Culture University

Positively impacting society on a global scale through culture awareness, education and action.

Edward Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods one of the largest United States retailers took a bold stand to no longer sell assault rifles. In addition, they will only sell guns to those 21 years and older. At a time when the country is divided over second amendment rights, gun control, and public safety, why would a company like Dick’s make such a decision? Was it the discovery that Nikolas Cruz the 19-year-old responsible for the Florida attack had purchased a gun from Dick’s previously? Was it because of the millennials protesting gun violence? What are the cultural implications? These answers can be found by looking at how the environment influences decision-making, public opinion, leadership, and culture.

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There are several approaches to changing cultural norms in an organization, however, the actual transformation comes from its people doing something unique, adopting new behaviors, changing the way they solve problems, and the way they communicate and interact with each other.

To change something, we must understand the way it’s created, formed and influenced. Here are three powerful drivers of culture: behaviors, techniques, and symbols.

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A while ago, I was counseling a senior executive of a government bureau who was two years into shaping his agency to be more customer and results-centered. He rebuilt his 200-person group, propelled key actions, coached his staff on changing mindsets, and settled on some challenging personnel decisions. At about the same time these efforts were beginning to reveal positive outcomes, a new governor was named. His main goal? To shape my client’s agency to be more customer- and results-centered! What could this senior leader say? "That’s what we’re already doing" would have appeared defensive and resistant. He basically sat passively as his new manager laid out plans for stirring things up.

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Charting For Change In The Workplace

By Daniel Lock

Change management can be tedious and challenging, but it is a well-trodden path. Many analysts have created useful models to manage change in different respects; this article touches upon Kurt Lewin’s famous change model and presents insights about actionable changes.

Kurt Lewin was a German-American psychologist who served as a professor in US universities before becoming a director at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In the 1940s, Lewin proposed his Change Management Model that presented how organizations adapt and deal with change.

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Why Boards of Directors Need a New Profile

By Graham Williams

A scan of the literature, the internet and my interviews with a number of governance practitioners has revealed that when selecting and developing board directors – profit or non-profit, the focus is very much on what they know, who they know, and what they’ve done.

Perhaps, given the awesome responsibilities of 21st century directors (both profits and non-profits), with business having a key role in overcoming probable mega-disasters in society, the environment and the economy; the focus should at least be equally on their character virtues, an other- orientation (not self-serving), and purpose.

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The interest in culture continues to grow but this growth comes with a proliferation of over-simplified and incorrect information about culture and culture change. Culture University was launched in 2014 to cut through this misinformation and it’s grown to be a great resource for leaders and change agents (this is post #191).

Five new posts garnered the highest traffic in 2017 and my personal top insight from each post is captured in the list below.

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