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Get the scoop from our consultants and creatives, as well as our clients and other thought-leading guests. In addition to our blog and video posts, don’t miss our popular podcasts — they’ve been heard regularly by thousands of leaders since 2012!
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Culture Is Your Job


 

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” ~ Attributed to the late Peter Drucker; popularized in 2006 by Mark Fields, former CEO of Ford

A mid-level professional gave a presentation to a group of vice-presidents of the company where he works. He sprinkled in some of his trademark humor, which usually gets a positive response from his audiences and helps them connect with the real human behind his subject-matter expertise. But this time, the response was … crickets. No one even cracked a smile.

Later, one of the VPs pulled him aside to provide feedback. “Your presentation was full of great insights and information. But I don’t think the humor was necessary. Stick to facts.”

Oh, the Irony

That company’s official values and policies encourage people to “be their true self at work.” As at many organizations today, their strategy recognizes the business value of cultivating an inclusive environment and attracting diverse perspectives. But this story about the VPs seems to show that their strategy isn’t yet being lived out in their culture.

Yeah, I get it. You’re just a ______ (fill in the blank … VP, mid-level manager, individual contributor). So many many factors driving corporate culture fall outside your sphere of influence.

And yet, there are six personal drivers of culture that every person in the organization can own … and in fact, do own, whether or not they realize it. Regardless of your role in the company, it’s your job to cultivate the right culture. And you have every one of these six drivers at your disposal:

 

The professional in this story realized that culture is his job. After listening to the feedback, he thanked the VP (after all, the well-meaning VP was practicing caring and coaching).

And then he said something like, “I’m choosing to set that feedback aside and continue being the authentic ‘me’ in that type of situation. Because I think it’s important to set an example of being our true self at work. Our company’s culture and business sustainability depend on it.”

Which of these Cs was he practicing?

By the way, all six Cs are necessary and equally important … as I’m reminded by the consequences when I fall short in any of them. In your leadership, how are you practicing all six Cs of culture?

193: Research Techniques for Identifying a Compelling EVP | with Matt O’Connor, PhD

When you identify the reasons why high-performing employees choose your organization, it serves as a compass in guiding your ongoing development of the employee experience.

Furthermore, if you use those insights to craft an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that resonates with both current and prospective talent, it becomes a strong foundation of your employer brand and all your internal retention efforts as well as external recruiting efforts.

This is the second of a two-part interview with talent research expert Matt O’Connor. In part 1,  we discussed how to frame the discovery process, which is how to find out what makes your company stand out as a great place to work for the type of people you want on your team.

read more…

192: How to Discover Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) | with Matt O’Connor, PhD

What makes your company different from your competitors in the talent marketplace? Can you articulate the reasons in a message that is unique, authentic, and compelling?

A strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) is key to recruiting, retaining, and fully engaging top talent. Your EVP is a clear message about why people choose to join your organization, continue working there, give their best effort, and speak well of the company to others.

read more…

191: 3 Hacks for Emotional Transparency That Cultivates Accountability | with Jonathan Raymond

If it seems like you can’t trust your team to own projects and results, how can you improve accountability?

This is the final episode in a four-part series of interviews with Jonathan Raymond about how to practice emotional transparency to cultivate accountability within your team. This time, we discuss three hacks — the most important things to remember — when practicing emotional transparency to cultivates accountability in the workplace.

read more…

190: 4 Steps of Emotional Transparency That Cultivates Accountability | with Jonathan Raymond

Many leaders feel frustrated by what seems like a low level of personal ownership among people in their organization. Things don’t get done on time, problems don’t get solved, and issues get ignored rather than proactively addressed before they become problems. Sound familiar?

This episode is part 3 of a four-part series of interviews with Jonathan Raymond about how to practice emotional transparency to cultivate accountability within your team. This time, we talk about the four steps of emotional transparency that cultivates accountability.

read more…

The Era of Inclusion: How to Help Your Team Thrive

Your workplace is rich with diversity – a mix of races, ethnicities, genders, generations, and personality types. But diversity is not the same as inclusion. Leaders would be shocked to know the resources that go untapped and the ideas that go undiscovered simply because certain people are consistently excluded from the conversation.
read more…

189: Dos and Don’ts of Emotional Transparency | with Jonathan Raymond

A couple days ago, the CEO of a small business complained to me that one of his managers has been displaying some of the classic signs of a lack of accountability — brushing off the severity of a mistake, letting tensions build with his own direct reports instead of asking for advice on how to handle it, and reverse-delegating or “throwing turds” for his boss to clean up.

“Does it seem like he doesn’t own the situation … like he doesn’t care as much as you do?” I asked.

“Yes, that’s exactly what it feels like!” he replied. “How can I get him to change?”

read more…

188: Emotional Transparency — The Secret to Accountability | with Jonathan Raymond

Accountability. Many organizations name it one of their top corporate values. And yet no matter how much they talk about accountability, leaders often feel frustrated by what seems like a low level of personal ownership among their employees.

Things don’t get done on time, problems don’t get solved, and issues get ignored rather than proactively addressed before they become problems. Sound familiar?

read more…

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