Tag: Culture

Can Executives do the REAL WORK of an organization?

realitycheck Can Executives do the REAL WORK of an organization?

**Stepping on my soap box**

Just a question!

Essentially, in many organizations, when anyone talks about talent management and employee engagement they speak of it as if the organization (meaning the leaders/executive team/CEO) are the ones that are behind it, need to support and encourage the efforts to address these efforts for employees. Because we all know that without a CEO or Division Leader’s approval nothing gets done right? yeah right?

Of course work gets done without some approval. And of course initiatives get executed in the front-line and middle management of a company.

Who needs buy-in?

However, sadly, many still preach as if you need and always have to gain, cite and seek executive approval and buy-in for everything.

So my question, “Can Executives do the REAL WORK of an organization?,” is truly asking, could work get done without a CEO? Could initiatives be executed without a President? Can decisions be made without a Divisional Leader?

When it comes to the “REAL” work

When it comes down to it, the real work of the organization is done by those who are face to face with everyday people.

  • The real work that happens daily is not resting on an executives shoulders.
  • Like the senate or congress (creating laws for everyone else to try and figure out how to implement and execute), executives have ideas and create strategy but it needs to be recognized that the real execution is done by the middle and front.
  • Very few executives know exactly what is going on day to day within their organizations.
  • They THINK, but do not KNOW!

Seldom do they take the time to find out, in a real and sincere way. However, many times, you as an employee are expected to provide all the details that are needed with little time, few resources and minimal detail.

What would an Executive do if they were A Team of One?

We are constantly asked to do more with less, but I wonder if those who ask that question could do the same? I would argue… Nope!

I have seen more and more organizations have this rule of “no administrative assistants allowed.” I can understand the logic. Limited budgets, tough but slow-growing economy. However, I rarely see the same sacrifice.

  • What would a CEO do without an admin?
  • What would a President or Director do without a team?

Probably close the door and cry in their office before starting to work on that ill-fated report that will show their lack of effectiveness?I often wonder if an executive could function without help. Someone to prep them for a meeting. A section leader to guide them as they walk in 10 minutes late to address their leaders. What excuses would be made when they failed to read the emails and no one was there to brief them because they don’t like or do not “have the time” to read said emails, communications, etc.

“I’m Too Busy” - A Sad Excuse

This statement eludes to the thought that they are special. It says that “Who I am and what I do, is more important than you!” and for some this is justified. But only some.

Yes, we are all busy and many executives are busier then most but that is no excuse to make others within your organization your administrative assistants. Because when it comes down to it, in many companies, that is the way employees are treated by any executive - “Just another person that can do the work “I” need them to do, versus what “IS” needed!”

I have seen this too often and keep hoping that I won’t have to see it again.

**Stepping off my soap box**

Culture and Branding: Creating a New DNA for HR

gap Culture and Branding: Creating a New DNA for HR

For Marketing, PR, Sales, etc. you could argue that there has always been an aspect of branding in the way they approach the business. They even, whether they recognize it or not, are creating a culture in the way they interact with their customers, evolving the way they do business. These approaches represent who they are and what they do!

Brand and Culture are, what I would call, “the new sexy” for companies. Really the “new sexy” for anyone in Human Resources. These words… “brand’ and ‘culture’ have become terms that HR has either scathed and embraced.

I was asked to speak at the Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce. It is being held today, Tuesday October 19, 2010. As a part of their HYPE Talent Symposium I will be speaking on the topic of “Brand versus Culture: Creating the new DNA of Human Resources”

I will be touching on the following points:

  • Definition: Brand and Culture
  • What these terms mean, for a Company and  HR, in Talent Management
  • Evolution of HR
  • Best Practices: both good and bad
  • Make no comparisons
  • Don’t let the work get in the way
  • Being Visible
  • Communicate and Listen
  • Admit mistakes
  • Be a business person
  • Understand your own hiring process
Feel free to take a look at the presentation (without context) on Slideshare:
Thanks and wish me luck!

 E-Book available for download 10/21/10. Sign up for the email list!

Image Learning Ebook WhatWeTeachHowWeLearn 300x167 Culture and Branding: Creating a New DNA for HR

By Each Whisper: Gauging company culture by walking through the halls

How many times have you been visiting another office or walking with a colleague down the hall and walked past a few people talking. Not even really talking but having quiet conversations with deliberate low tones and whispers. Two people talking in an inconspicuous dark corner.

I don’t know about you but when I walk by people who are interacting like this I get the sense they are talking about their manager. Maybe the company. How Sue or Dave is getting away with murder or how the company doesn’t do right by XYZ (I am self-conscious so many times I even think they are talking badly about me… go figure).

Have you noticed their body language? The change in the way they look as if they are hiding whatever it is being said. Do you notice how they may go silent or stop when you or anyone else in the same department walks by?

With the job market, business and employee disatisfaction being what it is, I think you may notice more and more of this. I believe that the more whispers and conversations held within and outside of the office halls is evidence of the culture of an organization.

The more you see closed conversations between tight nit groups; people huddling so no one else can hear them, these actions can show just how open, closed or collaborative your culture truly is or is not.

Next time you walk from your cube or office pay attention. Begin to count the number of people whispering. If you notice from day to day the number of people and groups increasing, it could be a strong sign of a closed and even potentially negative organizational culture.

What do you see when you walk through your company?

The Difference Leadership Makes & the LPGA Tour

PT AN025A Golf1 DV 20091120220853 The Difference Leadership Makes & the LPGA TourFor the last 60 years the LPGA has had its ups and downs. Lately more downs. Much of the downs have been through the change in guard. They have had three different commissioners within the last 7 months alone. That kind of change tells you there could be one of four things wrong! Either (1) there is something wrong in the genre of this woman’s sport, (2) fundamentals within the system of the sport are broken, (3) attitudes and styles of the leadership whom control and guide the LPGA or (4) there is something wrong with the organization as a whole. I believe that all four have taken place at different points in the LPGA history yet the one that is most evident is the leadership changes.

Being new to the game of golf as a whole, but being an avid enthusiast in the short time I have played, I have been able to learn so much about it. A recent article within Golf Digest discusses the change in leadership for the LPGA in their choice for Mike Whan as the new commissioner. When I read the article, it reinstated the fact that leadership is so important in how an organization is viewed by consumers, sponsors and lovers of the game.

The article mentioned some key differences in the style of Mike Whan as the new leader versus his predecessor.

Carolyn Bivens (predecessor):

  • Ousted as commissioner in a coup July 2009,
  • Created strained relations with just about all the game’s stakeholders,
  • My-way-or-the-highway approach
  • She and LPGA headquarters damaged relations between tour stops, sponsors, and influential lovers of the game.

Mike Whan

  • He describes his management style as the three Ls — listen, learn, then lead
  • Reached out to past commissioners and players to get their ideas and become stakeholders.
  • Believes that LPGA is not a big business that can be run from on high but rather a mom-and-pop grocery store where his main job is service — making the sponsors and event owners feel appreciated.

See a pattern?

From the article and what I have seen around the LPGA tour, the attitude and environment has changed a lot since Mike Whan took the helm. I have believed that it is not only important that a leader should have the experience, expertise and understanding of an industry… but more important is in the way they interact and listen to the constituents they represent and sell to.

So what is your experience with leadership? Is it in the style, the approach, or is it more in the organization as a whole?


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