Category: Blog Roll

Managing Organizational Culture in a Changing World

If you had a successful business in 2019, you likely experienced some tough setbacks or in other cases, unique opportunities for growth during 2020. Fast forward to 2021, and we’re still working in a very different context than we were before. Most of us are now working either partly or entirely online. Many organizations are either launching or attempting to reinvigorate their DEI initiatives. So, how can we be effective and change-positive stewards for our organizational culture now?

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Inclusion and Belonging with BRAVE Cultures™

This blog is the first of a series of articles on inclusion and belonging and our BRAVE Cultures(™) model.

Maslow was wrong: physical safety isn’t at the base of the needs pyramid: belonging is. Without belonging, the animal body knows there is no hope for safety.

An existential fear arises when we try to differentiate. We betray ourselves to belong. We abandon our own selves to belong.

Too much…too loud…too emotional…all the things.

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Simplify Your Decision Making with The 3T Model

We make decisions all the time—both minor (what brand of milk should I buy?) to major (which strategy will give us the biggest ROI?). If we want better outcomes from our decisions, we could use a tool to help us first narrow down our options. And we could clearly identify when there is only one viable path forward so we don’t waste time chasing dead ends.

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Become an Anti-Racist Organization

We fielded a lot of inquiries in 2020 from leaders who said, “We want to become an anti-racist organization. Can you help us?”

Our first response is curiosity. What does that mean to you? Why do you want to become an anti-racist organization? What would be better at your organization if you did this work? How would you know you’d succeeded? That last one is a loaded question because the work never ends. However, there are measurable indicators of success along the way.

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Your Search for Diverse Leadership Isn’t a Pipeline Problem

Developing diverse leadership: it’s not a pipeline problem. The default way talent pipelines operate is via the path of least resistance.

People tap the shoulders of people who are top of mind. Who is that? Thanks to unconscious bias, it’s usually white, cis-gendered, tall, reasonably attractive men. That’s because the vast majority of people picture someone like that when asked to “picture a leader.”

There are a number of other factors that go into this path of least resistance, beyond unconscious bias. Men tend to brag about themselves more than women do, generally speaking. People of color often have tremendous skills that aren’t traditionally considered to be leadership skills, but that are greatly in demand in these VUCA times.

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Why Identity Matters

Identity matters—it’s not something to be hidden away or left at the door when you arrive at work.

It used to be (and unfortunately still is in many organizations) that when you come to work, your job description and duties were the only things that mattered. Personal business never belonged at work. You left practically all of your identity at the door—your queerness, blackness, femaleness, kids, religion, all the things besides your job skills that make you a whole person. Work and home were never to mix.

But what if we reverse that mindset as leaders and instead, welcome the mix?

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Cultural Competence vs. Cultural Humility

Organizations are generally more culturally aware today than they were even a year ago. Or, at least, more leaders are aware that they need to be more culturally aware. Cultural competence and cultural humility are terms which have started to come up regularly in our professional conversations. Are we moving in the right direction?

What do we mean when we talk about cultural competence vs cultural humility? What are the differences between them and why do they matter for successful leadership? Finally, how can we put them into practice so that they benefit our leaders, team members and organizations?

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More vulnerability makes for better leaders

As part of your workplace team dynamics, can you let down your guard, admit flaws, and ask for help?

For some of you, without hesitation, your answer is a resounding YES, but for others, this couldn’t be further from your truth, and the voice in your head is shouting, “Are you kidding? NEVER!” In your world, this level of vulnerability leads to personal humiliation or career suicide. It’s hard for anyone to tell the truth when the results of doing so might be punitive.

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Making Friends with Fear

Why on earth would someone want to make friends with fear? Isn’t fear the enemy? A glimpse inside the minds of so many these days: “There’s too much to be afraid of these days: if I focus on fear I’ll never get anything done and I’m already struggling to be productive while working at home and what if I get COVID and I’m trying to corral the kids into online learning and, and, and…” (this is the abridged version).

The problem we have with fear is that we usually do everything within our power to avoid it. Unfortunately there is truth to the old adage, “what we resist, persists.” Fear is trying to tell us something, and the longer we resist it, the longer it takes to get the message. More on that in a minute. But first, it’s important to understand how fear can hijack the brain.

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Shifting Your Mindset from Looking Good to Doing Good

This year we’ve seen powerful movements for social justice. Many brands have jumped on those bandwagons only to fall off (or get pushed off). One reason social justice messages aren’t landing well with organizations’ audiences is a perceived lack of authenticity on the part of the brand. If your organization isn’t solidly walking their talk, it’s time to think about shifting your mindset from looking good to doing good.

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