Category Archives: Organizational Development
Success doesn’t come easy. It takes planning and focused effort to enable yourself and your team to attain those goals.
One of the most overlooked and neglected factors into any success for your team is to ensure the proper landscape is in place that better enables those goals to be met. That landscape is your culture.
Just as a great landscape sets the stage for painting a beautiful picture or taking a breathtaking and rewarding hike, having the proper landscape for your organization will enhance the success that you strive to attain.
Having the proper landscape for your organization will enhance the success that you strive to attain
Lolly Daskal’s post a few months ago stated “Culture sets the stage for success” is true. It not only brings people together but allows performance to thrive. Michael Lee Stallard’s book Connection Culture outlines how great cultures allow people to have more commitment and find better success corporately and personally. It’s no mistake that Connection Culture’s Twitter handle is @ConnectToThrive. Stallard outlines that a connected culture possesses the following 3 key aspects:
- Vision – a share in the mission and where the team is headed
- Value – everyone feeling important and a contributing member
- Voice – people having input and being truly heard
These aspects help remove barriers that impede cooperation, productivity, ambiguity, and rogue agendas. It’s the removal of these impediments that allow individuals to perform, both more freely and with more commitment. They also can create incremental success where people feel more support and freedom to solve problems, go the extra mile, and look after the organization’s best interests because the organization has looked after theirs first and foremost.
Conversely, neglecting and allowing a poor culture will set up a toxic landscape where people will default to a survival mode, meet minimum performance and justify their actions why they did not do better.
In any organization – business, sports team, community program, church and even family – having the proper landscape of culture that allows people to feel valued, have a voice, and share the vision will create a far better environment where they will most likely naturally work harder and be more deeply engaged. Setting the right culture is essential for anyone wanting more success from their grouping structure.
How will you set the landscape for success for those you impact this year?
Today’s post is courtesy of Alex Vorobieff, the founder and CEO of The Vorobieff Company, a premier business-consulting organization. A highly sought-after speaker and business alignment coach, Alex Vorobieff has helped scores of successful companies eliminate the real source of their frustration using business alignment tools (a term he coined after years of working with and investigating different business systems).
Can you remember starting a new job and crossing invisible lines without knowing it? And how you felt when you crossed those invisible lines and realized you didn’t understand what was important.
I can; it was 25 years ago while preparing my first professional spreadsheet as an intern at a small CPA firm. Getting paid $10 an hour, it wasn’t six figures, but it was double digits per hour and it was a “real work.”
I prepared the spreadsheet and gave it to my boss.
He reviewed it.
It shocked him
He could not follow my work. It went down, to the left, and then to the right.
Apparently, you didn’t want to zigzag as you did calculations. It was important to follow a logical direction so someone else could understand your work.
He questioned whether hiring me was a good idea. I didn’t seem to “get it.”
I had crossed some invisible lines.
He wasn’t happy we had to rework the spreadsheet. I felt horrible, I learned a lesson but it was costly for both of us.
When I graduated and joined a larger firm, the firm trained me on the basics how to prepare spreadsheets. No wonder my first boss wasn’t pleased. Then I understood where those lines were and how to use them to do a better job. “I got it!”
Every job and every company has invisible lines. Does your company help people to see them before they cross them? Or do you wait until they cross the lines and you have to make a costly correction?
If you want people on your team to “get it” letting them know what “it” is beforehand saves time and money.
Yea, its not rocket science but people cross invisible lines every day.
Invisible lines often define key things that are essential to provide value to customers and profit for the company. They are so important how could you not let people know where they are and how to use them to help guide their decisions and actions?
When people know where the invisible lines are and the importance of not crossing them they “get it” and people stop mumbling after being chastised for crossing invisible lines and people in the company start using the powerful refrain of “we get it.”
About Alex Vorobieff
Founder and CEO of The Vorobieff Company, Alex Vorobieff is a business turnaround specialist, working to implement Business Alignment Tools for their specific needs. Alex has served as clean-up CFO and president of companies in telecommunications, aviation, aerospace, and real estate development, leading successful turnarounds in as little as three months. He shares his how-tos and techniques through Confident ROi magazine and his latest book, Transform Your Company: Escape Frustration, Align Your Business, and Get Your Life Back.
A number of years ago there came to light a scientific case study called “The Dilution Effect”
It posited that an increase in species to create a greater biodiversity could greatly reduce the risk of Lyme disease in humans. Thus, generating a broader spectrum across an ecosystem could prevent the environment that allows Lyme to reside and infect ticks that spread the disease.
While the research is still being done to prove this study, there is a laboratory where dilution can help mitigate a toxic environment. The workplace.
A toxic culture is usually the presence of counter-cultural individuals and/or teams within an organization that threaten to poison the current environment.
While many times the wisdom is to prune and remove these individuals it is more necessary to replace them and grow the organization with those who are more pure with the work culture you are promoting.
There are times when you need to separate or allow attrition to remove toxic people from your company. This is vital to ensure the culture stays intact and is not corrupted. Yet even more important is to replace them with people who are closely aligned with your core values and culture and will keep the culture intact. Otherwise you will run the risk of introducing toxic behaviors and attitudes and return to the same, or worse, state that you were originally in.
Another steps is to continue to hire and grow the organization with people who are more closely congruent with your culture, creating a larger and larger dynamic that can minimize the toxic impact of others. In some cases, as I have discovered in my own leadership career, gaining a broader base of employees who are culturally instep can actually change some peoples’ toxic behaviors into champions of the culture – a kind of FOMO (fear of missing out) workplace transformation.
Think about it this way. You have a beaker of pure water and introduce a drop of raw sewage into it. That pure water is tainted and now needs a larger influx of pure water to flush out the sewage and mitigate the harm done by the impure substance. This represents lessening the impact of toxic individuals by replacing them with more culturally sound people.
In addition, you can also dump the beaker and refill it with pure water, akin to removing the toxic individual.
The premise is simple but you need to exercise discernment in keeping those who are culture champions engaged as you build around them, and not replacing them as well. This is a challenge to keeping the right mixture and balance in your organization of tenured people who have grown the culture and newer, culturally-aligned individuals graft in sometime later. Having the right focus on building complimentary teams and creating harmony and engagement adds to the equation, so keeping this in mind is vital to growing the culture without dividing it inadvertently.