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<p>There’s been a lot of chatter about company cultures recently. Unfortunately, that includes lots of bad examples.

  • Google employees are arguing about gender bias.
  • Airlines have opened up a debate about what enables great customer service.
  • Restaurants are starting to figure out that the roots of food contamination often start with how their workers think of their role in the company.
  • These events have increased the realization that businesses are more like organisms than machines. They’re based on how people believe and behave as a group.

Many people seem to think that “culture” is just a thing that happens to societies and very large groups. That’s it’s something that is unchanged for generations, and therefore outside anyone’s control.

But culture also emerges when you have just a handful of people interacting. It describes what the group considers normal for making decisions, communicating, rewarding and punishing. On the other hand, group goals describe what they’re trying to do together, and processes describe how they go about it. Read the rest of this entry »

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I was looking at how nature is hunkering down for colder weather …

We have time for some great things before holiday craziness starts in!

I’ve been working on my gratitude practices recently, and realized that I’m most grateful for the people in my life!

We’re at the end of September already!  That means we have just three months left in the year.  How are your goals doing?

ben-kuo-351000There have been lots of challenges out there in the real world recently. Hurricanes. Fires. North Korea.

The approach of many businesses is basically to ignore all that stuff, because … what can you do about it anyway? Well, maybe write a check to Red Cross, but that’s it.

The problem is that businesses that approach it this way have no heart. It looks like you have a heart because you wrote a big check, but that doesn’t go very deep.

And your employees know it.

Read the rest of this entry »

We had some awesome examples at last week’s ICF Colorado meeting!

Such simple questions can elicit such awesome insights.

It’s real easy to get overwhelmed with big events.  This week we worry about fires and hurricanes, and the anniversary of 9/11.  Sometimes it seems that you just can’t make a dent at all.

But it DOES matter.  You touch some people, and they care.

I was reading a discussion this morning, and it was pretty clear that people weren’t exercising this very basic coaching (and human!) skill.

Who could you re-connect with to help get energized for the coming months?

costea-alexandra-265234The growl of a school bus powering up the street awakened me this morning. Combined with one of the wettest Augusts I can remember, I now feel welcomed to Fall — even though it’s over a month away.

Seasonality is a significant part of many businesses. It might be the holiday retail season, the school year, weather cycles, or the calendar year. Most likely you see a significant yearly cycle in your industry.

The challenge is that your people — employees, contractors and leaders — are also a part of larger society. Read the rest of this entry »

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