Since well before the start of the Industrial Age, companies have existed by a command and control leadership culture model and hunkered themselves down behind corporate walls of silence. It worked well, in many peoples minds, until we entered the Internet Age. Since then there have been a number of movements that have affected that structure and they are actually starting to change those antiquated processes and rules. Now, some will say this is a disruptive change that is not a good movement however this author believes it is the next evolution of the global business world. We are going to look at five of those movements so you can see how well you have adapted your company or not!
As we progress through this period we must realize that many companies have a major disconnect between their brand, business, marketing and contemporary culture. These companies must learn how to use the re-connection as a lever to increase their brand, business and marketing. Our companies are no longer islands unto themselves, able to drive demand of customers and command employees without respect and a global passion for doing the right thing at the right time with the right people. Continue reading “5 Culture Movements That Are Permeating Your Company”
In my opinion, the future of leadership is always changing and it will continue to change. However, it’s human nature, that we often want to categorize everything and everyone into small, manageable boxes subject to fixed rules and processes.
It is also evident in businesses today that we are dealing with short-term thinking, a disposable view of people as assets and the persistent drive of leadership self-preservation. We seem to have devalued people, relationships and values down to simple dollars and cents which never works, if you are looking for a sustainable business.
It gets further complicated when we see the rate of change & complexity increasing daily and the challenges faced by every individual and organization are morphing, evolving and becoming more interdependent than ever before.
Today, I feel comfortable saying that successful leadership is a hybrid of art & science with no hope of a one size fits all solution.
Unfortunately, we have developed into a society where rumors and gossip often provide convenient tools for both competitive recruiting as well as manipulation of workers. “False News” is major contention in political and business circles today and we are preoccupied with sound bite mayhem and death by innuendo.
While social media is often maligned for these issues, it only helps to propagate, it is not the cause nor is it the generator of the derogatory material, it must originate with a human being, i.e. leader, employee, customer or competitor.
Leadership is generally at the forefront of this very destructive and corrosive process when it starts. I recently commented to someone and firmly believe, “there is NO leadership model in existence that will allow you to avoid relational conflict” and this is one of those areas.
This means that leadership sets the standards of what is acceptable and what is not so this is a critical part of culture that cannot be assigned or delegated. If leaders are using rumors to manipulate the workforce it should not come as a surprise with it turns into a firestorm.
For example, I just recently I tracked a single “Fake News” article that was a known hoax, yet it was re-tweeted over 500 times in less than 14 hours. I didn’t even bother to check the other social media sites. If this is happening in the public arena what makes you think it can’t happen within your company?
Personally, in my somewhat Utopian corporate world, there is no place for falsehoods, rumors or gossip.
Workplace gossip and rumors can represent a destructive force among employees and customers. The rumors or gossip can be about management, company operations, product or service quality, suppliers, or other employees, any of them can spread virally.
So often, people will believe the rumor or gossip, even if it isn’t true, and pseudo truth can then spread to the customers, clients or the public, as well. While some may be harmless, it is always necessary to deal with rumors and gossip in the workplace immediately — before they spread out of control.
Here are some suggestions to deal with them:
1. Always Practice open communication with your employees.
Change in business is a part of life so this is particularly true if your company is planning or executing a major change or relocation. Companies are most vulnerable when they are during major changes because of uncertainty so this aggravation does not need a lot of energy added to blow out of proportion.
It is only natural for employees to be fearful of change and how it will affect their jobs. However, when one person unintentionally or intentionally overhears something, then misconstrues what was said and finally winds up spreading a rumor that is not true the damage has begun.
Be authentic with employees, let them know what is going on so that there is no room for speculation and gossip. Don’t try to spin it or cover it with a lie because this will only intensify the impact.
2. Avoid an over-reaction.
When you hear, that employees are saying something that is not true, the natural reaction is to respond in some way. Many times, this may be in anger or frustration which only fuels the speculation of the employees. Start by understanding that the source of the rumor may not be malicious, and it may be a simple misunderstanding. Always investigate and perform some level of analyses, then develop an appropriate response, if you don’t then the response will more than likely be in anger.
3. Be Proactive with damage control.
If rumors in the workplace can flourish, they will eventually grow and possibly spread outside your company. When you hear of a rumor, be quick to clarify the actual situation and don’t brush it off as “typical employee talk.” Be proactive and act quickly before damage occurs, it is much easier and less costly in many areas.
4. Never encourage interoffice gossip or rumors.
Although these are typical human behaviors, particularly in situations where many different groups may be pushed together under the same roof, leadership should never allow or encourage harmful gossip and rumors.
Let your employees know you have a zero tolerance for malicious gossip and rumors. Let them know that leadership will always investigate, analyze and determine objectively where the origination point is so the truth can be determined.
These zero tolerances, must be part of the company culture and DNA with swift action taken when discovered. There should be no bias in any part of the investigation.
5. Avoid lingering and nurturing rumors.
Failing to keep employees informed, generating spin, or hedging when confronted about company change, will usually result in a backlash on leadership. Even though you may not be ready to tell employees about an upcoming event, you need to set the record straight as quickly as possible if a rumor has started.
As leaders, employees and customers it is critical to keep your commitments or say no, there is no middle ground here. If you need help in this area, check out the PEER Commitment Management Platform at http://peersaas.com.
These suggestions are starting points because each incident is unique to the individuals, organization, culture and time-frame. Some instances you may let play out because they will expose themselves as falsehoods and die.
Other times, it will take an intervention to correct, adjust or defend, depending on how long leadership waited, how rational or irrational the creators of the material are and how determined the opposition is to disrupt.
The primary factor to remember is that with a culture of transparency, high integrity and openness the ability for rumors, gossip or “Fake News” to is diminished significantly. If everything in the organization is done behind closed doors and leaders seed the rumor mill, then the it is ripe for the rumor mill to run rampant.
Avoid anything that can allow someone to capture sound bites and take them out of context. Make sure that the story you are telling people is the same at all levels, no more or no less to any level.
If you would like help with developing your proactive strategy to change, please feel free to check out my website at https://tlgcoach.com or call me at 630-454-4821.
How would you like to hire someone that can be more motivated and more qualified to do the work and costs you less than your average employee? No, I am not talking about hiring someone illegally. You can accomplish this simply by employing a qualified telecommuter or freelancer.
Let’s take a look at 5 practical reasons, why it makes sense for you to consider telecommuting from an employer’s perspective.
1) Less Overhead
How much is all your office space, furniture, computer equipment along with your IT department to maintain them, utility bills etc. costing you? Telecommuters do not require any of the above, which will cut your overhead cost tremendously. Telecommuters or freelancers can use their own office, their own equipment from computers to paper clips; use their own power, phone, and Internet connection, if it passes all your security policies. If their computer acts up, it’s up to them to get it up and running again. The key is making sure that you spell all the requirements between you and the telecommuter. The satisfaction of this type of arrangement is in the details.
As we start 2016, I would like to open our imaginations a bit and examine work and life from a couple of Japanese concepts that we have all heard about but few truly understand. The first we are going to look at is “Ikigai” or “the why you get up every day” and the second is “Kaizen” or “the philosophy of continuous improvement in work and personal lives”.
Many authors discuss these topics independently but I really feel they need to be combined to realize the real power that is present in their use and empowerment. Here we are going to examine an integrated process that can help you become more intentional and empowering in 2016.
Could the solution to resistance to change be a simple act of unlearning? Let’s look into this and see just how complex this statement really is for humans.
Lao Tzu said, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
Peter Drucker said it another way, “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.”
I have been a fan of the TV program NCIS since it was originally released. I have loved it for a number of reasons but most of all because of the focus on Gibb’s rules as a core of operations for the team. There are 50+ of these rules that have cropped up in many of the episodes over the 11 seasons.
One of the aspects of Gibb’s rules, that I like, is they are dynamic and change as attitudes and underlying values change which is important for growth. While you need to retain some rigidity, the flexibility allows you to balance responses and reactions
These rules have their foundation from Gibb’s values and time leading black ops missions while he was a Marine. They were adapted to his work with the NCIS investigative team so they have a tendency to be reactive or military based.
While I agree we can apply many of the characteristics of military engagement to business, I find they are limited because the motivations are different. In reality, nothing we do in business is truly life threatening or based on imminent physical danger. Yes, there are those who have this perception but it is rarely fatal to an individual.
As a leader, you are probably interested in the sustainability of your company, if you’re not then it may be time to find something else to do for a living. The key to continually being on the sustainable path, you really need to focus building blocks that can provide the base of a culture of innovation. That’s because, in a fast-moving, VUCA world, where people expect things to get better and better, and cheaper and cheaper, innovation is your primary tool that can be used to get ahead of your competition and stay there.
Innovation is not some mystical, close your eyes and with wishful thinking have something appear that is new, improved or revolutionary. It is something that must be done intentionally, proactively and with full participation by all within the company. Building blocks can make it easier for everyone.
Our brain was never designed to just trap and retain information, in reality it was created to allow us to generate thoughts and ideas. So often you retain so much useless trivia that it may actually hamper our ability to think creatively.
When you have a job, you are paid to exercise thought power in the execution of plans and processes so it is important to understand how to avoid burnout and be productive at work, at home and in society in general.
Do you feel that self-improvement is beneficial or just a pain? Too often we feel that to embark on a self-improvement plan is a sign of weakness and should not be visible or acknowledged in public. In my opinion, this view is totally wrong and will limit your career and any legacy that you would like to leave.
Personally, I know that I will never be perfect, there will always be room for improvement. Likewise, you will not be perfect and there will always be room for improvement.
Self-improvement is vital for anyone to manage their career, it doesn’t matter if you are a company President, Operations Leader, Customer Service Representative, Sales & Marketing Director or “pick a title.