Tag Archives: culture

  • 0
workplace sharing

Workplace Sharing Starts with Compromise

Tags : 

Are you involved in workplace sharing? Do you negotiate for resources? Is everyone willing to share and compromise?

When we don’t agree in the meeting, we may feel the correct path is to compromise. Many believe that compromise means you’re getting less, you’re breaking things into pieces and distributing only part of the whole.

What if the part is the whole?

When FedEx delivers a package, it contains something of value inside for the recipient. Another person standing nearby, may need a corrugated box.

The person who needed the contents doesn’t need the box and the person needing a box doesn’t care about the prior contents. Is this sharing, compromise, or negotiation?

Some may suggest it could be all three.

You may share a bite of your dinner with your dog. Afterwards, you may also share a blanket, but likely not the water bowl. You share what provides value, you may both enjoy the blanket, but the water bowl is off limits.

Workplace Sharing

In the workplace we are always operating through frames. We condition what we’ll accept or reject based on the frame. The frame is largely defined by the organizational culture.

Sharing, compromising, and negotiating are part of a successful team. That team will be both effective and efficient when they are happily operating within their frame.

Sharing will matter. It matters for workflow and job duties. It matters for resources and the work that gets done. Sharing is framed by the culture.

One of the most important things to share is the idea that sharing is essential for team success.

It starts with you, or it may never start.

-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
workplace conspiracy plan

Workplace Conspiracy Plan and Your Involvement

Tags : 

Do you have harmful conflict in your workplace? Is someone throwing you into their workplace conspiracy plan?

What is the drama floating around the office, in the breakroom, or on the plant floor?

People are often consciously or subconsciously trying to get you involved. Should you?

They ask you a question, target your emotions, and hope that you’ll provide a response and spread the word.  

You are expected to offer an opinion, pay closer attention to the drama, and get others interested.

Do you put it on your agenda? Consciously or subconsciously? When someone tells you some juicy gossip do you start working for their cause?

Workplace Conspiracy Plan

People often wonder how the rumors start and why others choose to engage? Unknowingly, many participate.

One way to stop the conspiracy is to choose not to participate.

Stay focused on results. Focus on the metrics, the comparison to the goal, and stay focused. When you drift into giving the gossip traction, by giving it attention, you are a contributor.

Things often don’t seem to get better when we give gossip and harmful conflict more attention.

Certainly, managing conflict requires more than one approach. It requires a big toolbox of skills that allow graceful and resilient navigation.

The last thing you want to do is be a contributor. A carrier, the mule who totes around the conspiracy to derail real workplace performance.

When you choose to do things that matter rather than do things that are harmfully juicy you’ve made the right choice.

Choose what you get involved in carefully.

-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.


  • -
service expectations

When Service Expectations Get Set

Tags : 

Who decides about the quality of service? Hint: The customer. When do service expectations get set? Hint: Usually long before the product or service is received.

Are you conscious about expectations and outcomes? They matter for service, they matter for workplace change, and they will matter for everything connected to your culture.

Service Expectations

Traveling on Interstate 80 you can go from New Jersey to California. If you take this journey, or only some of it, and you’ll see road signs and billboards. Some of those will be for rest stops, food, and fuel.

If you make a choice to eat at a restaurant franchise, you have an idea of what to expect. You’ll make your decision to enter the establishment with your expectations already set.

If you make a choice to eat at an unknown restaurant, perhaps a mom and pop, upon entering you may not be sure what to expect. You’ll decide on your expectations quickly though, it often starts with the sign along the highway.

This is true for nearly everything about service.

It is why we decide we’ll trust some websites and others not so much. It is how we’ll make decisions about the shoes we buy, the clothes we wear, and the car we’ll drive. The expectations are set long before the sale.

Beyond products and services, it applies to your workplace too.

Connecting Service Internally

Certainly, in the workplace there are internal services. We know we can trust Sally with the project, yet we’re still not sure about James.

We’ll use our senses, our intuition, and our life experiences to decide.

The change handed down from the C-Suite will feel safe or it will feel conflicting. Work teams will decide to embrace it, move it forward, or perhaps slow it down.

It is true for the exit we’ll take from the highway. It is true for the change we need in the workplace.

Service expectations are the best predictor of outcomes.

-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.


  • -
work attention

Work Attention and Why It Matters for Culture

Tags : 

Is work attention making a difference for your workplace culture? The psychology of work is important and it makes a difference for your culture.

Absolutely, yes, people still concentrate. Some claim that they are required to do it by multitasking.

For the record, many researchers believe cognitive multitasking is a myth.

Waiting and Focus

There are claims about ADHD, or in more relaxed forms it may be labeled ADD. Largely the medical community identifies this as a proven disorder, yet some naysayers disagree.

Regardless of any diagnosis, attention is harder to come by these days. The lure of attention to something more interesting is hard to break.

Anytime there is waiting, attention starts to drift. It drifts to a Smartphone or even to simple day-dreaming.

It happens before meetings, during meetings, and immediately following meetings. There is checking of email, text messaging, and social media feeds.

Often, the question for organizations or for the basis of workplace culture is, “How do we get more attention?”

Quest for Attention

Clever marketing programs, social feeds, and even television commercials spar for attention.

The quest for attention in the workplace is often attempted by force.

Turn off your cell phones.

Put your phones away.

No cell phones beyond this point.

In some cases, it is presented as a security threat, or a threat to intellectual property. In other cases, it is designed to create focus or allow for more concentration.

Work Attention

Everywhere you go people are jockeying for attention. It is true for the internet search algorithm and it is true for human-to-human message reception.

For organizational culture, attention is more important now than ever. It is much better as a pull attribute instead of push.

When your message is compelling enough to capture full attention without a push for attention you’re winning.

Maybe it is even delivered via a device.

-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.


  • -
storytelling

Does Storytelling Work For You?

Tags : 

Have you used storytelling in your repertoire of workplace skills? Storytelling can make a difference. What is in your stories?

Some people quickly scoff at the idea of a story. They consider stories to only be a fairy tale, an extreme embellishment of the facts, or just plain boring.

In some cases, people connect stories with the sales process, and, it might be true.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Everyone is in sales.”

What is important for your story?

Workplace Culture and Stories

Telling stories in the workplace can have a positive impact on not only performance, but organizational culture as well. People will often connect with stories. They have been hearing them and learning from them starting at a very young age.

Workplace motivation and culture are best connected with a compelling call-to-action. This is often defined as the difference between push and pull. Pull is much more powerful and a good story pulls the listener in.

Stories should draw connection points and can include many characters, including yourself. Always remember though, that for the listener it needs to resonate in a connection.

Storytelling Captures Attention

When you capture the attention of a listener through a story told the impact will make a difference. If the story causes the listener to self-reflect and builds a connection, you likely have experiential learning.

Attention is hard to capture in today’s fast-paced World. Pause for a few moments and phone surfing begins. A commercial in the middle of the television show, more surfing. A small group discussion that isn’t resonating and more surfing.

Your story, whatever it is, needs to capture the attention of the listener. Should it be embellished and dramatic? Should it be funny? Could it be sad? The easy answer is, “Maybe.” Know your audience and feel your way through.

Everyone is in sales and some stories are unforgettable.

Tell a good one.

-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.


  • -
exciting culture

Exciting Culture and What Makes It a Good Time

Tags : 

Do you have an exciting culture? Do people show up for work, the conference call, or the staff meeting pumped up and ready to go?

There is always the, “One in every crowd.”

One who brings in the motivation, enthusiasm and passion.

There may also be the one who drags their butt around like they walked 100 miles to get there.

The desirable, of course, is the engaging passion for what is about to happen next. How is that created?

Always Up to You

When you attend the meeting, the workshop, or the convention, what makes the difference? Does the power of one change the atmosphere and outcomes?

Like many things in life, it seems that you only get out of it what you put into it.

It is true for learning. If you don’t read, study, and experience something deeper you probably aren’t going to pick up much.

It is true for the artist, the researcher, and the chef, the effort you apply will have a direct correlation to what spins out of it.

Does your contribution affect culture?

Exciting Culture

Think about this when you attend the next event that involves other people. How you show up will have a lot to do with what others will experience. Your enthusiasm, like attitude, is contagious.

The culture then, which by the way is a long-run game, depends on how the vibes are spread. Are you springing into action or dragging around like you just walked 100 miles?

You always have an opportunity to make a difference.

The question then becomes, “Will you?”

-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.


  • -
employee retention agony

Employee Retention Agony and Your Brand

Tags : 

Are you finding good employees? Are you feeling employee retention agony? Low unemployment rate challenges are real, but is that the only difficulty?

There is a lot of chatter about employee retention rates and finding the right employees to join your team. Every organization faces this potential problem.

How do the best navigate this challenge?

Root Cause

Like solving any problem, it is important to get to the root cause. It is easy to place blame on surface problems. Sometimes we call these, the presenting problem.

Unfortunately, these symptoms are typically not at the root.

Do low unemployment numbers mean that there is a challenging labor pool? Absolutely. Are people working? Yes. Are there people not working by choice? Yes.

It is easy to look at the trend data, throw your arms up and say, “We can’t find anybody to work for us.”

In a thriving economy, great people are gravitating towards the greatest organizations.

Employee Retention Agony

I’m not suggesting that the data isn’t real. I’m not suggesting that there are not challenges. What I am suggesting is that often the struggle for talent or labor starts with the organizational culture. It is the root.

There are several trends:

  1. Government agencies meet with desperate CEO’s to discuss the labor shortage. Government agencies ask CEO’s because they assume they know. CEO’s ask themselves because they assume their workforce doesn’t know, or they ask fearful employees who give answers that they assume the CEO wants to hear. Often the conclusion is that there is a tough labor pool.
  2. Some organizations attempt to change, to become more attractive by making some improvements. They will install new lights, buy a few new desks and chairs for the office, paint the walls, and upgrade the break room. This is changing the environment, not the culture.
  3. Human resource teams attend or host job fairs to recruit. Good and helpful idea, still not addressing the root.

As a result, nothing really changes.

Certainly, there is not one stand-alone reason for the tough labor pool or retention challenges.

Unfortunately, one of the last things many organization leaders consider is the culture and reputation of their business. This probably has more to do with their challenges than what they realize or are willing to admit.

A coat of paint, freshened up facilities, governmental awareness, and job fairs all matter, yet they do little to nothing to help improve the culture or world-of-mouth. (Yes, it is more the word, social media reaches farther.)

The unknowing, asking the unsure, is a surefire way to have a discussion. Results are questionable.

In a tough labor market, the best employees are going to work at the best organizations.

-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.


  • -
workplace culture denial

Workplace Culture Denial Will Cost You

Tags : 

Do you have a great workplace culture? Are you the CEO, a front line employee, or somewhere in the middle? Is your assessment honest or are you in workplace culture denial?

Blind spots can be devastating. When we fail to see or to accept things that are happening right in front of us, the outcomes won’t be favorable.

There is a lot of talk from CEO’s in small businesses about the challenges they face with hiring, employee retention, and finding the best talent.

The trendy answer is connected to blame. Many blame it on low unemployment numbers. Mathematically there is some justification for this, it looks good, and if you lift the covers for a peak at the data it seems to justify it.

Is that all of the problem?

Have a Meeting

I see media reports of government agencies holding roundtable discussions, events, and panel talks. They play the blame game and keep asking CEO’s what they need.

Soon the conversation will shift to culture. Proud CEO’s boast about everything from installing televisions and a pool table in the lunch room, to putting in skylights, or having a nature trail behind their building.

Do these things matter? Certainly, they matter and can be valuable. Yet, these material things on their own are not a culture change.

Culture Rich Means People

Some of the most culture rich organizations I encounter don’t have any of those things. Yet, they seem to get a lot of great resumes, have good choices for hiring, and are growing their business.

Here is the thing. In a very general sense, the best people don’t want to work for an organization they want to work with an organization. It is not inclusive of everyone, but largely this is about the mindset and culture.

CEO’s who believe the path to productivity, efficiency, and revenue are accomplished with robotic contributions, need to invest in that equipment. It is not a bad idea. It just isn’t a people oriented idea.

Workplace Culture Denial

People aren’t tools and tools aren’t people.

Technology is amazing. It certainly is our future.

Invest, invest, and invest! Then invest some more.

Yet you can’t expect to treat people like robots. You’ll find some who will work like that, but others will go to an organization where they feel valued and not like a tool to get the job done.

You can’t be in denial about culture.

The culture is what you make it. Largely it is connected to the highest leadership roles, yet people in the middle or front line can make positive contributions even if there is some denial in the C-Suite.

Install your skylights, brighten the work area, and build a nature trail. It really doesn’t matter if the feeling of the people stays the same.

-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.


  • -
workplace culture leverage

Workplace Culture Leverage Means More

Tags : 

Mankind discovered the advantage of the lever in the stone age. Sir Isaac Newton receives credit for framing the concepts associated with gravity. Does workplace culture leverage matter?

When asked about culture, many businesses will tell a story about their environment. They’ll mention their recent remodeling efforts, break rooms, or nature path that is around the back of the building.

These things all add value and may be important, yet they are really about shaping the environment which may have little or nothing to do with building a better culture.

Culture Contributions

Your culture includes contributions from many different angles. It is somewhat about the physical environment, yet it is also about people, communication, and symbols.

When the CEO says, “Let’s have a meeting outside of the office and be sure to BYOD (bring your own device) we’ll be accessing things during the meeting.” A segment, if not all of those receiving the invitation will get excited. They get excited because it is new, different, trendy, and gives them bragging rights about the greatness of the organization where they work.

This is leverage.

Workplace Culture Leverage

Each time organization leadership promotes or engages in emotion building activities or events, it stimulates culture. Culture is about people. Leverage is about moving something in a direction with more ease.

Organization culture is much easier to build when there is a compelling reason to participate. Pushing cultural values or creating fear is a short run game with little or no future leverage.

Avoid the mistake of assuming that culture is more about objects or material things than it is about people. Culture is created through our experiences and emotions. Passion, motivation, and the interest to build community all happen as a result.

Building something is always about more than the money that is involved.

Leverage everything that connects people.

-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.


  • -
workplace observations

Workplace Observations And Poor Behavior

Tags : 

What does your culture illustrate? Is there a focus on poor behavior, attitudes, or role models? Workplace observations often drive human behavior and group focus.

What is going on?

It is a popular question. Depending on the tone and circumstances it can mean a polite greeting, an excited motivational gesture, or it could mean someone is angry or disappointed.

What is the focal point of what happens in your workplace?

Poor Behavior Recognized

Are people waiting for someone to get summonsed to the boss’s office or the human resources department?

Could it be that someone is watching for one employee to give another employee a piece of their mind? Is someone looking to see who arrives to work late and then draws attention to the circumstance?

What happens in your workplace next is largely determined by what the culture decides to focus on.

Workplace Observations

When the focus is not about high performance and metric driven outcomes, people tend to watch for the drama.

Poor performance, bad attitudes, and operating outside of the management described boundaries attracts attention. One problem is that it also takes away from the desired focus.

Perhaps it is more important to focus on good behaviors. Send attention to the things are happening correctly, the behavior that should be replicated, and the role models who are leading with this spirit.

While culture may be inclusive of the rules of the game, the true culture will largely depend on the focal points of the group.

Knowing a good habit and practicing it are two different things.

-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.

Upcoming Public Events

  1. Management and Leadership Certificate

    March 17 @ 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

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