gothamCulture’s team of organizational development and change management consultants aim to heighten the discussion of organizational culture, strategy and leadership with articles grounded in our own experience and expertise. Over the years, we’ve found that sometimes even the smallest nugget of insight can prove to be a hidden gem — providing fresh perspectives and new strategies for large-scale, productive transformation. We hope these articles serve as a resource for you in thinking about your own organization’s performance.
For leaders in the tech space, velocity is the name of the game. And for the last few years, pioneers in the industry have been evolving how technology is developed and launched in some pretty dramatic ways.
Birthed out of more established methods of developing software like waterfall and Agile, the DevOps movement builds upon the best practices of these methods in order to drive performance in today’s digital economy. In a world where technology touches nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives, evolving the ways these organizations deliver value to their customers quickly can mean the difference that separates the next Google from the next Yahoo.
Imagine coming out of a meeting and thinking about how honestly people shared their opinions, how disagreements were met with understanding, and how you took a few tough nuggets and differing perspectives and heard everyone. What was happening was real dialogue — the kind of conversation where raw opinions can be out there and no one is judging anyone.
I can already hear you: “Not in my organization,” you say. Not in the kind of hyper-structured/way-too-polite/distrustful kind of place I work.
You have a million things to consider when investing your startup’s money. Developing your product is just the beginning. Then come the marketing, sales, and accounting considerations. But throughout all this, you can’t overlook the single most important financial consideration: your team. Your employees, after all, become part of what you sell.
In 2011, Wells Fargo was forced to pay $85 million in fines for selling higher interest rate mortgages to customers who should have qualified for lower rates, and falsifying loan applications in the process.
Not five years later, Well Fargo finds itself faced with a strikingly similar scandal. Last Thursday the bank announced that it reached an agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to the tune of $185 million in fines for opening deposit accounts and transferring funds without customers’ consent. This settlement started a landslide of commentary, calls for deeper investigations, increased regulation of the banking industry and questions around how such unethical behavior might become the norm of acceptable behavior across an entire organization.
Guest article written by Levi Nieminen, Ph.D.
In a previous article for the Transform series, I wrote about the work that is ongoing within the University of Michigan Health System to empower a group of Cardiology Fellows to build the program, training experience, and culture that they want, a concept the Program’s Director, Dr. Peter Hagan, has described as a “culture of builders.”
During the humid summer months of 1954, twenty-two 11 and 12-year-old boys were randomly split into two groups and taken to a 200-acre Boy Scouts of America camp in Robbers Cave State Park, Oklahoma.
Over the next few weeks, they would unknowingly be the subjects of one of the most widely known psychological studies of our time. And the ways these groups bonded and interacted with each other draw some interesting parallels to our understanding of workplace culture.
Think the Olympics were a big distraction at work? Turns out, a major sporting event can’t compete with the likes of coffee breaks, small talk, or trips to the loo. Each edges out even the internet as the top three distractions in the workplace.
There’s good reason to be concerned with the additional distractions. Roughly 55 percent of workers are already distracted during the workday, and just one in three says it’s possible to ignore workplace disturbances.
But in times of distraction, you’re presented with a unique opportunity: to create a shared experience for the individuals in your company.
My son starts kindergarten in a week and a half. It’s a big life change, not only for him but for the entire family. A symbolic coming of age and the beginning of the next stage of his growth and learning.
What have we been doing for the last week to help ensure he gets off on the right foot? Rehearsing. Every morning the alarm goes off and we rouse him from his slumber, just like a normal school day. We usher him through his new routine, going so far as walking him to the bus stop to wait for the pretend bus to arrive.
The electrification of rural America in the 1930’s and 40’s went unnoticed by most people in large metropolitan areas, but it was a life-changing event for the people in those communities.
Tasks that took most of the day now could be done in hours. Studying and reading by candlelight or oil lamps, which would have looked no different to someone hundreds of years earlier, were a thing of the past.
No less momentous is the current effort to bring broadband internet to many of these same communities (in many cases by the same electrical coops formed so many years ago during the New Deal programs to electrify rural America). Read More…
Guest article by Brooke Cade
Today, social media and other digital platforms are allowing brands a unique opportunity to connect and communicate with their customers in a way to get their voices heard. Instead of simply talking at clients, businesses can now talk with them—which, as more millennials are becoming consumers, is the best way to connect and build authentic relationships with them. Because authentic relationships are becoming more important when interacting with your customers, social media helps to open the conversation and allows companies to actively engage and strengthen those professional relationships.