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In the topic 'Culture Change'


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Is Your Culture Attracting or Repelling Top Talent?

Compatibly charged electromagnetic particles will pull toward each other and bind together. When the particles aren’t compatible, they’ll repel each other. We’ve all experienced meeting someone for the first time and feeling highly attracted or repelled by them. We’ve also experienced entering a new office or organization and feeling energized and positive or anxious and […]

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Trusted Leaders Build High-Trust Cultures

Nine-year-old third base player, Juan Miguel, fielded a ground ball and tried to tag a runner going from second to third base. The umpire, Laura Benson, called the runner out, but young Juan immediately ran to her side and said, “Ma’am, I didn’t tag the runner.” Umpire Benson reversed herself, sent the runner to third […]

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Yeah, right. Overcoming Organizational Cynicism and Mistrust

We’ve got a big leadership “opportunity.” Cynicism and trust are falling. According to the General Social Survey, the belief that “most people can be trusted” has dropped from 45% to 30% in the last five decades. It’s a global issue. This year, the annual Edelman Trust Barometer found that nearly 60% of people in 27 […]

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Bluster Buster: How to Bring Your Values to Life and Strengthen Your Culture

Years ago, we helped an international mining company transform its safety culture from good to outstanding. Their 65% reduction in injuries over a three-year period vaulted them to become a benchmark company in their industry. A delegation of senior leaders and safety professionals from another mining company visited a few of their mine sites to […]

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The Great Resignation Calls for Values Rededication and Integration

Recently I was asked to facilitate an executive retreat for the leadership team of a professional services firm. With everyone working from home, the firm came through the pandemic with strong financial results. Client satisfaction was high, and the firm won awards from industry peer groups for the professionalism and effectiveness of their services. However, […]

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Mind the Gap: Are Your Values Rhetoric or Reality?

It’s easy to spout motherhood statements about caring for people, teamwork, trust, partnering, we’re all in this together, and the like. Tough times expose a leadership team’s true values. When the pandemic panic set in last year, some executive teams showed their true beliefs that employees are human capital or assets with skin to be […]

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Lead Change or Be Changed

Are you leading at the speed of change? If the rate of external change exceeds your rate of internal change, you’re going to be changed. Impermanence and disruptive change is a central life force. This never has, nor ever well, change. Constant, unpredictable, and sometimes very sudden change is as predictable and certain as death […]

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Love Them and Lead Them

In his book, Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands, Kevin Roberts, CEO of the global advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, explains that fads attract, but without love, it’s a passing infatuation. He shows that the most successful organizations create fanatical loyalty that goes way beyond reason to highly charged emotional connections. Chapter titles include “All You Need is Love,” […]

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Leadership and Culture Multiply or Minimize Value-Based Strategies

This month’s issue of Harvard Business Review features an article on how to “Eliminate Strategic Overload.” Harvard Business School professor, Felix Oberholzer-Gee shows “how to select fewer initiatives with greater impact.” He concludes, “creating value for customers, employees, and suppliers sits at the very heart of strategies that result in stellar performance. In the best […]

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Podcast: 5 Steps to Shift Your Company Culture

What are the key leadership trends of the past year? How’s leadership different in Canada? How can a culture be changed? What are the greatest leadership lessons of my career? These are a few of the simple and easy questions BreAnne Okoren asked me in a recent podcast… Right….all quick, easy, and simple issues! BreAnne […]

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Leadership Lessons from Pfizer-BioNTech’s Vaccine Development

One of the biggest success stories to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis is the incredibly quick development of life-saving vaccines. They’re a major step toward getting life back to some semblance of normal. An especially exciting medical breakthrough is the development of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology now used in Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Medical experts […]

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Reshaping the Leadership and Culture Development Puzzle

In his 19th Century Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes, “Euclid, having opened a school of mathematics at Alexandria, was asked by King Ptolemy whether he could explain his art to him in a more compendious manner. ‘Sire,’ said the geometrician, ‘there is no royal road to learning.'” The timeless quest for […]

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Leadership Team Dynamics and Culture Development are Entwined

I recently had a call from “Judy,” an HR VP, to discuss team building. She said their executive team effectiveness is slipping. Team issues and challenges are overlooked, factions are forming, and trust issues are developing. As we discussed (online) executive retreat options, she wondered if using a four-quadrant personality type training program might be […]

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Are you Building or Hallucinating a High-Performance Service Culture?

How reasonable would it be to hold a shipping dock worker responsible for the quality of the products in the boxes he or she is shipping? So how reasonable is it for managers to hold the final deliverer responsible for the quality of the products or services he or she is delivering? The person on […]

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An Agile Culture Ripples Out From the Leadership Team

Many leadership teams seem to think that talking about agility will magically transform their organizations. If only change were that simple. Talking isn’t doing. A department, division, or organization’s culture ripples out from its leadership team. Organizational behavior reflects leadership team behavior. A team that wants to change “them” needs to start with a deep […]

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Culture Change: Avoid These Credibility Gaps and Traps

How big is your organization’s aspire/live gap? Does your rhetoric match reality? Is your audio synced with your video? Research and advisory company, Gartner, recently surveyed 7,500 employees and nearly 200 HR leaders of global companies and had in-depth interviews with 100 HR leaders. They found “on average, 69% of employees don’t believe in the […]

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Magnetic Attraction: Building a Culture that Attracts, Engages, and Retains Top People

Is your team or organization experiencing: High “snicker factor” about values Diminishing discretionary effort Rising absenteeism Turnover of top people Declining customer service Resistance to change Lower trust and teamwork Slipping quality levels Reduced health and safety These are symptoms of the cultural malaise or dysfunction many teams and organizations are experiencing today. How many […]

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Are You Being Poisoned by a Toxic Culture?

During a retreat with the leadership team of a large healthcare organization, we were running a little behind schedule so I said we’d move fairly quickly through the Responsibility for Choices principle in our leadership discussion. Fortunately, an astute participant piped up with, “Jim, I think we need to talk about our ‘blaming and disclaiming’ […]

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Moose Mess: Boeing’s Culture May Have Caused Those Tragic Crashes

In the wake of two fatal crashes of Boeing’s new 737 Max jets, Harvard Business School professor and author of a new book on creating psychological safety in the workplace, Amy Edmondson, published an article on Boeing and the Importance of Encouraging Employees to Speak Up. She writes, “The accidents and the resulting media attention […]

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Is Your Culture Powering or Souring Your Brand?

Imagine trying to cool your house in the middle of a tropical heat wave when you’ve left all the windows and door wide open. That’s brand management in many companies. Companies spend big dollars on research, marketing, and promotions to attract customers. But poor service experiences don’t match the brand promise. So customers drift away […]

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