Constructive Culture Blog

I recently attended the Ultimate Culture Conference, produced by Human Synergistics. I was blown away by the amount of “real talk” by the expert speakers and panelists. From enabling growth culture, to creating positive change and humble leadership, there was one consistent theme throughout the conference: transformation. At one point, I heard someone ask: “What if changing 30 percent of one thing could improve 100 percent of everything?”

To my fellow entrepreneurs, take a look around. At the way things run. At the revenue stream. At the systems in place. From how you conduct business to the end result, is what you're doing really working?

I often ask the leaders for whom I consult two simple questions:

First, “Do you need positive feedback to do your best at work—like you need air and water?” Typically, a small percentage will say yes.

Second, I ask the question with a twist: “When you get an ‘atta-boy’ or ‘atta-girl,’ does it make a difference?” Almost everyone, every time, says yes!

Leaders leave gold on the table by not showing appreciation for their people. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’s hugely impactful.

In today’s competitive business environment, executives are not interested in investing money in company culture unless they are able to see results in terms of tangible business value. Working in the field of transformational leadership and large-scale change, I see plenty of consultants who do magnificent work but struggle with connecting the dots between the work they do and the ultimate value they will add.

Dr. Peter Fuda writes about transforming leadership and he’s most interested in transforming results. Glad to hear, because results are what counts! He had several key themes in his talk at the recent Ultimate Culture Conference hosted by Human Synergistics, and I’ll recap a few of my favorites here.

Why are most leaders so comfortable with tracking results and, at the same time, so disconnected from understanding the health of their work culture?

What if you discovered the 4 elements that can provide profound success in your professional life? As an organizational leader, what if those same 4 elements applied to the increased success of your organization?

As the first culture-shaping consulting firm, Senn Delaney has quite literally made organizational culture its business. Larry Senn and his colleagues, including partner and executive vice president Bill Parsons, have brought their mission of “creating healthy, high-performance cultures” to more than 500 companies. Bill shared some of the knowledge they’ve gathered over their 38 years of experience at the 2nd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference—including the four principles that must be upheld to really shape culture and improve performance.

It’s been nearly three years since Merriam-Webster declared “culture” its 2014 Word of the Year, but it has yet to lose any momentum. Culture has become ubiquitous in the business world, with media giants from Forbes to CNN to Huffington Post regularly publishing articles on the topic. Numerous articles cite culture as a key contributor (if not the key contributor) to retaining top talent, and research shows an undeniable relationship between culture and financial performance.

But with the spotlight firmly placed on workplace culture, leaders and organizations often miss a crucial piece of the puzzle. Where are all the articles, posts, and interviews on climate?

What do you think when you hear the words “culture change”? More important, what do your baseline employees—the women and men who get the essential and routine work done—think when they’re first introduced to organizational culture change? Here are seven factors that, when discussed openly and honestly, will help the average worker in your organization quickly adapt to, and become a champion of, culture change.

Culture change is a human experience. It's not just a business imperative, as it has been viewed for decades. For culture change to have a chance of becoming contagious, leaders should more deeply understand how business needs and the human experience of change can work in concert. Together, these two can help navigate change pitfalls.