Change

Why Your Ping Pong Tables Aren’t Working

Let’s get real about corporate culture

You have no idea why your culture sucks. It just does. You bought the ping-pong tables. You started Happy Hour Fridays. And you even do the obligatory birthday cakes for your employees. Yet, people just don’t click. They can’t communicate. Your turnover rates are on the rise and the employees you do keep just don’t seem like they want to be there. Getting people to work together, collaborate, and have a normal conversation is like pulling teeth. And those words you had so beautifully hung on the wall seem meaningless.

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A Plan for Succession

WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE. We’ve all felt the uncertainty at some point in our careers. What’s next for me? What happens if the company were to close? Who is taking over after our owner retires? There seems to be so much ambiguity and maybe even some assumptions. But it’s all speculation. Because no one is actually talking about it. It’s unclear and it’s frustrating. But you’re not alone. Companies every day struggle to put together a future picture. A plan for succession.

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Do You Need an Executive Coach?

When you’re in a position of authority, people have a tendency to tell you what you want to hear; or at least be very “calculated” about how they share feedback with you. An executive coach can provide more honest and direct feedback.

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To Achieve Amazing Things, You’ve Gotta Take Action

How many articles have you read by now about setting goals and New Year’s resolutions? “They need to be realistic. Need to be achievable. They need to inspire you.” Yep, we get it. They need to be all of those things. And it feels amazing to set goals; to get yourself back on track.

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We’re Leaves On A Vine

Think of the leaves on a vine as they grow up the side of a building. They’re beautiful. They blossom, they grow, and eventually, your entire building is covered with them. As the autumn season approaches, one by one, they start to turn colors. Some yellow, some red, some brown. So many leaves to admire, and every time we look at them, we think of the beauty they bring. Then they start to fall off. Until only a few are left. What will replace them? Naturally, new leaves blossom and grow in their place. They start out small and then repeat the cycle.

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Succession Connection

The moment we hear that business leaders and executives are working on (not just talking about) succession planning and building talent depth charts, we are ecstatic! Because the truth is, many talk about it, but don’t put any action behind the words. Sometime in the future, we’ll hear, “Yeah, we were talking about creating a succession plan for that role. We just never got around to it.”

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Fear of Change

Recently, I visited the Grand Canyon.  For the fourth time, I had the opportunity to witness this majestic natural wonder.  Every time I go, it takes my breath away.  If you have been to the Grand Canyon, you know that you can see the canyon from many different viewpoints.  You can stay safe and walk only along paths that have guard rails (sturdy dividers between you and the vast drop to the bottom) or you can hike down to more rugged areas and find flat cliffs that jut out over the canyon.  These areas have no guard rails and no protection from falling.

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Do You Have Business Growing Pains?

If you’re a business owner or executive, you’re probably working hard to grow your business. And sometimes that means sleepless nights; long days. It can be hard not to think about business. And as the business grows, things change. Or at least they probably should. When we try to keep doing what we’ve always done, we soon realize that it won’t work. Now we have growing pains.

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Shake It Up…

Disrupting the Org Chart

During a recent conversation with the leaders of a company, we asked them to imagine that their department was not a part of the overall company, but a stand-alone business having to provide value to its customers and make money to continue. Then we asked the question, “How would you organize the company related to positions, roles, and responsibilities? And how would you measure effectiveness?” This is what we call disrupting the org chart.

Some leaders had to be reminded that every minute someone is working costs money. They then considered how to measure productivity in service-related areas. They recognized that their employees tend to come to work and most are busy. But they’re not necessarily busy with things that are high-payoff or things that move the needle, related to value and time. They came in to do their job.

Also, they recognized that they were not asking their (internal) customers what was needed from them as a department. They simply were doing their job and finding ways to make their job easier; not really considering how it affected others. There was no system in place to continually assess needs and effectiveness as things changed for their customers.

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Changing Office Politics as We Know It

Office politics is a topic that is typically avoided and rarely acknowledged. But it has a
remarkable impact on productivity in the workplace. The difference between a historic and a modern view of office politics is how we address it. The fact is, there is a need for office politics – it’s how we get things done. Embracing this view is the key to getting to the next level, which is differentiating between office behaviors that are positive and welcome or negative and offensive.

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