Blog >
company culture

company culture

In this article, Dan Markovitz explores what makes a company a healthy one. What is a healthy person? We can argue over specific metrics, but we’d all agree that we have to account for physical as well as mental/emotional health. What is a healthy organization? As with individuals, there will be disagreement over metrics, but clearly we have to consider financial performance, internal stakeholders (employees), and external stakeholders (community). Healthy organizations recognize the importance of all three areas, and while…
In this article, Paul Millerd explains why working at McKinsey changed how he thought about organizations, culture, values and the idea of “high performance”. Driving to work that day I was filled with excitement. It was not a feeling I had associated with work in the past.As I drove into the parking garage, I still had that rush of excitement. I found myself walking faster than usual from the parking garage into the office building. As I climbed the stairs…
Darryl Stickel shares an article that explores building trust in a hostile environment. Amid the smoke and rubble of destroyed buildings stand a defiant Ukrainian people.  They are determined to protect their homeland from Russian invaders.  The Russians have more weapons, equipment, and trained soldiers.  But, within the borders of Ukraine, the Russians don’t have more people, and they don’t have a leader like Ukrainian President Zelensky. Many leaders must be looking at the situation in Ukraine and wondering how…
Mark Ledden shares the first installment of this three-part series of articles describing Kenning’s 3D Culture Process. To help our clients get smarter and more intentional about their cultures, we’ve developed a proprietary methodology called 3D Culture. It’s a robust yet efficient 3-step process (Diagnose, Design, and Develop) for evaluating the current state of a client’s culture and prescribing a set of actions, as necessary, aimed at (re)building a healthy culture while ensuring optimal integration with the organization’s vision, mission,…
Mark Ledden shares a company post that can help develop a strategy to drive culture change.  This is the final installment of a three-part series of articles describing Kenning’s 3D Culture process, which focuses on the Development phase of the process. In the previous two articles we described the Diagnose and Design phases (the first two “D’s” of the 3D process), and made the case that, while culture “happens” in any organization organically (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse), culture…
Zaheera Soomar shares a post that explains why you should take a proactive approach to examining the culture before you buy into the organization. I came across a few Linked in posts about candidate experiences and organizations requests in recruitment. I read through the comments to see how others felt and it didn’t leave me feeling comfortable. I tried to reflect and dig deep about why I’m feeling uncomfortable. I reflected on my past experiences in both joining organizations but…
Barry Horwitz shares a post that explores the meaning of organizational structure, and why the right kind of strength is needed when developing strategies. One of the phrases I frequently hear — often attributed to management guru Peter Drucker — is that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” Many times, what’s being suggested is that strategy is, therefore, irrelevant. Naturally, as a strategist, I disagree! That said, it’s no accident that this quote has survived for as long as it has….
Alistair Hodgett shares a post that asks how you end the work week and offers tips on how to make the pre-weekend break productive. The end of the work week can be many things: The end of a period of work, consisting of achievements and difficulties A transition to leisure time, activities or time with family and friends A preparation for the next working week, making plans, lists or priorities Each of these is worth observing to discover how you…
In this article published on Forbes.com, Diane Mulcahy shares an illuminating interview with Krystal Hicks where they discuss women in the gig economy and why companies don’t trust their employees. Krystal Hicks is the founder of JOBTALK, a company that grew out of her side gig providing talent, recruiting, and job-hunting advice to companies and individuals. Before going out on her own, she managed U.S. Talent Acquisition for the Swiss chocolate maker Lindt, and was the former Director of Career…
Susan Drumm shares a podcast from her series, The Enlightened Executive. In this episode, she interviews Chris Shembra on the many benefits of developing a gratitude process.  Wellness is so much more than physical and mental health.   For decades, physical health was the number one conversation happening in the wellness space. Food and exercise were the primary focus. Over time, the conversation started expanding to mental health. Meditation, going to therapy and prioritizing mindfulness became more common. Now, a shift…
Ben Dattner shares an article published in Harvard Business Review that reveals the source of most conflicts in the workplace.  Conflict happens everywhere, including in the workplace. When it does, it’s tempting to blame it on personalities.  But more often than not, the real underlying cause of workplace strife is the situation itself, rather than the people involved. So, why do we automatically blame our coworkers? Chalk it up to psychology and organizational politics, which cause us to oversimplify and…
Robyn Bolton shares one simple rule that can help build a culture of innovation and a solid team.  I do.  We do.  You do. My Mom taught pre-school.  It wasn’t a job; it was her calling.  Kids gravitated to her like she was the Pied Piper, and she greeted them with unequaled patience, acceptance, and love.  Years later, her students would talk about how she changed their lives when they were only four years old.  And she did it by…
  While many companies pay lip service to company values, and many more don’t pay attention past the brand development and marketing stage, Xavier Lederer shares an evergreen post from his company blog that explains why establishing and maintaining core values are integral to a company’s direction, growth, and success. ‘Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.’ – David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot The #1 thing I wish I had…
  David Hensley shares a post on management that looks at the socio-political environment, the capabilities of the leader, and the alignment of the organisations’ people, policies and systems as the basis for the development of three paradigms. We’ve observed – as we’re sure you have – that different managers and leaders have very different management/leadership styles. And that those styles don’t always fit the expectations of their organisations. We’ve also noted that whilst the miscommunication and dysfunctionality that a…
  In this article, Tineke A. Keesmaat shares the results from a series of roundtable discussions on reimagining organizations post COVID-19.    “TILTCO held a series of roundtable discussions in January and February 2021. Attended by business leaders, consultants, academics and experts, the discussions gathered insights and practical ideas to help leaders reimagine their organizations as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.  The pandemic has turbo charged the move to new ways of working. Hybrid work environments – that is,…
  Zaheera Soomar shares a post that explores the problem of prospective employees following an organizations’ assessment of their ‘cultural fit’.  I came across a few LinkedIn posts about candidate experiences and organizations requests in recruitment. I read through the comments to see how others felt and it didn’t leave me feeling comfortable. I tried to reflect and dig deep about why I’m feeling uncomfortable. I reflected on my past experiences in both joining organizations but also in hiring individuals…
  Zaheera Soomar shares a comprehensive and well-researched paper that highlights a framework organisations with remote and virtual teams can use as a guideline to build and maintain trust. Trust is an important concept in assessing and measuring business behaviour from an organisational performance and culture lens, and has become a source of competitive advantage for organisations especially within the knowledge economy. Studies show that organizations with a high level of trust have increased employee morale, more productive workers, and…
  Paul Millerd takes a look at business growth data from the 1970’s onward to build a vision of future organizations and explain how the changing business landscape will impact the work environment.  I have studied organizations, people and motivation and am fascinated by the changes that have unfolded in my relatively short career. I’ll defer to Neils Bohr to qualify this entire piece: ‘Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future’ — Neils Bohr Since I can’t predict the…
  Surbhee Grover discusses diversity and inclusion and explains why solidarity is the key to forging a new paradigm of equality.  The fashion industry saw one debacle after another in 2018-19 that demonstrated just how wide the gap is between how businesses should behave and how they do. In the recent past, Burberry, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana have been hurt by adverse publicity highlighting their cultural insensitivity.  Dolce & Gabbana’s “Eating with Chopsticks” commercials showed an Asian model trying…
  In a recent interview on The Transformative Leader Podcast, Susan Meier discusses the importance of integrating creativity at work even, and especially, in jobs not traditionally considered creative. I always had these two very strong, for a long time, parallel and separate tracks of things that I was interested in. I was always interested in the arts, both in making art and studying the history of art, and then I was also really captivated by the problem solving analytical…
  Jeremy Greenberg’s company has published a report that shares insight and statistics into workplace diversity. The research is clear that diversity in the workplace is good for both employers and employees. Many prominent studies have found proven benefits of a more diverse work environment. These benefits include an increase in innovation, reduction in turnover, a higher level of creativity, and a more effective understanding of the needs of different market segments. The corporate bottom line is affected as well….
  Diane Mulcahy explains why the current model of the office worker is difficult to change despite the evidence of increased productivity from the remote worker. No one expected (or wanted) remote work to scale because of a virus and subsequent global pandemic. But, here we are.  The battle for remote work has been ongoing. Employees want the choice and flexibility to work outside the office at least some of the time, but many companies and even more managers resist…
  Jason George shares an origin story of management consulting and lessons from the barnyard to highlight the benefits of putting people and practice before personal profit.  Marvin Bower faced a critical choice. He had led McKinsey & Company from its earliest years, in the process helping to define the fledgling field of management consulting. Now nearing retirement age, it was time to hand the reins to the next generation of leaders. As the principal shareholder in the partnership, Bower’s…
  Sarah Ralston Miller and Zaheera Soomar co-authored this article on how to support and strengthen company culture during the current crisis.  Through the Covid-19 pandemic, our world of work has changed almost overnight. In the past few weeks, we’ve spoken with senior leaders at organizations with whom we have been working to strengthen their ethical culture. These leaders understand that their culture is an essential resource to navigate through the current crisis, and are finding new ways to cultivate…
  Geoff Wilson asks you to take a moment to look to the future and determine the impact of the legacy you want to leave.  We all leave a legacy of some sort. Ryan Newman’s survival of NASCAR’s worst wreck ever highlights the contrasts of passive and active legacies. Do you know the legacy you are leaving with your business, team, or organization? It’s surprising how little this topic actually gets highlighted when managers and executive teams focus on their…
  Dan Markovitz explains why some methods of measuring performance and quality seriously lack the data to make an impact.   Pity the employees at a Starbucks in midtown NYC. In a misguided attempt to improve quality, the management posts monthly scores on a variety of metrics. . . without understanding anything about effective use of metrics. Measurement is a good idea, but only if it’s done well. These measurements? Not so much.  If you read Mark Graban’s blog or book,…
  Paul Millerd tackles the origins and meaning of culture and provides a framework and lens for thinking about organizational culture in ways that can shape your corporate culture.  Culture is a messy term. In 1952, two Academics, Kroeber and Kluckhohn, completed a comprehensive review of the term and found that by then there were over 134 definitions. As Kroeber and Kluckhohn explored the history of the word, they found all roads pointing to Germany, where the word was emerging…
Jesse Jacoby identifies a few of the core issues that can arise when bringing a new manager into the workplace. Good things are possible when new managerial blood is brought into an organization. For one thing, there are often fresh ideas. You know yourself how easy it is to get so close to something that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You can’t see a solution that’s obvious to someone from the outside. And, of course, if you…
Geoff Wilson explains what Andrew Luck’s recent retirement from football should teach executives about protecting top talent. If you are an organizational leader who is leaning on a few star talents surrounded by a supporting cast of also-rans to ‘gut it out’ on a daily basis, you are playing a very dangerous game. Because when your top talent has had enough–when you have extracted enough of their soul by asking them to jump on yet another grenade dropped by a poor…
Christy Johnson shares highlights from the 2019 Project Ascendance Summit and reflects on commonalities among the Gen Zers workforce, including what they expect from companies.   Giving back has been at our core from the beginning. The Artemis Connection 4.5% Promise supports our vision of creating a positive impact so everyone can reach their full potential. It is our commitment to helping change lives, communities, and organizations. Each year, we dedicate 4.5% of our time through pro bono work, volunteering,…