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 many rapidly-growing organizations, hiring the best talent available is priority number one. But when done poorly, a poor recruiting process can cost your company more than you might expect.
A recent Harvard Business School study found that avoiding a toxic worker was worth about $12,500 in turnover costs. And according to ERE Media, it can cost even more to replace them. Entry-level employees cost between 30-50 percent of their annual salary to replace. For mid-level employees, that number climbs to upwards of 150 percent of their annual salary.
Imagine your business perfecting a method of work that allows you to enhance your performance and execute exponentially faster than your competitors. One that helps keep your talent informed, engaged, and helps foster an open, collaborative culture that drives significant performance gains.
From startups to the federal government, no organization is immune to the unpredictable. We’re only halfway through 2016, and the U.S. Department of Defense is already tackling a range of complex challenges: battling the Islamic State group, combating domestic terrorism, and ensuring that key initiatives receive sufficient funding. And the impending presidential administration change will bring new priorities, regardless of who wins the White House.
Without a crystal ball, the department must develop solid strategic plans to achieve its goals this year and beyond. These techniques are based on military ideas, and you can apply them to your business, too.
We are living in a world of constant change. Rapid technological advancements, the rise of the ‘Gig Economy’, and the changing face of today’s workforce are all putting more pressure on organizations to adapt and thrive in a business environment that never sits still.
To keep up with this ever-changing environment, organizations must remain flexible. The world is changing all around us, and falling into the same old patterns of operating becomes increasingly problematic as time goes on. Sorry to bring the bad news. But don’t worry; there is good news on how to handle this.
Black swan events are inherently unpredictable — and they’re all around us. From responding to cyberattacks, military conflicts and natural disasters to handling issues in environmental sustainability and third offset strategy, federal leaders need a new response strategy predicated on vulnerability and a willingness to explore.
Historical data cannot foresee these new and emerging threats. Major terrorist attacks on U.S. soil were never a part of our history, but 9/11 still happened. Other threats are unavoidable. In nuclear power, for instance, one industry expert describes unforeseen events as “inevitable.”
To counter these risks, federal leaders need to open their thinking to the unknown. They need to adopt black swan modeling.
Guest Article by Benjamin Brandall
Highly motivated employees typically work at a higher level, and are willing to work harder at their craft, but at some point the ship has to drop anchor. Whether you (or your team) has just completed a massive outreach project, published its first eBook or has finally dealt with a particularly horrible problem your software’s back end, intense sprints of work can really take their toll.
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Butler spends most of his time serving as mission crew commander of an Air Force Joint STARS E8C air-to-ground radar aircraft. A job that has given him the opportunity to live all over the United States and abroad, including ten deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. But it’s not all work and no play for Colonel Butler.
Matt is also the creator of what the Wall Street Journal referred to as one of the “best new lawn games you’ve never heard of.” Growing up in Minnesota meant summers chock full of outdoor activities at the cabin Matt’s family stayed in during the warmer months. And what’s a little outdoor family time without a barbecue fired up and lawn games?
It’s happened: Millennials (by most definitions, those born between 1980 and the late 1990s) are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. And they’re no longer the generation waiting in the wings to become leaders—they’re already increasingly entering senior and managerial positions.
Along with this influx of young managers comes a shift in the role of manager itself. Managers are no longer only focused on making sure work gets done, but also on how and why it gets done. They are expected to be detail-oriented and strategic, to build culture and ensure productivity. And their position is also pivotal for employee engagement: A recent Gallup poll found that managers accounted for 70% of variance in employee engagement.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it’s going to take more than a beer keg and an in-house masseuse to drive sustained performance of your startup.
Beyond the perks and window dressing that business leaders adorn their exposed-brick workspaces with, what can be done to solidify certain ways of working that guide behavior to tangibly drive the results you’re looking for?
When the subject of onboarding comes up, I’m reminded of a friend’s recent experience starting fresh at a new company. Let’s call him Steve. On his first day, he attended an all hands meeting where staff were expressing concerns about heavy workloads across various initiatives to upper management.
Throughout the meeting, there was a recurring response: “Steve, the new guy will handle that.” It got to the point where someone asked, “How many Steve’s did we hire exactly?”
Humor aside, this type of situation isn’t uncommon. A hiring decision is made, but there isn’t much planning done in the interim before their start date. They show up on their first day to either be bombarded with tasks, or left without much to do.