Culture Change is a Complex Process

Make sense of it with actionable advice from experts on the front lines.

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How to Challenge Your Mental Models and Think Differently

challenge mental models and think differently

Early in my career, I hesitated to speak up on client calls with senior leaders. I thought my opinions were wrong and needed strong validation from my team in order to share.

After sending several messages about it to my manager, she finally told me, “Just speak up and tell them what you think!” That emphatic comment got me thinking, WHY was I behaving that way?

Only when I challenged my assumptions and way of thinking was I finally able to change my behavior and speak up in meetings with these leaders, even in the same room. It was a big step in realizing that I needed to break my old mental model.

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The Building Blocks of Exceptional Customer Engagement at LEGOLAND

customer engagement legoland

A few weeks ago, my wife and I took our six-year-old son on the requisite pilgrimage to LEGOLAND Theme Park in Carlsbad, California. As an avid LEGO “Master Builder”, my son was beyond excited to spend two days completely immersed in brick-building adventures. As a secret LEGO lover myself, I have to admit, I was pretty stoked as well.

I’d never been LEGOLAND before, so I had an opportunity to experience the park with zero expectations — minus the lingering concerns of crowds and hour-long lines that any parent faces with two days in a theme park.

Not only did our family have a great time; we spent most of our flight home reliving the details. And as we put the pieces of our trip back together, I began to deeply appreciate LEGOLAND’s approach to building an exceptional customer experience for their fans.

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How Are We Making This Decision?

Guest article written by Levi Nieminen, Ph.D.

There are six small words that every business leader – really every person – ought to build into their everyday vernacular: How are we making this decision?

Office existence is strewn with examples of decision confusion. One person thinks the decision has already been made, while a second person thinks he’s waiting on the approval of a third who has no idea she’s the “decider.” Cue the Dilbert cartoon.

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How to Assess Your Organization’s DevOps Readiness

how to assess devops readiness

Today, organizations must delight customers, beat competitors to market, and pivot quickly when needed. The increasing rate of change in today’s complex business environment demands more value in less time. And quite often, the ability to deliver quality software quickly and reliably is what drives success in this new world of business value.

In finance, the most innovative banks have developed technology that allows us to deposit and manage money from our smartphones. Apple and Pandora help us discover and purchase music within seconds of release. Successful retailers are finding innovative ways to eliminate friction in the customer experience, allowing us to purchase, make returns, and offer recommendations, all without stepping outside our homes.

When organizations keep up with the velocity of technological change, they possess an undoubtable competitive advantage over their peers. And many of these innovative organizations are adopting a DevOps methodology to reach the velocities they need. But this methodology isn’t just about improving technology and revamping processes. Organizational culture plays a critical role in promoting the behaviors required to safely sustain the faster pace.

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How Successful Leaders Can Avoid the Trap of Overconfidence

how successful leaders avoid the overconfidence trap

The topic of leadership is so fascinating and vastly studied these days; it’s not surprising that the field of leadership development has grown exponentially over the past few decades. Qualities of great leaders are studied, as is emotional intelligence and how successful leaders can work with it.

The topic that hasn’t received as much traction yet, however, is overconfidence in leadership, and how detrimental it can be for organizational health.

Stereotypically, great leaders are charismatic and confident.

“Hey, what’s wrong with that?”, you may wonder. “They’re real go-getters. Not afraid to take risks.”

This may be true, but there is also merit in recognizing that many great leaders are simply not the most charismatic. In fact, though confidence may be necessary in certain instances, it is overconfidence that becomes dangerous and negates good leadership qualities.

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Why Aren’t Your Talent Retention Strategies Working?

why aren't your talent retention strategies working?

We hear it all the time. The continuous chatter of experts reiterating the same old talking points about what organizations need to do to engage and retain their workforce.

But, is any of it working? Gallup recently reported that nearly 70 percent of U.S. employees are disengaged, and 51 percent are looking for new opportunities. Even more problematic is the fact that these numbers have stayed stagnant for at least 15 years.

So, what if our ideas about employee retention are all wrong? What if we are being held captive by our own beliefs and assumptions about the very nature and structure of work in today’s society?

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4 Things You Don’t Need to Have a High Performance Culture

4 things you don't need in a high performance culture

We’ve all read the stories about startups making waves in their industry, and how they’re doing it from a once-destitute warehouse on the south side of town. We’re prone to conclude that these companies are sustaining high performance because they’ve broken down the (cubicle) walls that bind our ability to collaborate, innovate, and achieve our full potential.

Unfortunately, misconceptions about high performing culture develop from these stories, and many well-intentioned business leaders have tried to emulate these startups in their quest to improve their culture and performance.

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Managing Your Employees When They Work Remotely

employees work remotely

Guest article written by Jenny Holt

As a leader, you’ll have to make tough decisions that will impact your team on a daily basis. One of these decisions is whether or not your staff should work from the office or remotely.

Many leaders are resistant to the idea of a remote team, but it’s increasingly becoming the norm. Allowing your team to work remotely could increase their productivity, happiness, and well-being. There are, however, various pros and cons associated with home-working.

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The Not-So-Simple Secrets of Successful Culture Change

secrets of successful culture change

As the saying goes, even the longest journey starts with just one step.

Over the years, we’ve engaged with many clients who are dedicated to creating large-scale, significant, and sustainable culture change in their organizations in an effort to drive success. Unfortunately, many of these well-intentioned executives believe there is a silver bullet—some grand gesture of change—that will accomplish their goals.

While significant changes can and do drive sustainable performance improvements, truly transformational change results from a few deceptively simple things.

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