Why Many Culture Efforts Struggle To Drive Sustainable Change

Climate

There I was, sitting in the office of a senior executive who was struggling to come to terms with the reality that their organizational change effort, though having somewhat significant success initially, was not sustaining. People were quickly slipping back to old behaviors and engagement measures were sliding back to where they were when the change process started.

As I learned more about the “culture” change efforts that this organization had engaged in over the last year and a half, it became clear to me where it went sideways. This leader is not alone in succumbing to this common misconception about what culture is and isn’t and I felt that it was time to take a moment to clarify a few things for the rest of my readers who may be feeling similar frustrations.

The concept of organizational culture has become widely accepted as a critical component of performance in recent years. With this, I find that a great many of my discussions with leaders, often, teeter between several topics that fall within the realm of culture but are not one and the same. This reality can create some understandable confusion and frustration for people.

One common situation that I find myself running into are conversations with business leaders who are attempting to evolve the cultures of their organization but who, in reality, are focusing on organizational climate. Many business leaders tend to utilize the terms organizational culture and organizational climate interchangeably, and while they share many similarities, there are several key differences that delineate them from one other.

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gothamCulture’s Chris Cancialosi Discusses Adaptive Companies Through The Lens Of Organizational Culture

The SHRM 2019 Spring People + Strategy Journal has been published and in the Perspectives Department, Anna Tavis presents “The Adaptability Challenge.” Martin Reeves, Director of BCG’s think tank, BCG Henderson Institute, is the lead author on this topic writing about “What Makes an Adaptive Company?” Chris Cancialosi, Founder and Partner at gothamCulture, provided one of the counterpoints to the focal article with “Expanding the Lens to Organizational Culture.” To read the article and all of the counterpoints click here.

The Pros And Cons Of Internal Company Podcasts

Podcast

Rarely a day goes by that I don’t find myself in a conversation with a client, potential client, or team member about the challenges they face with actively engaging their employees. The topic of employee engagement is certainly not new but the tactics associated with engaging employees continues to evolve. This evolution is spurred on by a variety of factors, including technological innovation, and people’s ability to repurpose existing methods in the employee engagement arena.

Take, for example, the prominent use of video conferencing applications in the workplace. Technological advances in both video and in internet bandwidth have created an opportunity for many businesses to capitalize on remote work options for employees that would have never been possible just mere years ago.

Another such reinvention of a popular communication vehicle in today’s society is the use of podcasts by corporations as a way to engage their employees. Take, for example, the wildly popular Trader Joe’s podcast. Originally intended to be a limited, five episode, release, the popularity of the effort evolved into an ongoing phenomenon that customers love as well.

Podcasts may be all the rage, but they might not be the silver bullet your organization is looking for to engage your employees. In an effort to dive a bit deeper into the topic, I spoke with two experts to understand their opinions on when and why an internal, corporate podcast may be the right solution for you.

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How Blending Brand And Culture Can Impact The Customer Experience

Photo by Samuel Dixon on Unsplash

Customer experience is a memory. An impression that can stick in the mind for a minute or a lifetime. A positive experience can result in lasting loyalty, endorsement, and evangelism. A poor experience, on the other hand, can almost instantly mean the end of a brand relationship.

PwC reports that 79% of customers rate customer experience as the most important component of the purchasing decision after product quality and price. According to this research, 59% of consumers who love a brand are prepared to forsake it after having a series of poor experiences. The firm also claims that 17% will walk away after only one bad experience. Needless to say, this is concerning for any business.

In order to create amazing customer experiences, companies need to ensure that they have the appropriate bedrock in place to enable brand and culture to be successfully integrated. In this article, we will discuss the three primary foundations – purpose, promise, and values.

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Working With Difficult People

Working With Difficult People

In every organization, there will be people that you find to be “difficult”. The question is how to navigate these people in a productive way and that doesn’t cause excess stress for you or your team. What can you do? What you do say? What do you ignore? gothamCulture’s Chris Cancialosi discusses this topic with Wanda Wallace on VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Click here to listen!

Navigating Change In Deeply Rooted Organizations

Navigating Change In Deeply Rooted Organizations

Anyone who has ever attempted to lead change in an organization, regardless of its size and complexity, will attest that it’s not for the faint of heart. One simple attestation to this is the countless number of books and articles written on the topic.

While organizational change can be difficult, regardless of the circumstances, it can be particularly challenging to create change in organizations that have long-standing histories and deeply embedded cultural norms, beliefs, and assumptions. Organizations that are solidly grounded in legacy and that place significant value on an enviable history oftentimes have the most difficulty creating change. This is especially true when these organizations are attempting to create transformative change (completely disruptive) as opposed to evolutionary change (small slices of change over time).

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The Critical Role of Culture in Technology Transformation

As the speed of technological innovation continues to increase and as competition to deliver better, faster, and with less down time continues to be a deciding factor in who wins and who loses in the software game, it is important for organizations to take a research-based approach to digital transformation. Over the last five years, DevOps Research and Assessment(DORA) has been studying the practices that drive higher software delivery performance, termed software delivery and operational performance (SDO).

To-date, DORA has surveyed over 30,000 technical professionals globally (~1,900 this year alone) and has begun to understand, from a quantitative perspective, what high-performing technology organizations do and don’t do to drive their dramatically better performance. Read More…

Preventing Potential Dysfunction in the Boardroom

There is no shortage of research on the impact that boards can have on the performance and profitability of the organizations they serve. In today’s business context, boards face higher expectations, increased scrutiny by the community, press, politicians, and the street, and significant increases in the velocity of demands of their attention. These realities create a need for boards to be as effective as possible in driving profitability for the firms they serve. Board inefficiencies and lack of effectiveness are simply not something that organizations can afford. Setting up boards for success starts during the recruitment process and some recent research sheds some light on how to make this process have greater positive impact. Read More…

Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Organizational Resilience and Agility

Chris Cancialosi’s article was just published in July’s issue of TD at Work.

How do organizations not only survive, but thrive in today’s new operating environment? By developing resilience and agility. Knowledge transfer is critical to this, and talent development practitioners are positioned to help companies prepare. In “Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Organizational Resilience and Agility,” Chris Cancialosi details:

  • what knowledge transfer is and why it is critical to organizations’ resilience and agility
  • the role of effective knowledge transfer in the future of work
  • ways to develop and strengthen an organization’s ability to effectively transfer and manage knowledge.