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How to Avoid 5 Lethal Culture Landmines

By Magi Graziano

While most awake and aware leaders say they want a constructive corporate culture, many are uncertain of what it really takes to cause cultural change. Consequently, many executives and managers unintentionally create conditions in their work environment for a destructive culture to ferment and metastasize throughout their organization. This happens when leaders focus too much on the task dimension and lose sight of the culture dimension. When leaders step over, ignore, or inadvertently reward the five lethal landmines, culture and strategy alignment fragment and fall apart.

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In 2017, THRUUE launched a podcast interviewing leaders about their experiences closing the gap between strategy and culture. Recently, Tim Kuppler, Director of Culture and Organizational Development at Human Synergistics, sat down with CultureGap podcast host Daniel Forrester and executive producer Becca Conary for a reflective interview on what they've learned from leaders around the world who seek to close the gap between culture and strategy.

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The heartwarming movie, Hidden Figures, reveals the overlooked and crucial contributions from a pivotal moment in American history. Through historical footage, we are treated to President John F. Kennedy speaking about NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon. President Kennedy galvanized an entire country behind a seemingly mind-boggling task: to send a man to the moon and return him safely to earth. The team at NASA easily understood and connected with the mission, vision and values that the President espoused. In the same way, leaders and organizations that succeed in connecting their people to a greater purpose can expect to reap the rewards of a robust culture along with healthy outcomes.

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Leading is not dependent on title or placement on an organizational chart. Nor is it confined to office walls. ERDMAN’s Integrative Thinking. Healthier Communities. occurs when our technical experts realize the importance of developing our leadership excellence is even more vital. ERDMAN’s culture journey has focused on developing a culture of leadership in which people at any level can grow into leaders, support each other’s development, achieve goals, and fulfill shared purpose.

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As social and emotional beings, we have a deep need to belong and also to be valued for our unique contributions. When this doesn’t happen in healthy, mature and constructive ways, we seek out ways to get our needs met in unhealthy, immature and destructive ways. When our motives, language and actions become harmful to ourselves and to others, it is time for a detox.

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Key insights for creating a remarkable workplace culture! It’s been an exceptional year of shared learning through case examples, stories, and posts on best practices, and we’re delighted to share the following blog posts that garnered the highest traffic during the past year. 

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Does Culture HAVE to Eat Strategy for Lunch?

By Catherine M. (Cathy) Perme

Without conducting a cultural assessment up front, we could have only guessed at the organizational dynamics. Having a cultural assessment gave us the information we needed. If you want reliable information built on solid research that validates clients’ experiences and gives you the levers for change, it's essential to use industry-recognized tools. The rest is up to you! 

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Our Ultimate Culture Conferences allow us to bring visibility to important insights from culture pioneers and progressive leaders. Recently, we shifted our focus to a regional format in partnership with major universities, and in September, we collaborated with the University of Wisconsin Center for Professional and Executive Development (CPED) to host our 1st Regional Ultimate Culture Conference. The following seven “ultimate culture insights” made an impact with the passionate audience of culture experts and change agents.

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Organizational Culture Assessment in a Non-Profit Organization

By Arief Kartolo, Carolyn Rauti and Catherine Kwantes

The usefulness of organizational culture as a construct for research and an assessment tool for organizations has been well established over the past decades.1 While research and practice involving organizational culture are, to a large extent, associated with for-profit organizations, crucial work in the usefulness of understanding organizational culture for non-profit organizations and its actual impact and practicality can be found in broad sectors of society.

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#1 Reason for Culture Change Success

By Donna Brighton

Successful culture change is a leadership commitment, not a project. Leadership is about action—behaving in new ways that set an example. Commitment is needed because employees look to the leaders to see whether their behaviors align with their words.

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Leadership is indeed a position and level within an organization, but how we lead is our choice. More importantly, how we work with our fellow leaders can help us inspire the best in our teams, be true role models for members of the broader organization, and shape our culture in a more positive and Constructive way.

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How an Icebreaker Can Demonstrate Group Synergy

By Caroline Walker and Hallie VanManen

A key advantage of using group problem-solving simulations is that they make the abstract concept of synergy more concrete by enabling participants to quantify and compare individual versus group performance. It can also help participants understand that synergy is not easily achieved.

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At its core, the role of a Change Agent in culture change is to help leaders solve problems. Big problems, small problems. It begins with steady efforts to facilitate change that accrue into a collective transformation—change that takes place over time. It is more like a journey than a race. And the more stakeholders who join this journey, the better.

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Changing an organization’s culture is considered one of the most difficult challenges for leaders, and those with experience will confirm that it can be a massive undertaking.

Change agents, whether internal or external, provide guidance and expertise and help leadership teams understand the challenge at hand, assess next steps, and collaborate on a clear path forward.

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As organizations weigh the effectiveness of their employee feedback programs, companies must consider Feedforward as a way to revitalize and complement their existing processes while re-engaging their employees not in who they were, but who they aspire to become.

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Most leaders have heard the expression, “You need to drive your culture or it will drive your business—for better or worse.” In reality, putting these words into action to achieve real cultural change with sustainable, measurable results is a long-term journey. The payoff is huge. With vision, focus, and investment in the right culture experts, diagnostics, and change processes, a Constructive culture can drive significant business performance.

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