When it comes to shaping a thriving workplace culture, the influence of leaders on their organizations’ overall performance cannot be overemphasized. They serve as role models whose conduct and behavior are expected to align with their organizations’ values. While recent months have provided a deluge of executives and leaders who have lost their way, it’s a compelling time for change agents to help organizations shape their culture for a constructive future.1
I often ask the leaders for whom I consult two simple questions:
First, “Do you need positive feedback to do your best at work—like you need air and water?” Typically, a small percentage will say yes.
Second, I ask the question with a twist: “When you get an ‘atta-boy’ or ‘atta-girl,’ does it make a difference?” Almost everyone, every time, says yes!
It’s been nearly three years since Merriam-Webster declared “culture” its 2014 Word of the Year, but it has yet to lose any momentum. Culture has become ubiquitous in the business world, with media giants from Forbes to CNN to Huffington Post regularly publishing articles on the topic. Numerous articles cite culture as a key contributor (if not the key contributor) to retaining top talent, and research shows an undeniable relationship between culture and financial performance.
But with the spotlight firmly placed on workplace culture, leaders and organizations often miss a crucial piece of the puzzle. Where are all the articles, posts, and interviews on climate?
“Experience” and “learning” are two powerful words that shape and strengthen personal and professional accountability, effectiveness, and success. These two words are close to my heart and mind. I firmly believe that they are of utmost importance in today’s VUCA world.1 The more we can experience and learn, the better we can adapt and explore current and future situations.
The above holds true for the consulting world, too. All client projects or contracts are an experiential learning curve for consultants, as each engagement hones the consulting growth mindset. Effective utilization of this mindset facilitates better client service and a successful consulting engagement.
Blatant discrimination is now a much rarer phenomenon in the workplace than it used to be. Since the introduction of modern legislative policies (i.e., affirmative action in the USA and the Employment Equity Act in Canada), along with the increased awareness of social justice, issues pertaining to systematic or blatant discrimination in the workplace have decreased in the last decades.1