By Jamie Barnes

Your company’s culture is built on human behaviors. The actions that are rewarded are the ones that get reinforced then spread like model behavior throughout your organization. So if you’re not rewarding behaviors that help people work together better, you might be enforcing a suboptimal culture.

The first step to building an effective communication strategy is to define the audiences and barriers to engagement. It doesn’t matter if the client is investing in an equity and inclusion strategy or implementing a massive system change – we need to uncover why employees may not buy in to your initiative.

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Or, the Case Against the “Very Senior Associate Manager” Job Title

Job title creep happens in nearly every organization, especially in a slow-growth economy. Merit increases are small, growth opportunities are few. When positions are eliminated, those who remain take on those additional tasks, and they naturally want to be rewarded for doing so. Hard-pressed managers rewrite job descriptions and send them to HR for pricing—sometimes resulting in a new job title, but rarely with any difference in base pay.

A grocery chain realized their job titles were out of control when they counted them up: 126 different job titles existed for their store-based positions. They found titles indicating three different levels for the job of collecting shopping carts from the parking lot. Some of the specialization in job titles were just plain silly, such as Hot Chicken Associate. (“Oh, you want cold chicken? That’s not my area—see the Cold Chicken Associate over there.”) [click to continue…]

Culture Is Your Job

August 14, 2019

  “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” ~ Attributed to the late Peter Drucker; popularized in 2006 by Mark Fields, former CEO of Ford A mid-level professional gave a presentation to a group of vice-presidents of the company where he works. He sprinkled in some of his trademark humor, which usually gets a positive response from his […]

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The Era of Inclusion: How to Help Your Team Thrive

May 6, 2019

Your workplace is rich with diversity – a mix of races, ethnicities, genders, generations, and personality types. But diversity is not the same as inclusion. Leaders would be shocked to know the resources that go untapped and the ideas that go undiscovered simply because certain people are consistently excluded from the conversation.

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How to Shape Your Company Culture

January 16, 2019

Culture. How we do things around here — how we treat each other, customers, and suppliers. It’s not just about communication. And yet it has everything to do with communication.

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185: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation | with Dan Schawbel

December 20, 2018

The relationships between your team members make a big difference — both in terms of business results and each person’s wellbeing. As tempting as it is to rely on virtual communication and collaboration, technology too often contributes to workplace isolation and even loneliness. In today’s technology-driven workplace, particularly if some team members are working remotely, how can you cultivate a sense of community?

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160: Building a High-Performing and Health-Driven Culture | with John Burke, CEO of Trek Bikes

September 15, 2017

Trek Bikes grew out of one man’s belief that he could build a different kind of company. In a barn in southern Wisconsin, Dick Burke instilled the simple principles that continue to guide the company as it has grown into a worldwide brand: build things that last and leave a legacy of positive change.

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WHE31: Building a High-Performance and Health-Driven Culture at Trek Bikes | with John Burke, CEO

June 5, 2017

The organizations that are most successful in building a culture of health begin at the top, with key leaders championing a vision that includes the wellbeing of every employee. In this episode, Jesse interviews John Burke, CEO of Trek Bikes, who took a stand 13 years ago that launched a culture that has produced improvements […]

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146: 3 Ways to Optimize Your Energy and Culture in the Moment of Truth | with Anese Cavanaugh

October 15, 2016

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. -Peter Drucker Many leaders and aspiring leaders think their skills and strategies are what create impact, and that perks and parties are what create culture. But in reality a much larger part is created by the leader’s energy in every moment of truth. When you kick off a meeting or […]

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143: Lessons from Starbucks on Leading with Values First | with Howard Behar

September 1, 2016

“We’re in the people business serving coffee, not the coffee business serving people.” ~ Howard Behar As the president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International, Howard Behar spent over 20 years helping grow the company into a worldwide phenomenon. During those years, he was integral in establishing and nurturing the Starbucks culture.

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128: How to Shape Culture to Drive Performance | with Lindsay McGregor

January 15, 2016

Most business leaders today realize that a strong organizational culture is critical to success. However, culture tends to feel like some magic force that few leaders know how to control. So most leaders try to shape culture based on their intuition, leave it to chance, or try carrot-and-stick approaches to drive performance. To find a […]

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The Secret Language of Pronouns: How to Drive Ownership And Accountability

September 16, 2015

In my mid-20s, while in Chicago on business, I had lunch with my former boss at the global consulting firm I had left a couple years earlier. “You’ve come a long way,” Laurie commented after listening to me talk about my recent projects. “You aren’t the young greenhorn you used to be.” “What do you […]

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