Tag Archives: organizational culture

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Changing organizational culture

Truth About Your Changing Organizational Culture

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Times are changing. It seems every organization recognizes the business environment and climate are changing. Are you closely connected with some of the most fundamental aspects and ready to discover the truth about your changing organizational culture?

If everything in the business environment is shifting, the riskiest place to be is stuck in the status quo. When the environment is different, you can’t just do things differently. You will likely have to discover and learn, adapt, and do different things.

Discover Truth

Here are three important aspects to consider:

  • Facts. What is factual and true about your direction? What is the proof, or what can you prove through research or evidence?
  • Needed. What are the skills or expertise you will need for where you are headed? What will make the shifting direction successful? Consider what your team can learn or what should you outsource or hire?
  • Fears. Give honest self-reflection. What do you fear? What are you avoiding to face the truth? Consider what may be important but also out of your control.

Our U.S. economy has been shifting for decades. It has accelerated in this shift since 2009.

Do Different Things

Ask another question, what are you doing that is different, which is not the same as exploring what things you are doing differently.

This represents the truth in your path. Consider the culture, the habits, and the traditions.

Write it all down, put it on a flip chart or write on a white board.

When you step back and look at your situation more as an outside observer as compared to an inside navigator you may discover the real truth.

Changing Organizational Culture

Many believe their culture protects them and makes them strong. That is a truth, but a culture stuck in the status quo is actually falling behind.

That may be the hardest truth of all.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Media impacts culture

How Media Impacts Culture and Climate

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Hustle and bustle every day, some people talk about the push, others about the pull. Your organizational culture is impacted by social climate. Have you thought about how media impacts culture?

Media is exploding. It isn’t just the daily paper anymore. In fact, it hasn’t been the daily paper for some time.

Information Sources

Media is available everywhere, consider these sources and impacts:

  • YouTube video
  • Political tweet
  • A Facebook argument
  • Niche satellite radio channels
  • Podcasts
  • Newspapers
  • On-line news
  • Libraries
  • Tabloids
  • Magazines
  • Non-business LinkedIn content
  • Business LinkedIn content
  • Billboards
  • AM/FM Radio
  • Talk shows
  • Television news
  • Books
  • College classrooms
  • Email chains
  • Blogs
  • Vlogs
  • Pinterest favorites
  • Word of mouth
  • World of mouth

When you consider how marketing and social climate impact culture you’ll quickly recognize that the call to action you hope for and the one you get may be completely different. When you ask why, consider the vast amount media sources that affect your environment.

Marketing and Action

Organizational culture has never been more important and social climate impacts never more profound. The constant stream of infiltration by marketers and the press doesn’t come from one or two sources.

Getting information is easy. Digesting information and execution is far more challenging.

What springs your team into action? What will cause them to leap, understand what is urgent, and get into a positive rhythm?

Media Impacts Culture

Does culture shape the media or is media shaping the culture?

There are videos running at gas pumps, charging stations, and in the elevator. Smartphones and electronic tablets are everywhere. People, compelled by moving parts and flashy content repeated over and over again may create a culture.

People will connect with what interests them and the source doesn’t matter so much when the content is compelling.

Media impacts culture.

Is part of your business media?

Maybe it should be.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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framing organizational culture

Framing Organizational Culture

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It isn’t uncommon, most things that we do begin or are contained within a framework. Metaphorically and literally, we know the importance of strong foundations. How are you framing organizational culture?

We’re in a service economy, and that isn’t anything new. More and more of the Fortune 500 companies are representing a service-oriented sector. It has been transforming for decades.

Service Connections

What are you or your organization doing to for positioning? What frame are you operating in?

Even the manufacturing sector is developing more components of their business that includes a service connection. What are you leveraging?

This isn’t a think outside of the box story, but it could be.

Frames That Fit

The biggest problem I often encounter with businesses and organizations who are struggling to align with a better is culture is that they don’t realize the problems that they have. Alternatively, they downplay the importance of recognized problems because they proclaim they don’t fit.

A manufacturing company often believes that the most important thing that they do is manufacture. Anything that detracts from the production process is unimportant. When challenged by internal or external forces they resort to proclamations that they are a manufacturer and this is how it works. That’s a frame.

Framing Organizational Culture

Frameworks give us a space to work in. They help us constructively manage the space. We only deal with so much at a time in our online browsers, a book has a manageable limit to its physical size, and the artist has the limit of the canvas. Hard of soft, real or imagined, we operate within our frames.

Perhaps the first thing that any organization should do is constructively remove the frame. A culture that fits within the service economy probably has different boundaries. The more traditional the business the more they are going to have to color outside of the lines.

Sometimes the best brainstorming requires us to forget everything about who we are and focus more on where we want (need) to be.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service problems

Showing Up For Customer Service Problems

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Our mind-set is powerful. What we think, feel, and believe, it drives our choices and decisions. Often, once we are set in our ways and it is hard to change. It’s the teach an old dog a new trick kind of thing. Do you have a culture of customer service problems, or a culture of the customer experience?

Conflict is an interesting word because most people automatically steer towards the negative. They consider situations or circumstances that are undesirable, things to avoid, and conversations to not have. However, conflict or disagreement, when properly managed may have a good side.

Problems or a Culture?

When you think about customer service in your organization, do you only think of the resolution? Do you think of the department that manages the problems, fixes errors, and tries to make the customer feel good? What is the mind-set, should you be thinking differently?

Customer service should not be about a problem resolution department, it should be about an organizational culture. When it is about culture, everything is about the customer before the sale, after the sale, and should anything go wrong, of course, it should be about problem resolution.

Customer service isn’t what you show on the outside, it is about what starts internally and is reflected externally. People have already bought into the political correctness of the customer being right, that isn’t what shapes the customer experience.

The question may become, “When do you show up for the customer?”

Customer Service Problems

Certainly, many people may decide to show up when there is an expressed need. The wrong product was shipped, the product broke, or the service paid for didn’t produce the correct outcome. This invites people to show up.

Other people may show up before there is an expressed need. The idea is that they will build the relationship, build for the order, the referral, or the payoff that will arrive later.

There are also people and organizations that are always there. They show up just because they want to. Perhaps they need nothing, perhaps they aren’t specifically trying to close a deal, they show up because it is what they want to do. It is their mind-set.

Show Up More Often

In business, we always have to think about the return on investment. True, it may feel expensive to always just be there, but your organization shouldn’t only show up for the customer service problems.

What causes your organization and people to show up for the customer is about culture.

At least, it should be.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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organizational culture strategic

Is Your Organizational Culture Strategic?

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One thing that I find most businesses believe is that they are very unique. Certainly, they have unique characteristics, and certainly, their culture has some unique features. Are they strategic, groundbreakers, movers and shakers? Is your organizational culture strategic?

What do many organizations do to develop their culture? They replicate, borrow, copy, or steal. They do this with ideas that they believe hold the power to create their future success. It is not uncommon. It may be part of learning and growing. Taking someone’s idea of a cart and a wheel, throw a motor in it, and it’s a car.

Similar but Different?

What your organization does may be a take-off, branch off, or knock off of a previous idea. What do most flat screen TV’s look like? They look pretty much the same. Most cars have four wheels, and motorcycles two. Yet, they aren’t the same.

Organizational strategy and culture has everything to do with your success. It is applicable to your marketing, your brand, and your products or service. Most organizations fall into one of several categories.

The first category represents the organization that decides they want to conquer the competition. So they challenge competitors head-on. They provide similar but (yet they believe) different products and services. In addition to keeping existing customers, they also want people who use a competitor to switch.

Another somewhat different category is for those who to take a defensive posture. You focus mostly on well-established relationships. You work hard to build business with your customers, not necessarily for them.

There is a difference between building with customers and building for the customer. When building with your customer, you upgrade, enhance, and improve what is already working, and you do it together. You defend your business against the competition.

There is still another path though and that is the path of creating what is next. Organizations stick their neck out, they take risk and they try something new or different. They are not just doing things differently. They are actually doing different things.

Organizational Culture Strategic?

We might consider products like the Keurig coffee maker, digital photography as opposed to film, or even the 2007 launch of the iPhone. In each of these cases, they took a risk to do something different. They transformed original products or results by being very different. They became attractive. People switched.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that any organization can make is believing that they are unique but yet they follow what everyone else in their industry does. Your hardest challenge may be separating yourself from what anyone, can get anywhere, at any time.

In many industries, this is exactly why the customer experience is critically important and it develops from your organizational culture.

Is the development of your organizational culture strategic, or are you trying your hardest just to compete?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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workforce engagement appreciative strategies

Give and Get of Workforce Engagement

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You’ve heard it before, “Attitudes are contagious.” Yes, most workforce professionals would likely agree, but does attitude condition workforce engagement?

Sometimes when I’m speaking or presenting to groups I will try to throw out a little bit of humor. I’m certainly not a humorist speaker, but most people like to have a little fun. Occasionally, I’ll throw out a zinger and only one or two persons will laugh. I’ll follow that with, “Thank you. Now could you move around and act like a crowd.”

It is all intended for some fun. Usually it works. More people join in the laughter.

Following the Crowd

Unfortunately the opposite is also true. People who oppose circumstances or situations can also develop a following. At times they may not completely understand what they are for, or against, but they’re following the crowd.

Sometimes we might call it atmosphere, others might suggest it is the environment, and yet others might label it as the organizational culture.

Many people believe that what you give is what you get.

If you are looking for a way to inappropriately challenge the process you’ll find it. When you listen only to respond, others will do the same. If you fold your arms, scowl, and send the message that you don’t want to be there, others will follow.

Workforce Engagement

Be careful about what you give.  If you give the message of, “I don’t care about you.” chances are good you’ll get that back.

This is often how the pay check only employees develop. You know the ones. They care very little about anything other than their pay check. Typically this develops when they feel disrespected or devalued. It’s reactionary and sometimes becomes a crowd.

You might only get what you give.

It’s true for management and it’s true for the front line.

Do you want workforce engagement?

Give out what you want to get back.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Leadership Feedback: The Give and Get of Truth

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Most employees believe that their boss has little desire for feedback. Feedback is often viewed as one way, downstream. Do you believe leadership feedback is important?

Leadership feedback dennis e. gilbert

Formal feedback systems in most organizations, if they exist at all, are delivered through the once or twice a year employee performance evaluation. Throughout the year there might be little hints of complimentary job well done feedback, or expressions of the need for rework or improvement, but is this adequate?

Most feedback systems are designed to provide feedback from the boss to the direct report. What about the boss or leader? What is their feedback system?

Is more feedback or a better system required? Would it be smart?

Employee Feedback

Employees are often expecting feedback from the leader. Actually, many of them expect the criticism to drop on them at any moment.

Organizations with the best culture are trying to make an impact with less criticism, more constructive forms of feedback, and yes the highly desirable kudos.

Feedback should be intended to help people and systems improve. Sure it can, and should be motivational, inspirational, and delivered to spring people into action.

Unfortunately, it can also create fear, which might result in action, but that action is often short lived. In addition, the long-term effects of motivation through fear can be devastating for culture.

Leadership Feedback

All of this is important, but who is giving the leader honest feedback?

Do you agree that feedback might help with leadership? If you agree, you’ll probably also agree that the feedback must be honest.

Does the leader get honest feedback? When (if) the leader asks for feedback there is a tendency from others to give the feedback they believe is desired to be heard. Therefore a difference might exist between what is given and reality.

Feedback shouldn’t be a one-way system, and it should be truthful and honest.

The leader who is willing to receive as much truth as they give might be the smartest leader of all.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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Are Generational Differences Real?

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As a leadership and workforce generations expert I’m often asked, “Are generational differences real?” Actually, people don’t often ask, they just offer their opinion. What’s the scoop with this idea of generational differences being real or not real?

generational differences real appreciative strategies

Informally, without a survey or empirical evidence I would suggest that many supervisors, managers, and human resources team members are sold on the idea that generational differences are real. When it comes to the C-Suite my best guess is that only about one half of them are convinced.

Since I’ve researched, written about, and provided coaching and training on this subject for more than 10 years I’m compelled to offer my opinion.

Are Generational Differences Real?

Getting right to it, yes, they are real, but there are a few tricky elements connected to that reality.

One of the most common disconnects that I encounter is a lack of understanding about generational differences and differences based on age. Additionally, there are numerous other factors such as organizational culture, social economic conditions, family and espoused values, and geographic location.

Stereotyping

Stereotyping is often problematic with generational differences. Differences in age, values, or beliefs might all be inappropriately targeted. Often we’ll hear things like millennials feel entitled, or baby boomers don’t like change, or generation Z (Gen 9/11, iGen) only wants to work part-time.

These are stereotypes and do not apply to all people who were born during a specific range of years. In addition, wrongful stereotyping might be the biggest cause of breakdowns in trust and respect.

Getting to the Root

Stereotyping, breakdowns in trust and respect; what is really the root cause of these problems? Most likely the problems originate in leadership styles, communication, and the product of both of those combined, organizational culture.

If you believe your workplace is suffering from generational differences, you must get to the root cause. Therefore, pointing out that differences exist is only a symptom of the problem. In most circumstances you’ll find the root cause buried somewhere in the organizational culture.

The Scoop

In conclusion, generational differences are real and in the simplest terms they are based on different values and beliefs.

Descriptors or characteristics often used to describe the attitudes, values, or beliefs of any given generation do not apply to everyone. They certainly apply to some, and likely to a majority, but definitely not to all.

You’ll probably find the solution for improvement exists in leadership styles and how they manage or embrace different values and beliefs. Communication and the ebb and flow of the culture will have a direct impact on the success of generational harmony.

So what do you think? Are generational differences real?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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  • 5

Change, Does It Always Make Sense?

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Many insist that change is critical, urgent, and the recipe for success. Does change always make sense? Is now the time for a change?

change makes sense

When I go to my favorite restaurant I order the same thing, almost every time. In my local town I go to the same gas station, time after time. How do I like my coffee? I like it black, no cream, no sugar, every time.

I haven’t worn a white or light colored business suit since the 1980’s (thank you Don Johnson and Miami Vice), and I have at least twenty white dress shirts but only three or four of different colors.

I may not be the same as everyone else, and that doesn’t mean that any of us should change, but it also probably doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t.

When does change or doing something different really make sense?

Despite my rhetoric about how much I like what I like and I stick to it, I’m a big proponent of change. Change might not always be the answer though, likely more often than people realize it is more about persistence, tenacity, and keeping our sleeves rolled up while appropriately staying the course.

People and organizations can get stuck, but being stuck doesn’t mean that the goal should change. Perhaps it is more about a pivot to a better path.

Technology, it’s changing the world around us and we’ll need to adapt or get left behind. Marketing and advertising, they are affected by technology and we’ll need to adjust to maximize our opportunities. How we communicate, that’s changing too, all of this while arguments continue on the best methods or paths.

Perhaps none of that means that the plan should be destroyed, the culture turned inside out, or the mission statement revised. It might sometimes, but not always. Just because change feels trendy doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

Change makes the most sense when we know what really matters, what draws us closer to the goal, and what prevents us from being stuck, stalled, or starving for more opportunities.

Most businesses and people aren’t overnight success stories. They often appear to be because we’ve noticed them on the move, in the climb, or nearing one of their many peaks.

Even by today’s standards and the speed of technology there are very few overnight success stories.

Sure a video will go viral, a tweet might start trending, and a song might hit the top ten. All of which happens very fast, but the people and the culture of the pursuit have likely been around for years.

Even Johnny Cash had to persist in his attempts, although at the time he was likely recognized as an overnight sensation.

When it comes to your personal or professional goals, building a brand, or discovering what’s most important about your culture, it all takes time.

Change makes sense when all other avenues have been exhausted, when it is stimulating or exciting but keeps things on track, or when technological advances will shorten or enhance the journey.

Everything else might be just a distraction, a way to discover our original path was still the best one of all, and to remind us that persistence and tenacity have little or nothing to do with ease, but everything to do with doing what really matters.

When you are doing what really matters, you might not have to change a thing.

Today I’ll wear a dark colored suit with a white shirt, I’ll eat several meals of my favorite foods, drink my coffee black, and fill up my car at the local gas station.

Changing any of that, or none of it, doesn’t change what matters.

Sometimes we just need to stay the course.

It might make the most sense, at least for now.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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