Innovation, Tradition, And Striking The Balance

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My son turns eleven today. We are all set to celebrate as we always do – our kids love the traditions that come with birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, college football, and too many other events to mention. The house is decorated exactly the same for every birthday. I’m told they love it that way. There will be a special dinner, as always.

All this tradition and consistency got me thinking. My children certainly love new things and surprises: new adventures, trips to unknown places, crazy experiences. And still, for a handful of personal milestones, they seem to want- to need- something familiar and dependable. Certainly, that is to be expected. New experiences bring excitement, anticipation of something unknown, and the possibility of “total awesomeness” (which, I have to imagine, is what the kids are saying nowadays.) Those traditions, the patterns sought out by their own brains, bring them a sense of stability, safety, and comfort. See my recent innovation webinar for more on this. Read More…

Remote Work Teams- There Are Many Fish In The Sea

fish in the sea

As the war for talent rages across the land with no end in sight and as competition in the market continues to bubble over at a fervent pace, many business leaders are finding that they must cast an ever widening net to succeed in securing the right people. Data from the updated Global Workforce Analytics study in June of 2017 on telecommuting found that people spend approximately 50-60% of their time away from their desks anyway and the many task are more conducive to solitude than collaboration. Read More…

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

corporate culture

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.

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How to Create a Customer Service Culture on People Power

customer service culture

By Ari Rabban

The biggest brands in the world become what they are with the help of one elusive ingredient: customer loyalty. In a world over-saturated with scattershot marketing messages, successful companies take the time to truly get to know their customers — their motivations, fears, ideas, and priorities — and tackle customer service with relentless dedication.

If you’re an entrepreneur, this is good news and bad news.

The bad news? You’re likely competing against established brands that have worked for years — or even decades — to build loyalty among customers.

The good news? You can make customer-service commitment part of your company’s mission early on and be hyper-focused on giving a smaller number of customers the best experiences possible.

If you commit to offering better customer service than your competitors, then your customers are far more likely to tolerate growing pains and stick with you as you scale. This is why developing a customer service culture should be a table stakes commitment for all startups.

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How to Overcome the Anxiety of Change with Organizational Empathy

overcome anxiety of change with organizational empathy

We often talk about organizational change like inertia. We assume that the plans we put into motion will continue in motion unless they’re otherwise affected by some outside force.

But the truth is, organizational change is more akin to entropy. Even without the influence of outside forces, our processes tend to move toward disorder unless they’re continually and actively managed.

Change is a constant, unrelenting force that we as leaders must navigate every day. So how do we make sure we’re positioning ourselves and our teams to operate in such conditions?

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Your Culture is Not Unique and Doesn’t Need to Be

your company is not unique

By Mark Tomaszewicz

When any movement gains momentum for a sustained period of time, the “[Insert Movement] is Dead” article appears like clockwork. The corporate culture movement is no exception, yet the recent death knell piece in MIT Sloan Management Review, The End of Corporate Culture as We Know It, is more perceptive than prophetic because the future is already here.

Having worked in the world of culture in various forms – leader, builder, guide – for the past decade and exposed to a myriad of organizational cultures, I have come to believe we are all striving for the same thing – the best way for humans to work together, produce great results and feel good about how it is done.

Therefore, most corporate value systems and cultures connect to three things:

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Why Company Culture is Critical to M&A Success

company culture mergers and acquisitions success

The actual results of mergers and acquisitions don’t always live up to expectations.

M&A growth strategies promise a multitude of strategic opportunities; from rapid growth, to elimination of competition, to access to new markets. And many organizations are currently, or have, embarked on merger and acquisition growth strategies to varying effect.

When asked about the primary causes of these mixed results, most leaders cite a misalignment between the two organizations’ cultures. This friction can wreak havoc as the members of different groups assimilate to drive the performance gains that M&A strategies forecast.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: It’s More Than a Training

diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

The numbers are out.

It’s been over fifty years since Title VII, the section of The Civil Rights Act that prohibits workplace discrimination. But how far have we really come?

Fortune’s data team recently released their findings on the diversity and inclusion practices of the companies on this year’s Fortune 500 list. The big reveal?

Only 3% of this year’s companies are transparent about the demographics of their workforce. And of those sixteen transparent companies, 72% of senior executives are white males.

Now, more than ever, companies and organizations are feeling pressure to not only be more representative but also more inclusive of people from traditionally marginalized groups. Reports on gender and racial diversity in tech have forced the industry to make public commitments to increase diversity in their workplaces and inspired other companies to do the same.

Millennials are demanding more inclusive work cultures. Our sociopolitical environment has made conversations about the inclusion of marginalized people in every area of life absolutely critical. And according to Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Report, 78% of respondents now believe diversity and inclusion is a competitive advantage.

But if major companies can’t even talk publicly about diversity, what do conversations inside of these organizations look like?

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The Brilliant Basics of Culture Transformation

basics of culture transformation

By Mark Tomaszewicz

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Transforming your culture is about changing individuals first and the organization next. Change is a result. That’s right, organizational change is a result of an individual change.

There are many definitions of culture. The one that I like the best is “what a group of people choose to believe and consistently do”. Changing your company culture means you are:

a) Changing what you believe,

b) Changing what you do, or

c) Finding a way to do more consistently

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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?

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