Tag Archives: organizational culture

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cultural generosity

Cultural Generosity, Does Your Organization Have It?

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You can have all of the effort imaginable but it won’t take your team or organization very far if the culture lacks positive flow. Generosity has helped millions of people with many different needs. Your organization needs a positive culture to maximize ROI. Does your organization have cultural generosity?

Cultural Generosity

What is cultural generosity? Have you ever attended a workplace meeting where nearly everyone shows up physically, but mentally they don’t really participate or contribute?

Sure, they like to have their coffee, access to their device, and will grab a couple of cookies or a donut, but are they really present?

In many meetings, you can be the person who contributes. You can be the one who is engaged, participating, and taking risks with your contributions. You are not the naysayer, the wrench thrown into the wheel, or a dark cloud hovering over an otherwise sunny day.

Your presence, your ideas, and the contributions you make add energy. You’ve reviewed the agenda, you did the homework, and you have ideas, potential solutions, and enthusiasm for improvement.

You wave your hand to show you’ll help, offer assistance, or take on the new task. You exemplify cultural generosity and are a great role model.

Fence Sitters

There are also fence sitters. Those who don’t really contribute much but they are watching. Their mission is often not to decide for himself or herself but to follow the flow of the crowd, or follow the political current seems to make the most sense.

Are they contributing to a positive culture? Perhaps, sometimes, but often in efforts that require change it is easier to find the reasons why it won’t work instead of offering reasons why it will.

The fence sitters contribution is weak at best.

Naysayers

Of course, we cannot forget about the naysayers, the passively aggressive quiet one who is cloaked in the corporate uniform but leading a different charge. There is often a smile, but don’t mistake it for agreement. When a smile becomes a smirk, it won’t be doing much to support a positive culture.

In fact, the fence sitters, naysayers, and the passively aggressive watcher are probably taking away more energy than what they are giving.

Practice Cultural Generosity

What should you do? Practice cultural generosity. Make energy, build on others ideas, and offer solutions instead of problems.

Instead of a flow of why it is a bad idea, why things won’t work, or why failure is lurking at every milestone, make a plan to be part of the fix.

The best organizational cultures have positive energy. The secret is to put in more than you take out.

– 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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Motivation and caring

Motivation And Caring And Other Things That Move Us

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Do you believe you are motivated? Are motivation and caring connected? Understanding motivation may not be as simple as many people believe.

Things That Move Us

I have to keep pushing to get this done otherwise I may be fired.

We need the numbers for the meeting on Thursday; next week’s inventory purchases depend on it.

I dropped the customers fragile package but I don’t think anything broke we just need to get this shipped.

Is this about motivation? Is there a connection to caring? I may care about being fired. Do I care about inventory, or would I care more if it were about payroll? I’m measured by orders shipped not by customer satisfaction that is the salespersons job.

I’m not sure that I believe people are either motivated or they are not. In many of our workplace behaviors, I believe people either care or they don’t.

Motivated by Purpose

During leadership-oriented seminars, I’m often compelled to initiate a short discussion about how motivation in the workplace is connected to a sense of purpose. A purpose may be something we care about, or we don’t.

I want to get the data on the Excel worksheet to be exact, no errors. 

That customer has been waiting a long time; I’m going to expedite their shipment.

Jack needs some help and I’m going to stay late with him to get things caught up.

All are connected to caring. Either we care or we don’t. However, some may argue that most of our motivation comes from money.

Leadership Challenge

The challenge then for organizational leaders may come down to one of two paths.

Either our story is persuasive enough to get the employees to care based on a very compelling sense of purpose that is deeply rooted in our culture, or we pay very, very well and base both the principle of motivation and caring to be rooted in compensation.

A third but somewhat different argument may be that both the organization and its employees need some combination of both.

Motivation and Caring

Maybe we should look at it another way.

Do the restaurant employees care if our food that is intended to be served hot is cold? Do they only care if we pay them to care?

Perhaps the motivation for money doesn’t always connect with an organization that cares, but I’ll take the bet that the organization that cares is always motivated.

– 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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Perfect customer service

Delivering Perfect Customer Service

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Is perfect realistic? Can you deliver the perfect product, service, and experience? What is required to deliver perfect customer service?

Beauty may exist in the eye of the beholder and the same is likely true for the customer experience.

Moments of Customer Service

Most of our experiences are the result of moments. The moment you hold the newest smartphone, the moment you look in the mirror wearing the new outfit, or that moment when you test-drive the new car. All of our experiences are about emotions. Some feel perfect, at least for that moment.

Therefore, the customer service that we deliver, the things that delight and inspire customers, they are all about the moment. Those moments are often connected to people, places, circumstances, situations, and timing.

What is perfect right now, in this moment, may be a one-time experience. What is happening now probably isn’t the exact thing that will happen next.

Perfect customer service is situational. It is like leadership, communication, and delegation. What is perfect in this moment, for this person, in this situation won’t hold true for very long.

Circumstances Define Perfection

If you are insisting on delivering perfect customer service every time, you may want to think about the circumstances before planning for the outcomes.

Having an umbrella at the right moment may be perfect, holding an umbrella all the time, perhaps not so much.

Rules, policies and procedures are necessary, but they seldom consider every possible circumstance.

Perfect Customer Service

If you’re looking for perfection, you’re going to have to have truth. The truth is perfection is a moving target. Consequently, rules and policies are guidelines.

Organizational culture will shape the flexibility around the circumstances that will lead to the perfect moment.

What happens the next time, in the next circumstance is only perfect for that moment.

Your culture won’t define the moments, but the outcomes of the moment are defined by your culture.

– 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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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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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