Tag Archives: culture

  • -
sticky culture

Sticky Culture is about the People.

Tags : 

In branding or marketing, we sometimes talk about, “sticky.” We want to make our information, our products or services, sticky. Have you considered the concept of having a sticky culture?

Sticky implies, something that lasts, it hangs around, it stays or sticks.

Organizational culture is the foundation of our reputation and brand. We often hear about the great cultures of organizations like Google, Microsoft, or Aflac.

One commonality about culture, or even change, is that we want it to stick. Should it last forever? Probably not, it should be fluid, because at the same time successful organizations will need to navigate the ebb and flow.

Has the culture changed at Ford Motor Company, Harley Davidson, or IBM? All are more than 100 years old?

I’m not a historian, yet I believe it is safe to suggest that they have changed. Perhaps they are still grounded in some long-standing roots, but societal changes, or even government regulations may require some shifting to survive.

Sticky Culture

What makes a culture sticky? It probably isn’t about material things. Think of the start of Microsoft, HP, or Harley-Davidson, they all started in a garage.

Buildings and infrastructure may give the historical perspective. They help to tell the story; they are certainly noteworthy. The cities and towns where they emerged, also noteworthy.

However, across time the buildings change, the locations typically broaden, and the number of employees grows larger.

People create the feeling and atmosphere inside and outside of those buildings and infrastructure. People create the legacy, the history, the stories, and make things sticky.

There are many components that make up the culture. Perhaps the most important component is the people.

What is the importance or value of your culture? Is it sticky?

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.


  • -
workforce learning

Workforce Learning, it Sticks and Grows

Tags : 

It is all about culture. At least that is what most experts will say. Does building your organization have anything to do with workforce learning?

A couple of entrepreneurs get together and start a company. A few years later and they have a company of fifty or one hundred. And so the organization is growing, or so it appears.

What is creating the culture?

Culture and Change

Growth means change and change means learning. “Go get buy-in. Get everyone bought-in.” the CEO requests.

Yet many people struggle to understand how buy-in is achieved. Shouting about buy-in may disrupt the flow, yet getting traction often requires something different.

Marketing, advertising, and selling matter, they help spread the idea. Yet adoption of the idea may still require a different approach.

Difference Makers

Every day there is a person who sings in the shower. A person who paints a picture, and a person who demonstrates great leadership around the workplace.

Yet, the shower singer may not become an Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, or Mariah Carey. The picture painter may not become as well known as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, or Picasso. And the workplace leader may never make it to the C-Suite.

However, each one of these people bring something forward. The extent of their interactions may make a difference for someone’s day or even positively change a life, or two, or three. They help others learn, grow, and perhaps identify with a culture.

Workforce Learning

Organizational culture is made up of many things. Mostly, things that are driven by people. People who share with other people.

Buy-in is created by shared experiences. People who participate together build it together. It catches on, and it sticks. It has value and no one wants wasted effort.

Workforce learning helps people decide how they’ll shape the culture. When they discover value, they share it and then suggest that their friends try it too.

They’re bought-in, it sticks, and it grows.

-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.


  • -
Your culture

10 Reasons Why Your Culture is Unique

Tags : 

Workplace, organizational, and corporate, it goes by many names. Your culture is always something special. The culture of your workplace is unique. Would you agree?

Your Community

In your workplace you have standards and norms, you have policies and rules, and you have all of the concepts that define who you are and what you are about.

It is your World. It is the place where people who join, and stay, follow the cultural norms. Certainly, there are rule breakers, exceptions, and those who make a choice not to stay. Largely however, it is a space of community. Everyone fits somehow.

Your Culture

Every culture is unique and here are ten reasons why:

  1. Behaviors. Those that are observable by others. Not opinions but factual observations.
  2. Standards. The standards of work flow and work process become group norms. They are connected to values.
  3. Values. What are the published values? What do people feel and see?
  4. Philosophy. You have a mission. In most cases this is published for everyone to see, including customers and vendors.
  5. Rules. There are always rules of the game. These apply to everyone.
  6. Climate. How individuals and groups interact. What is the protocol and the patterns of behavior.
  7. Competencies. Skill requirements, the unique ways of doing things that no one else may do exactly the same.
  8. Habits. Inclusive of how the group thinks and acts. Repetitive acts are often habits.
  9. Meanings. Your language. How you speak. What are the acronyms and other lingo associated with you? You may hear it everyday, yet outsiders don’t know what it means.
  10. Symbols. Could include everything from your logo, to a statue, or the architecture of your building. Even dress code, or the lack of one could apply.

If you think the company down the street, across the hall, or three floors above you has the same culture, you are probably incorrect.

Culture may change but not until the people do.

-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.


  • 0
dennis gilbert #CustServ

WBHRS (West Branch SHRM) Event

Tags : 

I will be presenting, How HR Contributes to a Culture of Service.

Come visit this SHRM chapter and join existing members for this dive into the importance of having a culture of service and how HR teams can contribute to or become role models for success.

Excerpt from WBHRS website: “Dennis Gilbert will address and solidify the relevancy for organizations to develop more of a culture of service. Too often organizations look at customer service as a department. What happens internally is what is reflected externally. HR can play a significant role in role modeling a practice of high-performance service. He will also discuss why this is more important now than ever and what trends will look like in the future.”

Please visit the WBHRS website for registration and additional information.

I will have books available for purchase at this event.


  • -
cultural acceptance

Cultural Acceptance Is Just The Beginning

Tags : 

Organizations are built through culture. What is being accepted in your culture? Does cultural acceptance guide what happens next?

Whether it is ethics, dress code, or diversity and inclusion, your culture plays a role in what happens next. Your culture creates the allowance or defiance that shapes its future.

Observed Guidelines

Most modern social guidelines suggest more freedom, more openness, more be who you are and do what you want. Are there limits? What defines those limits?

Of course, there are limits. What does the group allow?

That customer just bought the fifteen-year-old hunk of junk car we had out back and never asked about the transmission.

We sold them a hundred units at ten percent over our list price. They never said a word. 

I closed the deal and hung up before she could ask any more questions. (Fist bump!)

Our workplace is our community. What is the culture of your community and what do you allow, congratulate, or celebrate? What are the performance guidelines? How are customers treated?

Cultural Acceptance

You have a choice in your community. You can be part of the future or part of the problem. Often the problem is our quest for the short-term win. Grab the easy money or deliver with the sleight of hand to the unknowing.

What your organizational culture tolerates is what your workplace becomes.

The challenge is often connected to cultural acceptance. In matters of ethics, integrity, and moral values, nearly everyone knows better, yet fitting in is often why they were hired.

When employees weigh the risk of not fitting in with the perceived value of staying; they often choose to stay, regardless of the cost or potential value of the return on risk.

This is where things start but often not where they end.

-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.


  • -
Training cost

Training Cost And Other Expenses

Tags : 

Have you evaluated the training cost? Have you evaluated the cost of not training? What about the time commitment, is that stopping you?

There are plenty of excuses why organizations shy away from training. Some popular excuses relate to budget, time commitments, and occasionally someone will mention a lack of need.

Measure Costs

What are the true costs associated with a lost customer? What are the costs of poor decisions made by supervisors, managers, and other workplace leaders? Employee turnover, what does that cost?

I’ve been told, “When we have a choice to ship the product or sit in training. We’re always going to ship the product.”

It is a statement that is hard to work with, yet it is a mindset that is associated with higher costs of doing business.

Shipping the product today matters. Conceptually it matters more than training. I should say, “More than training today.” Shipping the product without training is a short run game. It works while it works, until it doesn’t.

Training Cost

Most organizations deepest interest is to grow. Increase revenue, share the mission objective, touch more people, change lives, impress investors, and build, grow, build, grow.

In most businesses or even the non-profit, the long game matters more. A three-person company can ship the product efficiently, a three-hundred-person company may be different.

The infrastructure costs could be a few million, or rent or lease, is multiple tens of thousands per month. Salary and benefits, they are likely the largest item on the income statement.

Marketing and advertising, they are often paid months in advance of the collection of the accounts receivable from a possible sale.

Will you do all of that without training? That is just on the surface, dig deeper and you’ll discover more. What will shape your culture?

Every dollar invested in training accounts for many more dollars you’ll save somewhere else.

-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.


  • -
needs improvement

When “Needs Improvement” Is All You See

Tags : 

The best question to ask may be, “What are your expectations?” The answer can often be confusing. If you, your department, or the entire organization needs improvement what should you do?

We find out in the meeting. “This is a good start, but needs improvement.”

On the performance evaluation, “Work is satisfactory, but there are some areas that need improvement.”

“Next year your goals are higher.”

Needs Improvement

The role of many workplace professionals is to make improvements. That is what we’re always striving for, improve the process, become more efficient, and delight the customer. It is a constant effort to improve.

Yet we often face barriers and roadblocks, obstacles and hurdles, the so-called challenges of change. Most of the things in our pathway to improve are a residue of the organizational culture. The way the organization gets things done.

The management team is supposed to push, encourage, and perhaps passively shout to get the work done. Change is proposed, an action plan put in place, and people are watching and waiting.

You are only on the team because you fit, yet the design calls for change. Things are supposed to improve, yet we only do it our way, the way it has been successful in the past.

The organization seeks outside resources, advertises for new hires, yet whoever signs up doesn’t fit, so they are disregarded.

Clever words are selected, the mission is published and public. The branding video was expensive and demonstrates what it should. Everything is set.

Yet, on the inside, things haven’t changed. Cultural change is supposed to happen fast, but feels impossibly slow.

Things Have Changed

Since the industrial revolution, there has been a lot of change. Largely, we’ve addressed many of the “needs improvement” areas. If the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, the last 200 years have been phenomenal.

Don’t lose sight of the changes you’re making. Work hard and lead through the challenges. “Exceeds expectations,” is happening. It’s happening right before your eyes.

Seeing is believing.

-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.


  • -
language matters

Language Matters Because It Builds Culture

Tags : 

What is the language of your workplace? Is there optimism, excitement, and energy? Language matters because it sets the tone and shapes the environment for everything that happens next.

“Good Morning,” is different from, “Ugh, here we go again.”

“I’m ready, let’s go,” is different from, “I’m not awake yet.”

We never know exactly what each day will bring. Yet we have a choice to decide what we will bring to each day.

What are your contributions to culture?

Building Culture

Every workplace has a culture. Every organization, business, and group effort have language behind their energy.

What is the language of your workplace? It is energizing or creating fear? Does it inspire confidence or get hung up on doom and gloom?

We are people, people with personalities, emotions, and feelings. We leap forward with inspiration or make a choice about fighting or retreating during fear.

Today you will make a choice about what you see. You’ll look for the opportunity, or describe a problem that cannot be solved.

You will believe that what is unfolding is happening for you, or to you.

Most of that belief will develop from your language. Tell yourself either you can, or you can’t. You will be correct.

Language Matters

Belief is powerful. Our belief systems are often created from the language that surrounds us.

Your team and your organizational culture are built by this belief.

Suggest that there is nothing good about this day. Chances are you’ll have a hard time finding something. It is a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Think carefully about what you’ll say today. It will guide what happens next.

-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.


  • -
hiring practice

Hiring Practice Is Shaped By Culture

Tags : 

“We can’t find people.” It is a statement I often hear. Closely followed by, “Nobody wants to work today.” Is this about your hiring practice, culture, or the workforce generations?

Likely the truth is, it is pieces of all three. Working on one of these, will make a difference for the other two. Culture.

By now you’ve probably thought about pay. Not so fast, we’ll get there.

Uplifted Veil

Culture is about mindset. A corporate set of values and beliefs that resonates throughout the organization.

Culture isn’t entirely about what is published. It isn’t entirely about the values statements, the mission statement, or the slogan that appears on a plastic disposable pen at the job fair.

Certainly, all those things have relevance and in-part create the experience for onlookers, but you won’t hide the truth for long.

The winner of the Boston Marathon didn’t just lose thirteen pounds on the latest diet shake or meal plan. They haven’t made statements that they are training yet meanwhile they are secretively are doing something different.

The organization may have the best branding video on the planet. When you lift the veil, what do you see?

Clever marketing creates attraction. As some would suggest, it works. Yet what is inside the box or under the cover will ultimately make the difference.

Hiring Practice

It is one of the hardest things to learn about organizational culture. Culture is not just about what you say or the powerful showcase. It is also about what you do and the associated outputs and results.

Human resources and talent management professionals can help a lot, and they often do. However, if the departmental supervisor believes that leading is about how you demonstrate authority, the uplifted veil is something different.

Yes, there are dirty jobs, mindless jobs, and jobs that are dead ends. Yes, there are perfect fits, and mismatches.

Everyone wants to know what is really under the veil.

When what is underneath is unattractive, only pay will make a difference.

-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.


  • -
risky decision

When Speaking Up is a Risky Decision

Tags : 

We all play a role in the workplace. Even the person who is never asked plays a role. Everyone has an opportunity to contribute, the question is, “How will they?” Have you ever felt that speaking up is a risky decision?

We sometimes evaluate our circumstances in strange ways. Our contributions as an employee may find us offering opinions or retreating to silence out of fear. What do you do?

Fear as a Driver

Much of what happens in our workplace cultures is conditioned by fear. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes not, but it still happens.

What happened the last time someone was wrong? Did their contribution get labeled as a failure? Did they get uninvited from the team meeting? Are their chances of a future promotion now limited? Were they fired?

Perhaps none of those things happened but that is the message that is often floating around in our head. “I should say something but it is too risky.”

What is your measurement of risk?

Do you withdraw from contributing out of fear? Do you watch your team or organization make costly wrong turns which could have been avoided if you offered your perspective? What is riskier?

Risky Decision

No one wants to make a bad choice or a wrong decision. Sometimes our decisions turn out the wrong way because we lack information.

No one told me the caesar salad had anchovies. 

I didn’t realize how many calories were in the chocolate fudge brownie. 

They person I bought the car from never mentioned the transmission was acting up. 

What carries the most risk? The consequences of politely and appropriately contributing to the conversation or watching the disaster that may unfold if you don’t speak up?

Be careful with your risky decision.

-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.


Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more