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Tagged with 'organizational culture'

Points to Ponder on Being an Acorn or Decaying Sheep

This month’s November illustration shows pigs feeding on an autumn harvest of acorns. This medieval European scene continues today in large oak groves of Spain and Portugal. A 14th century English proverb states, November, from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry “Large streams from little foundations flow and tall oaks from little acorns […]

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A Time of Permanence and Change

The American author, poet, and psychologist, Bonaro W. Overstreet observed “October is a symphony of permanence and change.” Isn’t that so true of life? It’s certainly the paradoxical balance seen in strong leaders and found in peak performance cultures. This month in the northern hemisphere trees put on a colorful display as they prepare for […]

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Failed Culture Change Causes Failed IT Projects

Many organizations are implementing significant overhauls of their IT systems. But many of these projects are poorly implemented. This leads to sizeable cost overruns, missed deadlines, disrupted operations, unhappy customers, and stressed out employees. This month’s issue of Harvard Business Review carries an article entitled Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think. […]

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Research Shows Strong Leaders Aren’t Controlled by Technology and Workloads

Work overload, 24/7 availability, stretched work weeks, and overflowing in-boxes are overwhelming most professionals and managers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can be the less stressed out exception. You can Lead, rather than Follow or Wallow. Linda Duxbury, a professor at the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University was recently […]

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A Fourteen-Point Team Check Up

In these days of frantic activity and whirlwinds of change, many management teams are so caught up working in their team they invest little to no time working on their team effectiveness. As the daily flurry of e-mails, meetings, and firefighting overloads everyone, most teams scramble to respond to all the demands coming at them. […]

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The Three Rings of Perceived Value: An Integrated Customer Focus

Many organizations today are striving to increase their customer service or product quality levels. Legions of executives are declaring themselves "customer-focused" or "customer-centric." Yet customer service levels are slipping and many of us are frustrated by attitudes of indifference, navigating technological mazes ("press one to hear that your call is very important to us"), or […]

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Management Practices to Reduce Workplace Stress

An e-mail from Philip, a student working on a senior thesis on “management practices that can help reduce stress in the work environment,” provoked me to think further and review some of my writing on this growing epidemic. Below are Philip’s questions and my responses. Stress is a classic symptom or result of many underlying […]

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“Barriers” Like Age Are Often Self-Created

A reader recently sent me a lengthy e-mail raising questions dealing with age and organizational culture. Here’s the essence of it: "My daughter is a youthful 29 years old (and short which doesn’t help!) working in the financial services industry. Over the past four years she has done very well with a few promotions. Her […]

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Executive Team Traps: Tips, Techniques, and Resources to Pick Yourself Up

Has your executive or management team fallen into a few of the traps identified in my last blog post? If so, you’re in good company. Those common team traps are highly interconnected. Getting out of them takes a fair bit of work and approaches unique to each team. Following is a menu of resources and […]

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Executive Team Traps: Have You Fallen and Can’t Get Up?

In the last few months I’ve been working with three executive teams to help strengthen team effectiveness and boost their leadership of major culture change and development efforts. One team heads up a large commercial construction company in Western Canada, another is a European based international mining company, and the third are senior partners in […]

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How to Energize Vision, Values, and Purpose/Mission

Change is happening way too fast to predict and plan for an uncertain and unknown future. Building a quickly responsive and highly adaptive team and organizational culture is more critical than ever. The core of a built-to-change culture is an energized vision, values, and purpose/mission (it’s the hub of our “Leadership Wheel”) brimming with life […]

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Focus and Context are the Core of Built-to-Change Cultures

My last post brought a few insights and research on dealing with uncertainty. The post before that was built around Dan Gardner’s excellent new book, Future Babble. It drew parallels with one of his key themes (expert hedgehogs and foxes) by discussing management hedgehogs and leadership foxes. A key difference from management hedgehog’s rigid planning […]

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Management Team Behaviors That Speak Louder Than Words

My last blog post discussed some of the commitment confusion and challenges we see with many management teams we’re working with. Here are two key behaviors that send very loud, visual messages about managers’ true priorities: Visible, Felt Leadership or Remote Control Management Managers in high-performing organizations spend much more time “managing by wandering around” […]

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Involved Leadership: They See You Loud and Clear

This fall we’ve been working extensively with executive teams striving to transform their cultures to boost safety, customer service, quality, and leadership at all levels. I wrote about some of this work around our Commitment Continuum in an earlier blog post which was also published in our October issue of The Leader Letter (“Lasting Culture […]

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Thoughts that make you go Hmmm on…Courageous Conversations

My last blog post highlighted the big problem of a culture of fear within many teams and organizations. In the middle of preparing today’s post, I’m doing some fall clean up in my garden while listening to a radio panel discussion on the huge problem of medical errors. Fear of speaking up or admitting mistakes […]

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How Customer Service Training Often Reduces Service Levels

A big city public transit system just released a report addressing its terrible service and image problems. While some of the panel’s recommendations deal with the organization’s culture, much of it is focused on “fixing” drivers, counter staff, and other frontline service people through training and “attitude change.” The way too common “fix our customer […]

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How to Motivate Employees to Attract New Customers in a Recovering Economy

Last month Return on Performance magazine asked me to respond to a series of questions on motivating employees to attract new customers in a recovering economy for their “Winning Tips” section. My responses below reflect many of the internal service and servant leadership themes found throughout my work – and this month’s issue. Ask yourself… […]

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Ineffective Virtual or Physical Meetings: Confused by the Three Cs

You probably spend large chunks of your day in meetings or on conference calls. That’s especially true if you’re in any sort of management, project, or team leadership role. Whether in person or using communication technology, meetings, conferences calls, or webinars are more important than ever in our increasingly complex and interconnected world. Research clearly […]

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Leadership for a Healthier and Safer Workplace – Podcast Now Available

There are very few strictly “health or safety problems.” But there are many leadership and organizational culture problems that show up in accidents, sickness, absenteeism, conflict, stress, and other symptoms of ineffectiveness. Like incompetent doctors, ineffective managers often make people sicker. Research shows that workers are three times more likely to experience accidents in a […]

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How Changing Behavior Changes Organization Culture

I recently joined the LinkedIn group “HR – Organization Development & Training.” Eli Sopow, Special Advisor, Change Management at Royal Canadian Mounted Police, posted the question “can changing behavior change your organization culture?” It was a question at the heart of so much of The CLEMMER Group’s consulting and training work of the last years […]

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