Listening Generously – Important but not easy

In my experience, at least 90% of all issues that come up in organizations are rooted in communication challenges. We blame the process or the product or the person, but most of the time, if we improved our ability to listen and speak with greater effectiveness, the problem would be resolved quickly and easily. For this reason, one of the Fundamentals we always recommend is called “Listen Generously.” We often say that listening is more than simply “not speaking.” It’s about being present and engaged by minimizing distractions and letting go of the need to agree or disagree. Perhaps most …

QUALITY: Beyond the Numbers

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant  As regular readers of our blog are familiar with, our approach to culture is focused on behaviors.  By being very deliberate and specific about what behaviors we want our employees to engage in, we’re better able to ensure the type of performance that drives results. One behavior that many of our clients have in one form or another relates to delivering quality work. In fact, Make Quality Personal is one of the Fundamentals (behaviors) that define our culture here at High Performing Culture.  This Fundamental involves much more than simply “doing a good job.”  It talks to the …

Every great “why” needs a great “how”

By David Friedman, CEO/Founder I was watching a ballgame recently when a commercial came on for the NicoDerm patch.  The ad showed a father happily playing with his infant daughter and talking about why he quit smoking.  The theme of the ad was captured in this tagline: “Every great why needs a great how.” When I saw that line, it got me thinking about how this relates to culture and inspiring our teams.  In Simon Sinek’s wildly popular TED talk and best-selling book, Start with Why, he suggests that people are more likely to act when they’re inspired by a …

A Reminder to Keep It Simple!

By Bill Kaiser, Senior Consultant First and foremost, HAPPY 2018 everyone! I’m excited to continue learning and sharing with you in what I’m sure will be an outstanding year for all of us. Wishing you continued success, massive happiness, and wonderful health for the year ahead. I enjoy when it’s my turn to write our blog, but admittedly feel the pressure to deliver insightful and original thoughts. It’s not always easy. Often, I find that I lock in on an idea two weeks before the deadline only to have that collide with some new thought inspired by a random radio …

“The Culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.”*

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant Never have these words rung more true than today. It’s nearly impossible to pick up a newspaper (for those of us that still do that) and not see another example of a high profile news anchor, politician, executive, or major college sports coach being implicated in some type of inappropriate (or worse) behavior. One can only imagine what must be going on in the executive suites of NBC News, CBS News and the numerous other organizations caught in the eye of this hurricane as they try to repair and rebuild both their image as well …

Success Requires a Culture of Teaching

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant See if this sounds at all familiar (substitute the business of your choosing)… I belong to a local gym that has a total staff of what seems to be about 20-25 people.  Sometimes I get a warm and friendly greeting, and sometimes I get nothing. Sometimes I see the fitness center staff actively engaging with members, and sometimes they’re crowded around the desk laughing and chatting with each other for extended periods.  Sometimes the gym floor is neat and clean, and sometimes the waste bins are overflowing. In my mind, and if it were my …

Institutionalizing a  Founder’s Legacy

By Founder/CEO, David J. Friedman The vast majority of our clients are what I would call “entrepreneurial” companies.  That is, they’re usually started by a strong individual with a vision and a passion for creating a great company, and he/she continues to be the primary driving force behind the organization.  In many cases, it’s a family business founded by a patriarch.  While the founder or patriarch has been instrumental to the organization’s success, one of the biggest challenges it now faces is how to carry on that success as the organization expands, and as leadership transitions to the next generation.  …

UPDATE: Driving Culture in a Youth Basketball League – The EGBA Way

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant Back in March I shared my experience introducing our Fundamentals System (our proprietary process to intentionally drive a high performing culture) to my daughter’s youth basketball team. Further, I mentioned that the process was so well-received that the entire league, The East Greenwich Basketball Association (EGBA), decided to implement the process league-wide. For those that might not have seen the original article, here’s a link. We received so much feedback on that post, that I thought it would be worth sharing what’s happened since. Improving the process Since that first article, we’ve made a number of …

Rituals and the Lasting Impact of Internalizing Culture

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant As some of you may already know, a cornerstone of our Fundamentals System is the use of rituals, or recurring practices, which enable us to teach and reinforce desired behaviors over and over again. rituals are what prevent a focus on culture from becoming a “flavor of the month.” It’s not at all uncommon to run into someone who’s skeptical about the power of rituals and a clearly articulated intentional culture.  Since it’s not something that you see in practice very often, some wonder if rituals really have that strong of an impact. The impact …

The Most Important Ingredient for Success

By David Friedman, CEO/Founder When I talk to leaders about my experiences in helping companies to become more intentional and systematic in their work on culture, I’m often asked, “What’s the single biggest factor that will make or break this initiative?”  The answer is pretty easy:  CEO sponsorship.  Let me explain. The Chief Cultural Officer In most organizations, the CEO is the face of the organization.  He/she is the top representative of the organization, the one who sets the example (good or bad) and the tone for what we’re really all about.  Regardless of whatever messaging we want to create, …