Tips For Nailing Your Next Executive Kickoff

The launch of a new strategic effort represents a key opportunity for senior leaders to set things off on the right foot. Unfortunately, many senior executives fail to grasp the importance that a well prepared and delivered executive kickoff can have on the success of a project team.

This may happen because some leaders don’t take the time to develop the skills necessary to ensure that their kickoffs meet the mark or because they don’t see the inherent importance that their presence, statements, and interactions with others can have on their staff. Whatever the reason, or reasons, taking the time and effort to adequately prepare for this leadership responsibility can certainly pay dividends.   Read More…

gothamCulture Presents at International Society for Performance Improvement National Conference

Congratulations to Chelsea Weber and Kate Gerasimova for having their presentation, “Enhancing Participation in Organizational Design with Technology” accepted at this year’s International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). The conference will be held in Seattle, WA and their presentation will take place on April 8th from 9:45-11:45 am.

In Good Company: How Company Culture can be a Competitive Advantage

how company culture can be competitive advantage

By Katie Burke

Last year, HubSpot’s Culture Code went viral. The SlideShare, created by our CTO and co-founder Dharmesh Shah, inspired comments and compliments from partners, customers, industry experts, and competitors alike. The deck itself is remarkable, but to me what’s more important than the document is the degree to which we practice what we preach.

At the end of the day, a company’s culture isn’t about ping-pong tables, free snacks or perks. It’s about collective expectations for how you hire, fire, and work on a daily basis. People talk a lot about business plans as it relates to your P&L, cash flows, and strategy to beat your competitors, but invest very little time and energy into codified how they actually run and manage the business on a daily basis.

Businesses who ignore their company’s culture do so at their peril. In a recent study of 15,000 millennials, “people and culture fit” far outpaced any other option as their top consideration for employment. You can give out all the t-shirts and swag you want, but the next generation of world-class talent is cognizant of the fact that they’ll spend years of their lives at work.

Read More…

Stop Micromanaging: The Art of Letting Go and Fighting the Urge to Control

stop micromanaging

By Sofia Quintero

I stopped dieting for weight loss purposes 15 years ago. My brain finally understood what I knew all along; diets deplete willpower, make you fat, unhealthy and unhappy.

Instead of dieting, I’ve been doing the obvious — eat what I want, when I want it, in a balanced way. The results are as expected; better health and consistent weight for over a decade. No restrictions, no stress.

There are a lot of things in life that work the same way. Intellectually we understand a wide range of facts and theories; however, it can take decades before we can truly put that knowledge into practice. Why is that? I think there are many reasons. But one powerful reason is our ability to rationalize everything. We convince ourselves that it can’t be that easy.

But, it is.

Business practices are the same; there is a ton of common sense and wisdom around us but we choose to make things complicated, potentially out of fear. After all, it can’t be that easy, right?

Read More…

Embrace a Culture of Self-Leadership to Stay Agile as You Scale

nurse next door culture of self leadership

One of the greatest challenges for rapidly growing organizations is how to remain nimble in the midst of growth.

As companies scale, more processes are required to coordinate the growing workforce. And the additional management layers that come with them can slow an organization down.

It’s often the reason why large organizations become weighed down with bureaucracy while small companies remain quick and agile.

Consider this recent story from Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes:

“Earlier this year, an employee wanted to send a customer a T-shirt with our logo as a gift. There was nothing special about this particular shirt. It was an ordinary, 100% cotton crew neck. But by the time this employee got approval—factoring in his own time and everyone else’s up the org chart who had to weigh in before signing off on the request—the cost of this t-shirt had ballooned to at least $200.”

Many organizations today are trying to hedge against inflated processes like these by changing their organizational structures. Hootsuite, for example, appointed a “Czar of Bad Systems” to help improve internal processes.

In today’s rapidly-evolving business environment, growing organizations need to remain fast and efficient. And some large, geographically dispersed and complex organizations seem to be able to maintain a level of agility despite their size.

How do they do it?

Read More…

Preserving A Culture People Love As Your Company Grows: Lessons from Zappos

Jamie Naughton Zappos

Being intentional about your company’s core values from day one can help to build a solid foundation to guide behavior as your organization grows; few leaders understand this as well as Zappos’ Tony Hsieh.

Zappos has long been an example of the power that company culture has on behavior and business performance. But what’s behind the curtain? What is the team at Zappos doing, specifically, that is driving their admirable levels of employee engagement and retention? 2016 was Zappos’ lowest turnover rate since its founding more than 18 years ago — and I wanted to know the how and the why.

To find out, I asked Jamie Naughton, Zappos’ Chief of Staff, to share her insights.

Read More…

How to Master the Art and Science of Effective Team Management

master the art and science of effective team management

A single perfect brush stroke does not make a painting. Nor does a single note make a song. Every work of art is a result of many individual pieces all working together in harmony to make the whole. Artists spend their entire lives learning how to improve these individual elements and learning how they fit together to create the final composition.

We don’t often think about this kind of dedication in business. No one spends their entire life devoted to the mastery of middle management. Yet, to excel as a manager, you will need to spend a considerable amount of time learning about the individual people that make up your team.

Read More…

Still Hating Our Jobs

still hate our jobs

Written by Todd Putman and Lori Sparger

Well, nothing has changed. We all still hate our jobs.

Wait, that’s not quite right. A third of us are engaged at work. We love our jobs. But the other two-thirds, according to the most recent State of the American Workplace from the Gallup organization, are “actively disengaged” (16%) or “just there” (51%). Wow.

That’s a resounding vote of no-confidence in our current management practices. “The very practice of management no longer works,” says Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton. He calls for “transforming workplace culture.” Embracing purpose and identifying employee skills, “strengths” in Clifton’s nomenclature, are solid goals.

Read More…

Pop The Bubble: Having Conversations that Make Us Think

having conversations that make us think

I recently read an article about our individual ignorance (Why We Believe Obvious Untruths) that made me stop and think about the current state of our union. To say that we are living in two Americas is a gross understatement. And for society’s sake, we have to bridge this divide and learn to listen to each other (notice I didn’t say agree with).

Read More…