here is the final installment of the concept that I'm calling Culture By Design. This week we'll look at the 6 cultural levers that every management team has at its disposal to set cultural direction and…

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Culture by Design: The Essentials

Last week, we published the first installment of our 3-part series on company culture. In that first piece, we began to demystify a concept that I'm calling culture by design.This week we'll explore the essential that my firm provides to clients when building cultures by design with them. Keep in mind, this is just one approach to do the work at hand and it's one that we refined over decades of…

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Culture By Design: A Call to Action

This is the first installment of an important 3-part series on Company Culture that I will be bringing to my Inc. readers. The series focuses on how to become more deliberate in creating a work environment that enables and empowers your organization to achieve and exceed all your expectations. I call the concept that I'm going to share with you: Culture By Design. To begin, it's essential to note…

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How to Get to What Happens Next

All of my strategy, culture and organizational design work over the years comes down to one thing - enabling my clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors so to dominate the markets that they serve.  Consequently, the topic of industry best practices always comes up.  Most leaders want to be sure that their organizations are remaining competitive within their industry.  While the…

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10 Signs Your Company Culture Needs a Fix

There is little doubt that the best performing firms on the planet have exciting and healthy cultures - think Google, Southwest, and Nike - while other organizations seem to be in a constant state of struggle to reach their full potential.  The Leadership teams at struggling companies are often confounded to understand the reasons for their firm's underperformance.  Not surprisingly, company…

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Work Performance and the Perils of Comparison

Let me take you back in time.  You're in 8th grade.  You've signed up for your first guitar lesson and the teacher plays Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."   She offers it up as an example of a great song that you can learn to play.  You're motivated to learn, right?  Wrong!  She no sooner finishes her sentence about "you can learn how to play," when you hear Jimmy Page rips into his classic…

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Preparing Your Organization for the “Big Change”

Organizational change is inevitable. Like all living things, it's vital that organizations regularly adjust in order to accommodate the ebb and flow that goes on within the ecosystems in which they thrive. Every so often, though, a "Big Change" is needed to better position an organization for long-term success. In those times, proper preparation is required. Here are 6 steps that you can take to…

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8 Tips for ‘Keeping It Real’ During Your Cultural Transformation Effort

Whenever I consider the pain and toil that goes into every deep, cultural transformation effort I recall the words of Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Indeed, transformation work is always challenging. You're asking people to change and to move out of their comfort zones. Resistance, misunderstanding and confusion abound! But, managing through change…

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The 7 Deadly Sins of Cultural Transformation

As a person who has dedicated over 20 years of my professional life in the pursuit of assisting clients in setting direction and driving change, I think that I've seen just about all there is to see when it comes to business and cultural transformation. My years in the field have helped me to better understand what works and what does not work. While it's impossible to share all there is to know…

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5 Management Practices Needed for Flawless Service Delivery

In the past, I've written other articles on the subject of strategy and competition. To summarize the messages from earlier articles, it is my belief that every business competes across only three main dimensions--product, price and service. Certainly, strategies to cover all three elements are essential for the ongoing growth and success of a business. That said, this piece focuses on service…

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All Trust Is Lost … and, It’s Messing With Your Business

Much of my work involves executive interviewing and workshop facilitation. It puts me in a place where I speak to many business people from all levels within the organizations that I help. What's been striking of late, is the emergence of a general feeling of discontent. From top to bottom, people are pointing to a sense that they have lost all trust in their organizations. The sentiment has been…

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Why We Must Leverage What People Do Have (and Not Penalize Them for What They Don’t)

Once upon a time, people with disabilities had no place in business. Now, thanks to innovative programs being introduced at several large companies, those times may be coming to an end. Business leaders are beginning to recognize that people diagnosed with autism, for example, can bring some great things to the table. Companies, including SAP, Microsoft and HP have all begun programs intended to…

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The Art of the Management Huddle

When used in a football context, a huddle is used to call a play. Similarly, a "management huddle" can be used by business leaders to call a play, too. By definition, management huddles are a technique used by leaders to gather colleagues together for a short meeting to share status or brainstorm options that can help the organization arrive at quality decisions in short order. The technique can…

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Why 2016 Will Be the Year of the Millennial

I'm going on record as designating 2016, "The Year of the Millennial." There is no doubt in my mind that this year represents a tipping point among the number of 30-somethings reaching the management ranks of organizations around the globe. Because of this build-up of critical mass, we can assume that these newly minted Gen Y managers will greatly influence this year's business agenda. Here are 8…

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