Tag Archives: culture

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team culture

Team Culture, How Are You Involved?

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What happens inside the organization? Not what is the public perception, what is the internal vibe? The climate inside develops from team culture.

The team has arrival times, break times, or perhaps different, they skip breaks and look busy at all costs.

There might also be the language of the culture. Words chosen, repeated, and inside jokes about behavioral aspects of the people. What gets the boss fired up, who are the weirdos, and who will never go anywhere within the company.

You can’t rule out the price of admission. Joining the culture has a price. It has a predetermined minimum requirement. In some cases it is an education requirement, a box checked, or a resume that illustrates years of experience.

Joining is about adoption of the culture, yet each person contributes. Some for, and some against.

The culture is about what people within the organization do. It’s behavioral and it’s published.

Team Culture

Newbies join, others exit. The newbie doesn’t really bring in many outside ideas, their job is to conform and adapt.

This is how it’s done around here.

You’re not paid to think, you’re paid to work.

Don’t make waves, no one around here really cares.

The CEO is often asked about culture, or voices an opinion of how it should change.

Culture develops from stories told, yet at the same time is unlikely to be defined by a single story represented as a future forecast.

Shaping culture isn’t a task. It’s not a job duty.

Culture is created by the people. People in agreeance, people in dissonance. All aspects of social interactions are inclusive. The people decide. Knowingly or unknowingly, they’re involved.

All-Inclusive

The best way to examine the culture is to understand the focal points.

Are the focal points based on clock watchers? Is it the language that seems to take center stage? Does quality matter and how well respected is the employee population or the customer base?

Every business or organization is going to get more of what they focus on. Focus develops from messaging and observable behaviors.

People are part of everything that defines the culture.

You are involved.

One way or another.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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effort mindset

Effort Mindset is Part of Your Language

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Do you have an effort mindset? Don’t confuse effort with labor or effort with strenuous. More than anything, putting in the effort suggests a connection with the goal.

What is the fastest way to change the concept of what you can or cannot accomplish?

You change your perception of what will happen next.

There is often discussion about winners and losers, about those who did and those who didn’t, and those who had success and those who failed.

Being determined that you can, is much different from creating an expectation that you can’t.

I can’t add that to the report because I don’t have that data.

The team didn’t finish the project.

We didn’t hit the sales goal for this month.

What if you had more time? More time to seek the answers to the questions, more time on the project, or a few additional days to hit the sales number?

Effort Mindset

Deadlines sometimes signal it is over, done, finished. While a deadline is a deadline, it doesn’t mean the goal is entirely out of reach, forever.

In business, everything is a race against the clock.

Sometimes a deadline provides a reason to quit. Once the deadline is approaching or missed, it invites the opportunity to throw up your hands and call it over.

What if you changed your language?

I need a few more data segments and I will have the report ready by the end of the day Tuesday.

The team is totally immersed in the project. The end results will be better than expected.

We didn’t hit the sales goal yet, but by Tuesday we’ll surpass last months results.

Language is a powerful component of both motivation and culture.

How you talk, the words you choose, and the future that you predict may be the cultural shift that you need.

Many people quit because they believe it is over.

Many successful people see things a little bit differently.

They just haven’t finished, yet.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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belief systems

Belief Systems Impact Workplace Culture

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What are your belief systems? Do you have more than one? Chances are good your business or organization has numerous belief systems.

Does that sound surprising? If so, it probably shouldn’t.

Leadership is often identified as the catalyst for workplace culture. It is true, largely leadership has this responsibility. However, depending on the size and the complexities of the employee teams there is still room for more.

Beliefs, Values, and Profit

What people believe is often closely connected to their values. Those values and beliefs are commonly espoused by families, friends, or communities.

The beliefs that you carry into the workplace are met with organizational beliefs.

Someone who believes that businesses shouldn’t have large profits is not only sharing their belief upon entry, they are acting upon that belief through their contributions each day. The same is true for the opposite. And, let’s not overlook the idea that the concept of large profits is subjective.

It is true for everything.

It is true for volunteer work in the community, it is true for gifts or donations to non-profit organizations, and of course, it is true for embracing or rejecting other’s beliefs, even when they are opposing views.

Belief Systems

You probably won’t have a healthy culture if the beliefs of the people are in contrast with the beliefs of the organization.

This isn’t to say that diversity shouldn’t exist, indeed, there is value to a diverse organization. At the same time, a business that sells guns probably isn’t a good fit for someone who protests against gun ownership on the weekends.

Fundamentally, the employee base should be able to be in acceptance of the culture.

The responsibility of organizational leadership is to create and build a culture that connects people with the values and beliefs of that organization.

More Learning

Are people taught to love or hate? Are people taught to earn a living or to be given a living?

If what people are taught conditions what they believe, then it may be time to learn.

When you wonder why there is so much gossip, so many rumors, or just a feeling of bad vibes, it may be time to check your belief systems.

Actions that oppose the beliefs, hypocritical behaviors, or if there is a do as I say, not as I do doctrine, it may be time to look closer at the culture being demonstrated by the leaders.

Leadership has responsibility for culture, but ultimately it is a product of the followers.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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popular

Popular Isn’t Always Immediate In The Workplace

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Much of the work people do is an attempt to make it popular. It is desirable for ideas to become popular. The same is true about workflow, energy, and the secret formula that every business believes they have.

When it comes to workplace culture, it is unique. To the same extent so are the individuals who make up the culture. Each person is bringing a slightly different perspective of their own values and beliefs.

Culture isn’t immediate. It takes shape across time.

Slow Starts

Many great ideas aren’t popular at first. They take time, some proof, a story, and examples.

Umbrella’s, coffee, and even personal computers had many moments of not being popular. While it sometimes seems hard to believe, often great things require time to become great things.

Businesses, organizations, and groups of all sizes and styles experience new ideas. Some of those aren’t original, and most haven’t been tested or stood the test of time.

It doesn’t mean that those ideas, systems, or strategies are without value.

Becoming Popular

What may be required is consistent effort, devotion, and an undying level of persistence to bring them to life.

If the people involved care enough and demonstrate their commitment others will often jump on board. For every idea, there is an associated journey. Some are longer than others. Some flash in the pan and are then dismissed just as quickly.

The biggest ideas, those of great value, often aren’t catchy at first.

Being popular, or not, often has little to do with long-term success.

Not immediate almost never means, not worthwhile.

It may some day mean popular.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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culture transformation

Culture Transformation Is Always Happening

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Is your workplace experiencing a culture transformation? It might be happening right before your eyes and yet, you don’t see it.

Every conscious action, those that are readily observable even by an untrained eye, has an expected outcome.

We plant a tree in the park. In five or ten years it will be much bigger, but its growth is not really observable from day-to-day.

A new car, and if possible, we park it in a shady spot or a garage. The paint and interior will last longer. Hard to notice across just a few months, or a single year.

Someone acquires a new pet, a dog, or a cat. At the moment it feels like the pet will be with them forever, yet eight, ten, or twelve years later the pet is in a geriatric state.

When you pause to think about it, things that seemingly go on and on with little to no change are still changing. When there is no conscious effort to illustrate or showcase the change you really don’t see it.

It is on display but no one notices.

Culture Transformation

In workplaces everywhere there is a similar change, there is cultural transformation and it is happening right before your eyes.

Leadership is responsible.

Leaders are working hard behind the scenes.

They are trying to convert the skeptics, create a stronger environment of listeners, not commanders, and most of all develop a harmonious experience of individual talents serving the greater good of the organization as a whole.

They strive for more “we” and “us” instead of “I” and “me.”

Budgets and money matter, a penny here or a nickel there. Across time the ideology is for a positive shift. A pattern of growth. A building of assets, revenue, and profit.

Perhaps most of all they are learning more about the customer. Exploring new things, discontinuing old, phasing in and phasing out.

Questions are asked and answers are sought. A solution is offered. Some are accepted while others are rejected.

The business of yesterday is not the business of tomorrow.

Transformation is happening, you can see it, or not.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Good habits

Good Habits Will Change Everything

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Do you have some good habits? There is always so much discussion about changing bad habits what should you consider as good or better?

Workplaces are filled with opportunity. The opportunity to make some positive motion or the opportunity to drag things down. Everyone wants better, but how do you get there?

Habits often develop skills. When you do something repetitively, across time, you may enhance your skill.

Inciting gossip and negative drama are probably good examples. People who routinely engage in this type of activity can actually develop more skill at getting other people negatively charged.

What should you consider instead?

Creating a list of possibilities isn’t that hard. It may start with some really simple areas. Things like fairness, kindness, and being considerate of others.

It can certainly go much further and deeper.

Good Habits

Here are three items to continuously build upon:

Optimism. Optimism adds to hopes and dreams. Hopes and dreams give people a goal, something to reach for. You may be surprised what people will create when they believe in something. It makes it all possible.

Connection. There is always plenty of talk about building the team. Having strong teams starts with building connections. Build connections around commonalities. Every workplace team has at least one thing in common, they are all in the endeavor together.

Responsibility. When people are responsible and accountable for their actions and behaviors there is much more possibility for understanding the value in teams. It promotes positive patterns for culture.

You have the opportunity to build the behaviors that support these actions. When you make it a choice, it becomes a habit. A repetitive habit builds the skills necessary to continue.

It’s a much better place to be.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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research indicates

Research Indicates Doesn’t Mean It’s Factual

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For years there was a commercial with the line, “Four out of five dentists surveyed…” Surveyed for what, their opinion? Yes, of course. When someone suggests, “research indicates” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is factual.

In society many people are driven by the information they receive. That information is not always factual, it may be more of a collection of opinions.

The opinions are sometimes so compelling or so dramatic that people process it as it must be true. If more than one person, for example, four out of five, repeat the information it appears to provide authenticity.

The iPhone is the best cellular telephone.

Chevrolet makes the best half-ton pickup truck.

The bar on the corner of 4th and Main has the best chicken wings.

If you hear it once it may attract your attention. Repeated by several people, or simply repeated over and over again it may become believable, even by those who once had some doubt.

Research Indicates

In your workplace you have a culture. That culture is made up of the people that are part of that organization.

The people may agree with the flow, or they may disagree with the flow. Whether they agree or disagree is not as important as recognizing the agreement or disagreement is all part of that culture.

It is the same in your community, in your city of birth, or in a State several hundred miles away. Belief drives culture. In larger formats, such as a collection of States or a geographic region, it may be labeled as, society.

Successfully navigating your workplace is typically not just a main stream flow. It is more about surfing the ebbs and flows, thinking for yourself, and being cautious of facts versus opinions.

“Research indicates” is often more of an opinion than it is a fact. Popular opinion may be a better descriptor.

There will always be something trending.

It doesn’t mean you are required to follow. It may mean that to be successful you are required to navigate.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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systems culture

Systems Culture And How You Are Part Of It

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Do you believe in a systems culture? Is everything in the workplace about a system?

Some would quickly say, yes. Others might just as quickly denounce that everything is a system.

Likely, the real situation for most is somewhere in the middle.

Human behavior may be hard to place within a system.

By design the system is a set of rules, specifications, and prescribed outputs. Do it correct once, and do it correct the next million times. It is a system.

One problem with the system is that often the mindset develops to resist change. There is so much effort and so much focus on doing it exactly this way, never waver, never stray, do it this way, and always this way. Mentally, it is an antonym for change.

It Is Culture

Every workplace has a culture. Promoting and standing behind systems may be just one of the methods.

Certainly, there is great value to systems. You may have a system of how you get up and get to work each day. You arrive, just like everyone else, but how you did it might be a little different.

In the workplace, not everyone’s values and beliefs are identical. However, everyone you work with is part of the culture.

In some businesses, watching the clock is part of the culture. Who is on the clock the most? Who puts in the most hours? It is part of the culture, developed over time.

It is true for complaining and blaming, it is true for all of the ground rules and it is true for everything from dress code to lunch breaks.

It is also true about productivity and success.

Systems Culture

Many people believe that they are resisting the culture and as such they are not a part of it. The truth is that the resistance has been part of it all along.

You may or may not be a systems fanatic.

If you are part of an organization you are a part of the culture.

Your belief in how work does, or does not get done exists within it.

The trick then is to get more people on board with the purpose of what you do. Which will make doing it right matter more.

Instead of it happening to you, it is happening for you.

It’s the culture, you matter, you’re a part of it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace hide

Workplace Hide and Seek, Is It Derailing Performance?

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In the game of hide and seek, hiding is the fun part. Nearly everyone wants to be the hider. Is workplace hide and seek derailing performance in your organization?

What causes the game to go on?

Hiders and Seekers

As a hider, often you can watch the seeker, you know if they are hot or cold. If they are way off track perhaps you extend some additional risk, it is almost wanting to be found, but not quite.

A seeker on the other hand is determined to locate the hider quickly. Looking towards previously known hiding spots, searching fast and almost frantic. The anticipation of flushing out a hider can be exhilarating. It is destined to happen. It is only a matter of time.

Eventually the hider and the seeker collide.

For the moment, the game is over.

Workplace Hide and Seek

In the workplace it seems the game sometimes continues.

It continues with those who perform just enough to not be noticed. Quietly, they await discovery. In some instances, they’ll risk a little more, almost taunting the seeker and if not found, the boundary just expanded.

The seeker often announces that they are coming. This gives the hider a chance to tidy up, secure their spot, and watch as the seeker inspects.

When the seeker passes by without noticing, the hider feels relief. They are better than the others who are about to get caught.

It is a game of moments. Moments of hiding and moments of seeking.

No one ever really wins at hide and seek.

Games are often played to fight off boredom.

People with a well-defined purpose and goals seldom get bored.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Workplace exceptions

Workplace Exceptions Are Sometimes a Trap

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Do workplace exceptions bring down the momentum or integrity of the team? What exceptions are lurking around your workplace?

People and businesses alike often target to serve the masses. In other words, guidelines are in place to cover most, but not all.

It is true with policies and procedures. It’s true with work schedules, breaks, and even the depth of benefits.

Targeting the Masses

If an automaker wants to sell a lot of vehicles, they’ll target features and pricing to align with most of their prospective buyers in a segment.

Businesses have business hours that align with generally accepted societal hours. Nine to five is more than just a Dolly Parton song.

Organizations adjust to cultural norms.

When employees take breaks. How lunch hours are managed. Even themes around vacations, childcare, and dress codes.

All of these things are targeted at hitting the middle, the norm, not necessarily accommodating the extremes or the exceptions.

Standards for People

The work of people management, human resources, or the basis of organizational culture sets out with the intent to create a better work environment.

The goal in mind is often one of service. Show that the organization cares and that consideration is being given to each individual’s wants and needs. Most importantly, all while building an organization that is successful and well respected.

A real struggle sets in because most attempts to do this are only able to structure it around mass appeal. Some segments are almost always excluded.

I remember when ashtrays were common in business offices. Before smokers took it outside and before smoking was getting banned in restaurants or on public properties.

I fielded a lot of complaints about the number of breaks smokers were allowed (or simply took) especially when the movement to get smoking outdoors developed.

Who did this accommodate? The few or the many? Was it fair? Was it an exception?

Workplace Exceptions

Nearly every people-based decision in every business is designed to adjust to, or accommodate group norms. It is a practice intended to create peace and happiness. Yet it often alienates those who are outside of the norms.

On the flip side, too much attention applied to those outside of the norms is also problematic. In some cases, especially across time, it appears almost as a type of reverse discrimination.

There is seldom an easy answer.

Navigating the exceptions is just as challenging as serving the masses. Often it is the first step towards a trap.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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