‘Tis the season for reflecting on the year that’s ended and planning for the year we’ve entered. A ritual that often results in…NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS!
It’s known that New Year’s resolutions come with an abysmally low success rate—only 8% of people achieve them. Probably as low, if not lower, than the success rate of major organizational changes; such as mergers, reorganizations, and—near-and-dear to the readers of this blog’s hearts—culture change initiatives, which fail at a dismal rate of 70% — a statistic that has not changed in over 30 years.1
We received our best audience feedback ever after the 3rd Annual Ultimate Culture Conference. For the first time, one specific speaker insight stood out and was highlighted by numerous attendees. What was this insight about leadership and culture? Why did it resonate so much? I think it’s a sign of the times as culture transitions from a subject of interest for many to the sustainable driver of effectiveness that many feel compelled to nurture, develop or change.
“I don’t know everyone’s name. I’m embarrassed because I think I should know their names.”
When I interviewed the president of a big insurance firm, I didn’t realize that I’d strike a nerve so soon after our conversation began. This was years ago, but my recollection is powerful.
I recently attended the Ultimate Culture Conference, produced by Human Synergistics. I was blown away by the amount of “real talk” by the expert speakers and panelists. From enabling growth culture, to creating positive change and humble leadership, there was one consistent theme throughout the conference: transformation. At one point, I heard someone ask: “What if changing 30 percent of one thing could improve 100 percent of everything?”
To my fellow entrepreneurs, take a look around. At the way things run. At the revenue stream. At the systems in place. From how you conduct business to the end result, is what you’re doing really working?
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!