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At the recent Ultimate Culture Conference hosted by Human Synergistics, Trent Sunde of The Clorox Company gave a great presentation entitled, Going Beyond High Performance to Enable a Growth Culture. For me, the final takeaway from this case study is that for organizations to achieve exponential growth, they need to have leaders who coach. Yes, we still need managers to manage, but to move an organization forward and to achieve rapid momentum toward phenomenal growth, we need the entire workforce engaged. One leader cannot achieve this kind of success alone. It takes leadership at all levels and throughout the organization.

‘Tis the season for reflecting on the year that’s ended and planning for the year we’ve entered. A ritual that often results in…NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS! It’s known that New Year’s resolutions come with an abysmally low success rate—only 8% of people achieve them. Probably as low, if not lower, than the success rate of major organizational changes; such as mergers, reorganizations, and—near-and-dear to the readers of this blog’s hearts—culture change initiatives, which fail at a dismal rate of 70% -- a statistic that has not changed in over 30 years.

We received our best audience feedback ever after the 3rd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference. For the first time, one specific speaker insight stood out and was highlighted by numerous attendees. What was this insight about leadership and culture? Why did it resonate so much? I think it’s a sign of the times as culture transitions from a subject of interest for many to the sustainable driver of effectiveness that many feel compelled to nurture, develop or change.

How many of us like feedback? And how often does it help us versus make us feel disappointed or inadequate? Marshall Goldsmith has turned this technique on its head, providing a fun and helpful way to get answers to a problem or concern you are working on. Feedforward is a fun (yes, fun) and effective way to quickly get a lot of ideas around a challenge you're facing.

“I don’t know everyone’s name. I’m embarrassed because I think I should know their names.”

When I interviewed the president of a big insurance firm, I didn’t realize that I’d strike a nerve so soon after our conversation began. This was years ago, but my recollection is powerful.

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?