Can you measure culture?

I’m sometimes asked by CEOs, “How can we measure the effect of our work on our culture?” Well, the short answer is that you can’t, but the longer answer is that there are definitely things we can measure, and should be measuring, that are important leading indicators of success. Let me explain further.  You can’t isolate the variables The reason I say that you can’t directly measure the impact of your work on culture is that you just can’t isolate the variables. If your sales or profits increased by 18% last year, was that due to the work you did …

Is Articulating And Communicating Your Values Enough?

I was talking to a CEO recently and he shared with me his decision to make articulating and communicating his values a key strategic initiative for his company for 2015. But when I asked him what he thought this would accomplish, he became silent. It certainly sounded like an admirable thing to do and many companies go down this path, making a big production of their values statements, putting them on their website, holding company-wide meetings, and maybe even featuring them in the company newsletter. And yet, at the end of the day, does communicating your values really impact your …

Is Employee Engagement Enough?

There’s a lot of talk these days about employee engagement. And for good reason. When you look at the statistics showing the percentage of American workers who are either not fully engaged or are actively disengaged, it’s pretty startling. This short video tells the story pretty effectively. But here’s an even bigger question: Is getting your employees engaged enough? I’m often asked about this, and more specifically, how the Fundamentals system relates to employee engagement. Let me try to answer those questions here. Unlocking discretionary effort Employee engagement is about capturing the hearts and minds of your people. It’s about …

Pizza or Performance?

Many leaders I meet will tell me that they have good cultures. They’re justifiably proud of their companies, their people, and the environment in which those people work. But when I press a little harder and ask what they mean by a “good” culture, I hear things like this: Our people get along Our people are engaged Our people like coming to work And when I ask their people what makes it a “good” culture, they add things like: I feel appreciated I enjoy the people I work with We have pizza every Friday We can wear jeans We have …

Who cares what you believe?

Here’s something I’ve noticed a lot lately: Much of the literature around organizational culture has a heavy emphasis on the importance of articulating the values and beliefs that define a company’s culture. The thinking is that if you can clearly articulate the core principles that are truly central to who you are, then you can drive greater organizational alignment. It sounds pretty smart, but does it really work? I’m not so sure.  What’s the impact? I have to admit that I’m a bit of a contrarian on this point. To be clear, there’s nothing wrong, and in fact, there’s a …