Top 10 CultureUniversity.com Posts in 2014

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It’s been an exciting first year for CultureUniversity.com.  We launched in March, 2014 with the purpose to positively impact society on a global scale through culture awareness, education, and action. I was frustrated with all the superficial and incorrect information about the subject of workplace culture and wanted to bring visibility to what some of the top experts in the world have to say about the subject.

Culture is a powerful force but we’re buried in tips, keys, and levers that barely touch the surface of what it takes to effectively shape or change an organization’s culture with a direct and sustainable impact on performance.

We built a solid base of content in 2014 and all but one article also ran on TLNT.com, one of the largest and fastest growing HR blogs.  

Culture is the Small Guy’s Advantage

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When you know that your company will never be the low-cost producer nor will it ever have enough cash to outspend the big cat, there’s no choice but to find other ways to skin that cat. Thousands of small to medium sized businesses are successfully doing this. “How?” you ask. The answer lies within those factors that do not require fat bank accounts. There are far more than you think.

I’ll start with leadership. A good CEO costs no more than a bad one – sometimes far less when you consider costly mistakes and lucrative severance packages. The same argument can be made for strategies. The very best strategies aren’t generated by outside strategic planning consultants who bill thousands of dollars a day. These strategies come from the inquisitive mindsets of founders, entrepreneurs, and employees who are keen to make a difference.

The cure for hardening corporate arteries? Creating a culture of agility

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What company in the world has not been going through sudden shifts wrought from major, disruptive change? Consumer technology companies, health care companies, automakers, and smart phone manufacturers are among industries whose very foundation is more like shifting quicksand.

To survive and grow, and even regain competitive advantage, many companies are grappling with ways to transform their businesses in the face of radical change. They are responding in many predictable and time-tested ways: changing CEOs and leadership teams, shifting strategies, rolling out new product lines, amping up innovation, cutting costs and restructuring. These are all the necessary things to do to react to change, but these actions usually only treat the symptoms of a chronic illness – hardening of corporate arteries – without curing the underlying cause.

Companies may be missing out on the most important strategy of all: creating a culture of agility. This should be every CEO’s first strategic priority because it is the culture that enables companies to flex nimbly in any direction and execute any strategy.

Value-based Leadership

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Every supervisor, manager and leader in every organization makes hundreds of decisions every week. The decisions we make are always motivated by either our personal or organizational needs. But have you ever thought about how you make your decisions?  Do you make decisions based on your instincts, beliefs, values, intuition or inspiration?

Most people make decisions based on their beliefs. The problem with beliefs is that they are based on information from the past that we then project into the future. In a rapidly changing world, the past is not a good predictor of the future. This is why more and more leaders are shifting to values-based decision-making. Values-based decision-making also has another important advantage: When people share and live by the same values decision-making gets easier.

The future of customer experience improvement is all about culture

Customer experience

When you think about companies that provide an incredible customer experience, it’s no coincidence they are the exact same companies that have amazing cultures. Think Southwest Airlines, Ritz Carlton, Zappos, Nordstroms…great customer service and great workplace cultures since culture is the ultimate driver of a sustainably exceptional customer experience.

“Customer experience” is a hot subject these days but many organizations continue to put their front line employees in the middle of a horrible customer experience and their employees are sick of being in that position.

It’s not good enough to have a great product or service; you need an exceptional customer experience.