The Art of Leadership and Riding a Bicycle

Culture U Einstein on bike

(AKA – Helping the Organization Get Where It Needs To Go!)

Let’s demystify the art and practice of leadership. There are many parallels to the aspects of riding a bicycle and leading the team.

First of all, the purpose or usefulness of the bicycle is to get from point A to point B. Clearly, leadership is focused on forward movement toward a vision of a future desired state.

The bicycle has a framework or structure that allows it to transfer energy to serve a positive purpose. Leadership, truly is about energy management and how to focus the individual and collective energy on meaningful goals of the organization.

Don’t Let Conflict Damage Your Culture

Conflict on Culture

You know the types. There’s the office yeller, intimidating others with vitriolic rant. There’s the passive-aggressive underminer, nodding assent but then dragging her feet. There’s the colleague who gets angry over a perceived slight, but then quickly shifts tone. Conflict in the workplace is pervasive and unavoidable. And it isn’t always a bad thing. Healthy debate can be good for your corporate culture. It ensures that diverse perspectives are considered or lights the fire a team needs to move from a stalemate to a creative solution. But when they turn ugly, conflicts can damage your culture—straining relationships and putting teams at risk. 

How the workplace can bring organisational values to life every day … or not

CultureU - J.Rohn sailboat

We have used stories to pass on information for thousands of years and they remain the most powerful way we know to communicate. Indeed, the power of story is magnified in today’s super-connected, transparent world – the truth gets out fast and can be widely communicated – to millions of people all over the world – in such a short space of time. 

Here is a story which illustrates how employees’ “felt experience” every day strongly shapes their perception of an organisation and how the impact compares to official “corporate messaging”. This, in turn, highlights the critical (often underappreciated) role played by facilities management in reinforcing organisation brand and values. What are the implications for the role of Facilities Management and the wider HR agenda? 

Customer Clarity … Exactly who is your Customer?

Customer and Binoculars

Customer Confusion
Ask 10 random people in your organization “Who is our customer?” How many different answers would you get? Ideally, the answer is the same. There is only one customer. Your strategy, resources and goals and objectives must be aligned around a singularly defined customer.

Lack of customer clarity creates organizational challenges that extend far beyond customer service. A lack of clarity and alignment about the customer leads to confusion and uncertainty about critical organizational priorities. A consistent definition of customer, can break down silos, unlock lost productivity and empower your people.

customer

Is There a Cure When Cultures Get Sick? A Cautionary Tale for Company Leaders

Customer Value

When Cultures Get Sick
Measles, a disease once thought to be completely eradicated, is making a comeback. The flu vaccine was only 23% effective this year as long-identified strains continue to mutate. Hospitals breed superbugs and must continuously adapt to stop the spread of potentially fatal infections. Just as healthy people can be felled overnight by a new disease or drug-resistant bacteria, companies can sicken and even collapse if their culture is allowed to get seriously unhealthy.

Consider the historic demise of technology giant Nortel Networks. At its peak, the century-old enterprise was the largest company in Canada with sales of $30 billion and 100,000 employees worldwide. An innovative powerhouse that invented the digital switching capability of telephone networks, the company had a long history of creating new products, and, indeed, new markets. It had developed a leadership system that valued and rewarded both risk taking and value creation.

And then it caught something, and fairly suddenly the culture began to show symptoms of serious illness.