An Organisation Plagued by its Culture

Is there a culture problem that plagues your organisation? Many organisations suffer from a virus in one form or another. If left unchecked they fester and you’ll find yourself in an epidemic. They may be obvious or discreet, but with the tools to identify them you’ll be one step closer to the cure.

Our purpose is to help you and your organisation improve. We want to help you enhance relationships AND reduce the cost of low performance.

To do that we need to teach you how to identify a virus.

Virus of Resistance

When infected with the Culture of Resistance, organisations find their “go-to” people and rely on them to produce results. In these organisations, people look to others to handle the tough decisions.

The leaders are responsible to drive change while the rest sit back, expecting them to do all the work.

We create the very conditions that cause people to create less than their best. Without knowing it, organisations encourage workers NOT to live up to their potential.

It’s staggering, isn’t it?

Daniel Yankelovich performed a study in the workforce where he asked, “How many of you do just enough for your job to survive? To not get the sack?”

Forty-four percent – nearly half the population – said this statement described them. That’s a reflection of the disengagement that’s really happening.

People aren’t offering any extra effort in their jobs. Instead, they’re only working to a boundary condition to survive.

We often find that this plays out in our lack of accountability conversations.

As a leader with influence, the question you should ask yourself is, “How significant is this virus in my organisation, and what can I do to influence its reduction?”

Are co-workers and peers resisting engagement, and are you passively encouraging it?

How can you close a gap between where the virus is today, and where you need it to be for your performance moving forward?

As a leader, your job is to influence how people think, feel, and act. Start by assessing if/how the Culture of Resistance is affecting those around you.

Virus of Silence

A culture of silence is characterised by avoidance and defensive routines.

People avoid confrontation at all costs, but when moments of accountability occur, they get defensive about what they’re thinking, feeling, and doing. They do this for a vast array of reasons that are completely understandable, but deeply ineffective.

This virus isn’t limited to the workplace. We also see it in our families.

It’s normal, natural, and understandable, but it’s also ineffective and it drastically diminishes our ability to influence.

You’ll get the greatest level of engagement and discretionary effort from your people when you create conditions that drive commitment rather than compliance. Give your staff the confidence and safety to speak up in tough conversations to break down the barriers of this virus.

Virus of Cynicism

Leadership is influence. It’s how we treat one another and share information every day, including when we have tough conversations about closing expectation gaps.

The problem is when leaders make promises but fail to deliver. They don’t carry enough influence to affect how others are thinking, feeling, and doing on a daily basis. When this becomes a pattern, cynicism develops in the organisation.

The interesting thing about this virus is we socialise it. We breathe life into them by the very things we choose to do. That’s why they’re so challenging and difficult to overcome.

In many cases, a training programme isn’t enough.

The good news is, we have answers. We’ve done this before. We know how to help you transition from where you are to where you truly want to be.

There are more than 30 years of applied research, testimonies, and rich case studies of what we’re doing in Australia and around the world that make a profound difference.

Virus of Collusion

We collude with one another. The unwritten rule is, “Don’t confront me and I won’t confront you”. This is a social contract we make with our work colleagues.

This becomes the unwritten rule regardless of what any policy or procedure might say.

We know that a Culture of Collusion is a definite path to mediocrity. It encourages people to do just enough to stay in business, stay in the market, or stay employed.

The Cure

By removing or reducing the effect of these viruses (through conversations of accountability), we see improvements two major areas.

  1. Business Execution – The capacity to execute our mission and deliver our products/services at a superior level of performance.
  2. Innovation – The ability to innovate consistently and successfully for the future.

When an individual routinely engages in self-directed change, execution improves by 41% and innovation improves 45%.

When multiple individuals engage in open dialogue, our results go up even further. Execution improves by 53% and innovation improves by 62%.

When teams participate in universal accountability on a daily basis, we see improvements in execution by 60% and innovation by 72%.

Finally, when an organisation promotes influential leadership – people who can deeply affect how others think, feel, and act – we see improvements in execution by 91% and innovation by 111%!

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