Lessons From The Masters

By Al Curnow, Senior Consultant One of my favorite activities this time of year is to watch The Masters golf tournament. Growing up in snowy New England, The Masters always represented the coming of Spring for me.  The ultra green grass, the azalea bushes and even the chirping birds are all signs of a new, better and warmer season ahead.  The other thing that always impresses me about this tournament is how incredibly well mannered the crowd is. I’ve watched and attended many professional golf tournaments.  The behavior of the crowd at these events is generally becoming worse over the …

Winners Never Quit

By Rob Wolff, Senior Consultant Best of the Best It’s hard to read a business journal or to view LinkedIn without seeing a reference to a Best Place to Work once or twice a week. Some offer tips and insight into how to be recognized as a BPTW. Those who win the designation are understandably and justifiably proud. On a certain scale, the award is recognition that you’ve made it – you conquered that hill and you reside at the top. Now, it’s time to focus on those other business priorities and opportunities, right? Regular readers of our blog know …

Is your culture person-dependent or institutionalized?

By David J. Friedman, CEO/Founder Almost every week I’m traveling around the country, most frequently by plane.  While traveling can sometimes be tiring, it’s also a fascinating time to observe people.  Perhaps it’s my natural curiosity, but watching various people respond to the same situation in vastly different ways always gets me thinking.  Why the difference?  And how can we create more consistency? Last week I was on two different flights in which I was thankfully upgraded to first class (one of the few perks of flying more than 100,000 miles per year).  On the first one, I had an …

No Medals for Looking Good

By Bill Kaiser, Senior Consultant Well, the Olympics have ended, and we now have to figure out which of our 930 TV channels will replace the PyeongChang 2018 void. Once again, I got sucked into the excitement of the winter games. I was lukewarm watching the opening ceremony, as I admittedly haven’t kept up with the latest “goings-on” with curling, ice dancing, and skeleton. At first, I was drawn in by the heart-tugging stories. The greased-up Tongan competing in cross-country skiing after representing Tonga in taekwondo in the Brazil 2016 Summer Olympics. Lindsay Vonn going for gold, but also spreading …

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 …