Two Articles on Culture to read

A couple of useful articles on Culture in the Business - and why it creates income and performance

 

The First article is new employees looking in.

This simple take on a new employee looking for work and asking if they fit in from Fast Company underlines two points for me.

1. A good new employee will judge the business on how they see the culture these days (not just the money)

2. If you don’t have a company handbook (aka Cultural Map) it says a lot

https://www.fastcompany.com/3062705/how-to-tell-if-youll-fit-into-a-companys-culture-before-you-take-the-job

 

The second article is from HBR and is all about Trust and financial performance.

The facts are we see lots of articles, lots of key book (Covey etc) that are seminal at this time and still DO Nothing!

Tribal Leadership creates triads as simply put  3 = Culture (one is person, two is a relationship, 3 is..)

At 3 you have to work with others, you have to listen, and you have to create outcomes that work for all - so its clear why this is opposed by the ‘I’m great and you are not’ stage 3 brigade!

Don’t forget Stage 3 people create nothing for the legacy of the business (or infact others)

https://hbr.org/2016/07/the-connection-between-employee-trust-and-financial-performance

One of my favourite ones from @gapingvoid

One of my favourite ones from @gapingvoid

what am i reading right now?

I like reading a range of books - challenging my thinking. So right now I'm reading Cory Taylor's moving and eloquent testimony to death. I know not your everyday 'happy clappy' but packed with thought provoking life! Then a chapter a day (again) on Hugh MacLeod book on creativity - brilliant short chapters with business based thinking - I'd give a copy to every staff member! Finally The Seventh Sense - on audible while walking (bonus exercise and thoughts?) - very provoking rendering of the future renaissance of connection.

Movement is Essential.

I love this picture and David Lynch quote. It captures the core truth that without movement, without trying, without experience, we learn nothing. This is true of us personally and in business. And yet the passivity to change is one of our greatest struggles. 

How is it that so many people and ideas get struck? The obvious examples are in retail and family generational business. But not so clear are the wonderful leaders caught in a system.

Change is difficult and not easy. It comes with a cost. You have to do battle with the no-sayers and bullies - 'we tried that and it doesn't work' brigade, the egotistic who won't 'buy in' unless its all about them. But I find the deeper cost is the internal resistance (well written about by Steven Pressfield). The voice that still nags for an easier life, and a minimising of the costs. It becomes just that bit more personal. But then I remember my Dr Who. and with my best Dalek voice say 'resistance is futile!!'

Cultural Survey by App?

😊😐🤔☹️ 

Niko Niko is an App I've just found that allows the team users to post how they feel and see their moods later on the calander. 

Fun idea as you play with an App and then create happy or sad faces, could be good for an individual to record moods during a day, helping you create better moods ? etc ..I thought.....and then it dawned on me this was a load of tech for little value... How much better to select a photo from your phone album and actually change your mood for the better just by looking at it? We don't hold onto negative pictures do we? We hold onto friends and family because it reminds us of love and who loves us.

I found just about every picture in my album made me smile remembering a great event, holiday or family moment .....Voila mood change easy and for good - App not required - life simpler and happier.

Here is one of my favourites of a grandson doing a photoshoot

I think the message is clear

I think the message is clear

Feedback

Feedback some notes to getting value from others here...simon_small  The best question to ask is ‘what can i do to do better as ........’ Feedback asking how people feel about us, what they don’t like etc. tends to be ineffective in getting  anything useful + people don’t want to give it to you! (messengers get shot!)  The best response is                          ‘thank you’ no more or less. treat every piece of advise as a gift or compliment. make notes and go away and process. Its so easy to ask for help, then start arguing with the help offered with the result the person you asked doesn’t want to do offer anything more. Finding the blind spots. A chance to move forward.

Here is a list of tools I use Marshall Goldsmith highlights this using a Johari window. The 4 quadrants are: what I only know about myself (private), what I don’t know and other don’t either (not use of course), what I know and is know to others (public, probably limited) and finally what I don’t know and other do (blind spots and the information to make changes that count)

Suggestions to find the blind spots You have to observe to see! What do people say casually about you - make a list. So ‘can’t get in contact with you Simon’, ‘you don’t seem to have this done clearly’, ‘are you listening?’, ‘could you put the phone down please?’ may all be showing up patterns. The listen to yourself. Are you constantly either saying how great you are, or how bad you are? Great phrases like ‘it doesn’t really matter to me but...’ = this seriously matters to me!

Do a good Physc test and share it with a significant other, and listen. I’ve recently done a variety of different ones and would recommend HBNI and McQuaig for coaching assignments. If you are very ‘numbers and words’ then a Hogan profile. These surveys are very accurate and come from your own answers rather than 360 group feedbacks. As a version of this you don’t have to do a test to get some feedback from the significant other at home - but you may need a third party to ask the question (like the coach). The ‘other’ does see you as you are. When I’ve talked to my wife about being driven and dominate in my thinking (which I’d prefer to think is me being helpful and working with people) she gently laughs and says ‘of course you’. She has 35yrs of it!

Tribal Leadership (Dave Logans best seller) has a method called ‘Daily Boxes’. You self score each day out of 5 to the areas of Exercise, Attitude, Rejuvenation, Nutrition. Simple but revealing.

Sentence completion. Pick something you want to get better. Put into into a sentence ‘if I get better at...I will...’ Don’t stop until you have gone down 10 versions. The surprise is you start to say the core truths.

Journal. Writing is a discipline that engages mind, eye and hand. Talking to yourself in this way often produces themes and ideas that are ‘core’ to you. Just notice them, don’t go back re reading areas.

Dissociate and observe, then re integrate. A little harder to do until you practice. Its important to do it from the perspective of an enquiry. Look at all these things, Notice whats strong and whats weakly trying for attention, be curious in this, what are these things saying thats helping/ thats distracting. Reintegrate with some personal love and acceptance.

Part of growth is accepting we don’t have all the answers.

Cultural Change to make all the difference

Tribal Leadership

There are few things that you can't process improve, modify, structurally change or cost cut in a Managed World. But there is one thing, your most import 'thing' - your human resource.

The future is about one thing - human potential.

The edge for a business is its people, the way they work and the culture that exists because of them in the company. Upgrading your cultural level (to a min 4 or 5 in Tribal Leadership language) changes everything! It gives your business a legacy, and true teams that work beyond the level of 80% of senior leaders in the world.

It goes beyond the 'I' limits of individual endeavour to create truly great 'We' business's that leave the competition far behind.

 

How do we get to what's next in business?

   

 

 What Next and how do we get there?

   There are a few things that are certain in life, and uncertainty of the future is one!

    For years in business we have done what I call ‘the filing error’. We have filled our mental filing cabinets with information from current situations saying; ‘look that worked here, remember that, it will be useful next time’. Businesses have been made in predicting the future like this, deifying the process as ‘common sense’.

Things have changed and we think differently. What worked last time probably won’t now. Additionally if its knowledge based its dollar value is vastly reduced. Knowledge is now free, communication is almost instant, transparency is expected, and we have global resources. Did you see that coming? It’s frightening and many institutions are in denial.

On a personal note I see it in consultants who so often maximised income by confusing subjects by specialised language and siloed resources. My pet hate here would be the computer specialist who always made me feel an idiot. I now ring Apple ‘help’ who laughs with me about the issue, while helping me download the fix and only then asks for my warranty serial number!

What next?

The only real value is in human potential. Human interactions that create deep value and cultural potency, in a world that otherwise moves on, at a ‘click’.

Leading business voices place the effect of organisational culture as more important than the strategic plan, and 80% of this is attributed to leadership behaviours.*

So the future certainty is the need for this different sort of leader. A leader who can lead in this new world. I suggest it’s a leader emotionally in touch, demonstrating courage (a quality of ‘heart’), totally proficient in what was called, with a hint of despair,  ‘soft skills’.

Of course these leaders will have consummate skill in an area – I’d call it their genius, this is why they are allowed to play! - while also being on a journey of constant learning, and enquiry. They will have strategic inputs for themselves of a wide range of materials and experiences and encourage their team’s members also in their individual genius. They will create great teams by joining members by their values, and find outstanding missions for their company that only come by multiplication of human potential. These will be profitable and they will create new classes of business and stay relevant, as constant change is here to stay.

Business was always about people, and it is personal.  The class of leader to own this future will nimbly create hope and focus (clarity), and replace fear with confidence in an uncertain world. They will give useful feedback and will be fun as she will remember ‘rule no.6’ ** - Don’t take yourself so g…damm seriously.

 

*Prof. M Higgs HR, Mgt and OD University Southampton – 80% of organisational culture is attributable to leadership. London School of Economics says culture is 8 x more influential on performance variation than the strategic plan. Tribal Leadership NT Times best seller by Logan & King ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’.

** The Art of Possibility by B and RS Zander – Chapter 6. US National Bestseller.

It could be a Lie!

Believe me!  

 

 

 

 

There is a range of lies that come to us as wisdom. Its wisdom you have from an idea driven into you from your background and past, or its the 'sensible' advice of a friend. Mostly this wisdom relies on past information and we make the mistake of using it in the present.

Some lies that I've noticed that DON'T help me at all!

  1. Comfort is my life goal. Regrettably we often believe that comfort, and having stuff, will create a satisfied life. I'm not going to waste a lot of time on this one as you have only got to see people who retire early 'into the country' or those that strike it lucky once early in life, and then check out, to see this is rubbish.  The close lie to this is also You are your work.  So lets leave this as a question to how we see our futures.
  2. Everyone knows something I don't. More insidious this one as we probably don't want to acknowledge we think like this. Its symptoms are your retreat from engagement, staying out of discussions, looking good comments, silo work etc.. The truth is of course that YOU know things that others don't - your input and uniqueness is vital to the business - only you think the way you do and without you we are less.
  3. You must be careful to not run out of money. Personally one of the most damaging ideas for my creative brain as focus on money usually inhibits any creative thought with the blocks of 'worry'. I hear my father say this, and an accountant that I fired who told me that our young company results we so bad that we must not spend anything (including marketing, phone and exhibit work) in the next 12 months. Following his advice would have destroyed the company which was focused on marketing new concepts in a growth area in the UK.  Sure he was giving good advice (wisdom from current information), but it was wrong and created fear. And fear is an issue for an entrepreneurial mindset.
  4. It will never be this good again (or as good again- pre GFC) This fear inducer almost produces a black cloud in my minds eye as I say it! Like all fears there is only one antidote - do something! Take and action, or passivity wins and creates this outcome - its the one you have accepted and focused on isn't it? Lets reframe this and suggest that it will never be 'the same' again which is good isn't it? We want creative change, new ideas and opportunties - and they are only an action away.
  5. I'm not good enough to be in this role. Its surprising to see great business people often think they got to this position by some sort of external luck. Or 'if people really knew me, then...' In my experience this disempowering lie minimises the enjoyment of your true success and makes you a victim of others actions. A sort of - 'I'm no good and they are all right' situation as one of my colleagues says. The reality of seeing yourself today and being present can change this and refuel the enjoyment of life - it also tends to help people feel a lot more comfortable as they are around the real you.
Lies come to us in many ways - they always come 'sold' as the only solution. A great trick to seeing them is to Pause, don't react, see what is being created emotionally and decide 'is this what I want to happen, to believe - or is there another way?'

 

Great Feedback needed?

If we are serious about change and moving onward in our Leadership, then its what we don't know in our    behaviour and lives that will make the most differnce. Most senior leaders don't need more 'stuff': more financials, more strategic work etc. Most of this is information that they need to know how to obtain, and then deal with correctly. Its the base line to leading. But the real gain for them, and those around them, is to the changes that move them from great to excellent. Feedback is a great way to find the 'gaps' - here are my notes on this today.

The best question to ask is

‘what can i do to do better as ........’

Feedback asking how people feel about us, what they don’t like etc. tends to be ineffective in getting anything useful + people don’t want to give it to you! (messengers get shot!)

The best response is

‘thank you’

no more or less. treat every piece of advise as a gift or compliment. make notes and go away and process. 
Its so easy to ask for help, then start arguing with the help offered with the result the person you asked doesn’t want to do offer anything more.

Finding the blind spots. A chance to move forward.

Marshall Goldsmith highlights this using a Johari window. The 4 quadrants are: what I only know about myself (private), what I don’t know and other don’t either (not use of course), what I know and is know to others (public, probably limited) and finally what I don’t know and other do (blind spots and the information to make changes that count)

Suggestions to find the blind spots

You have to observe to see! What do people say casually about you - make a list. So ‘can’t get in contact with you Simon’, ‘you don’t seem to have this done clearly’, ‘are you listening?’, ‘could you put the phone down please?’ may all be showing up patterns.

The listen to yourself. Are you constantly either saying how great you are, or how bad you are? Great phrases like ‘it doesn’t really matter to me but...’ = this seriously matters to me!

Do a good Physc test and share it with a significant other, and listen. I’ve recently done a variety of different ones and would recommend HBNI and McQuaig for coaching assignments. If you are very ‘numbers and words’ then a Hogan profile. These surveys are very accurate and come from your own answers rather than 360 group feedbacks.

As a version of this you don’t have to do a test to get some feedback from the significant other at home - but you may need a third party to ask the question (like the coach). The ‘other’ does see you as you are. When I’ve talked to my wife about being driven and dominate in my thinking (which I’d prefer to think is not me being helpful and working with people) she gently laughs and says ‘of course you’. She has 35yrs of it!

Tribal Leadership (Dave Logans best seller) has a method called ‘Daily Boxes’. You self score each day out of 5 to the areas of Exercise, Attitude, Rejuvenation, Nutrition. Simple but revealing.

Sentence completion. Pick something you want to get better. Put into into a sentence ‘if I get better at...I will...’ Don’t stop until you have gone down 10 versions. The surprise is you start to say the core truths.

Journal. Writing is a discipline that engages mind, eye and hand. Talking to yourself in this way often produces themes and ideas that are ‘core’ to you. Just notice them, don’t go back re reading areas.

Dissociate and observe, then re integrate. A little harder to do until you practice. Its important to do it from the perspective of an enquiry. Look at all these things, Notice whats strong and whats weakly trying for attention, be curious in this, what are these things saying thats helping/ thats distracting. Reintegrate with some personal love and acceptance.

Part of growth is accepting we don’t have all the answers.

Personal branding. A big area, but getting your essence in pictures and words creates a template for your empowerment and clarity. I've found doing this work with clients invaluable for their futures, discovering things they 'know' but missed.

 

Catalyse - a personal brand (plogo!)

New Personal Brand This is part of my new logo - its a personal one, its 'me' - we call it a 'plogo'.

Its been a interesting journey discovering, and enjoying, the fact that I AM a brand. I took courage to start this exercise by reading Seth Godin's book Linchpin. Here he takes the concept of a product needing to be a 'Purple Cow' (you may need to read this book if you haven't as its essential) to get onto our radar even for a moment - if its not remarkable then we don't notice it and 'click' we are gone! - and starts to define the future of people at work into also becoming 'remarkable' and 'Linchpins'- stand outs, truly themselves, wonderfully relevant and skilful. In fact you just can't do without them in your business!

But to do this you actually need to know who you are! You need a personal brand and that means a name that is uniquely expressive of your essence, and outputs such as a graphic design, professional story (CV) and even perhaps your music and your art. (I don't have my music yet but I do have a couple of artists working on my art - very exciting)

This has a strong business dimension in that it defines you in your work, makes you stand out from the crowd and clarifies your value to clients.

So my plogo is Catalyse. I have always found unique possibilities, and created significant value in business, by bringing things together that others have missed. I do this now for new brands and people. With Executives I help them find themselves, their core, and move past the ingrained barriers that stop them becoming even more successful. For new products I link my aggressive, pioneering spirit with finding the essence needed to make a 'blue ocean' - I catalyse.

If you would like to know about Personal Branding it would be a pleasure to tell you more - +64 21 556 458