Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. said, “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” So, when an opportunity presents itself to learn from those who have repeatedly and successfully managed a culture-change journey, it’s imperative to take the leap. I shared this post previously on ConstructiveCulture.com and offer it here to ensure these vital insights reach those who, like me, care deeply about workplace culture and effective change.
It’s essential for leaders and change agents to learn from the culture pioneers and experts in this evolving field. Human Synergistics convenes an annual Ultimate Culture Conference to bring visibility to important insights from culture trailblazers and progressive leaders. If you’re able to attend this forum, you’ll be glad you did. The insights you gain may be worth a life’s experience. Let’s get started.
HR has always appeared to be the natural home for the mechanics of leading culture change. In recent years, however, I’ve observed another human resource in the executive team. A person whose influence over culture is potentially the most powerful of all: The Chief Financial Officer.
The distinguishing feature of leading organizations is their culture. It affects performance, employee engagement, and the ability to create an innovative and positive work environment.
Leaders drive Culture, Culture drives Performance
Leaders have a significant impact on those around them and on the culture of their organization. And since culture affects every aspect of an organization, ranging from employee engagement, quality, agility, and innovativeness to brand and financial performance and long-term sustainability, we depend on leaders to lead in ways that create a culture that supports problem-solving and the long-term effectiveness of their organizations.
CEOs are the ultimate leaders, decision-makers, strategists, and visionaries, and their job is no easy feat. Facing high expectations and significant challenges, CEOs are under tremendous pressure to deliver results quickly. They’re often the first ones in the office, the last ones to leave, and they’re responsible for steering the ship through both smooth and rough waters. Given these challenges, the fact that CEOs show up to work day after day is expected yet admirable.
Each month I receive an email with a preview of the latest leadership books. There are always five or six new entrants in this already crowded field. Meanwhile, my Twitter feed overflows with three steps, five tips, and seven ways to improve engagement, build trust, and employ mindfulness.
Yet with all this knowledge available, employees don’t seem to feel as if they are being led any more skillfully than in the past. In my travels, I encounter people frustrated by seemingly arbitrary rules, vague visions, out-of-touch bosses, and a lack of development opportunities. They are confused by labor laws and company policies, which often are evolving more slowly than the work arrangements of an agile, tech-enabled economy. Further, data from Gallup has shown that workforce engagement has hovered around 30 percent for years.
We are living in extraordinary times – volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous.
The pace of change will never be this slow again.
In the service sector, many traditional approaches are no longer relevant and there is a new business agenda emerging.