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Posts Tagged ‘corporate culture’

9780749471354In People Risk Management, Keith Blacker and Patrick McConnell provide insight and practical suggestions about how to manage people-related risks at large commercial firms. Due to their size and complexity, large companies are more prone to disastrous outcomes, such as those experienced by BP, Enron, and Lehman Brothers. The authors offer practical tools, real-world examples, and best-practice guidance about how to implement effective people risk management across an organization and thereby improve decision-making processes.

From bad business decisions to illegal activity, people risk — the risk that people will deviate from an organization’s rules and procedures in a way that damages profits and reputations — presents a growing threat to increasingly complex and global businesses. Leaders should be aware of the following aspects of people risk:

  • Individuals and groups make bad decisions when they fail to consider all of the facts. A bad decision can benefit a firm, and a good decision can be morally dubious.
  • Rather than using rational analyses to make decisions, people are subject to cognitive biases or blind spots, such as overconfidence or groupthink.
  • A company’s culture has a significant effect on people risk management. The culture is influenced from the top down.
  • A company can use a decision checklist as well as pre- and post-mortems to help improve decision-making throughout the organization.
  • Organizations should create personalized codes of conduct to help individuals take personal responsibility and improve decision-making processes.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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The Healthy WorkplaceCountless workers express a desire to lose weight, reduce stress, and increase their productivity, but their jobs hinder their efforts. In fact, most work environments foster unhealthy habits. They take only reactive, not proactive, roles when it comes to the health of their employees. In The Healthy Workplace, researcher and workplace wellness expert Leigh Stringer presents strategies to help organizations create healthy environments that actually improve employees’ well-being. Drawing on history, current research, and real-world examples, Stringer challenges business leaders to make creating a culture of wellness not just a perk but an imperative.

Today’s work is becoming more and more sedentary, putting workers at risk for poor health. To improve both productivity and return on investment (ROI), employers must take the health of their workers seriously. Neglecting to do so means passing up a competitive advantage–and failing to nurture workers’ creative potential. Business leaders can create healthy workplaces by:

  • Supporting individual preferences as well as innovation districts for group work, thereby allowing for employees to reach a state of flow.
  • Encouraging movement and exercise to counteract fatigue and produce energy.
  • Reducing employees’ stress and improving their focus by emphasizing mindfulness and introducing stress management programs.
  • Encouraging healthy sleep habits by implementing consistent work schedules, providing natural lighting, setting aside napping or wellness rooms, and modeling good habits like “unplugging” from work at the end of the day.
  • Designing healthy work environments with ergonomic furniture, proper air quality, and a connection with nature.
  • Creating healthy workplace cultures by offering incentives, instituting a “buddy” system, gamifying healthy habits, and providing classes and coaching.
  • Formulating business cases for workplace health, which includes a wellness plan, a charter, and an expected ROI.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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strategy-that-worksIn today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are constantly struggling to create value. While some may believe that this is simply due to external forces, many organizations in fact suffer because of the way they are managed that leads to a disconnect between their strategies and execution. In the Harvard Business Review Press title Strategy That Works, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi discuss how exceptional companies such as Amazon, Apple, Danaher, Haier, IKEA, Lego, Natura, Starbucks, and others have bridged the gap between strategy and execution to become undisputed market leaders.

The authors’ research has revealed that, instead of following conventional business practices, these winning companies embrace five acts of unconventional leadership that allow them to become and remain coherent:

1. Committing to an identity. Instead of chasing growth, the winning companies define themselves by what they do, not just what they sell. They develop a truly differentiating identity based on their key strengths and use those strengths to guide them through today’s rapidly changing business environment.

2. Translating the strategic into the everyday. Instead of focusing on functional excellence, the winning organizations blueprint and build a handful of unique cross-functional capabilities that are at the heart of their strategy and drive profits.

3. Putting the culture to work. Instead of fighting their culture, winning companies identify and leverage the parts that work in their favor. This gives them a culture that reinforces their distinctive capabilities and breeds collaboration across functions. Coherent companies typically have three common cultural elements: emotional commitment, mutual accountability, and collective mastery.

4. Cutting costs to grow stronger. Instead of cutting costs across the board, winning companies cut costs strategically. They make investment decisions based on whether or not the investments will support their value propositions and distinctive capabilities.

5. Shaping the future. Instead of constantly reacting to market changes, highly coherent companies shape their future. They do so by continually recharging their capabilities systems, creating demand based on their privileged access to customers, and realigning their entire industries.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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118904536People often think they succeed based on their abilities alone, but their intention, energy, and presence can have a significant impact on their careers, transforming them into leaders people want to follow rather than those they have to follow. In Contagious Culture, Anese Cavanaugh describes how people can improve the cultures of their organizations using Intentional Energetic Presence® (IEP).

Cavanaugh also explains that:

  • People are responsible for what they create in their lives. People can shift the dynamics of their families, teams, and organizations as soon as they learn to control their actions and emotions to influence the people around them.

  • People are contagious. Each person in an organization contributes to its culture. This means that each person, regardless of his or her position, has an effect on and a responsibility to the organization.

  • People must “show up” for themselves and the people they lead. Showing up requires people to manage their intention, energy, and presence.

  • People must take care of themselves before they can care for others. People who lead and manage the growth of others must have the capacity to care for, lead, and grow themselves.

  • People can change their lives when they acknowledge their problems and failures. People who feel bad about or are overcome by circumstances should determine the source of their problems, take action, and ask for help when they need it.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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No-Drama LeadershipA lack of leadership results in problematic work behaviors, such as poor performance and absenteeism. Unless supervisors take responsibility for good workplace relationships, their companies’ cultures will suffer. The problems start when employees are promoted to leadership positions without the necessary skills and training, which can lead to workplace drama. In No-Drama Leadership, Marlene Chism presents a new model where everyone is a leader–from frontline employees to CEOs. This encourages people at all levels to learn from one another and become more aligned, aware, and accountable.

According to Chism:

  • Supervisors and managers are often the cause of poor employee performance, absenteeism, and turnover. In many cases, they are promoted into positions of responsibility without any leadership training.
  • Leaders must align their companies’ values with their own. Without alignment, they will lack awareness and accountability for the people they manage.
  • Self-awareness is a start, but leaders must also be aware of other people and cultures.
  • Responsible leaders take ownership of situations and are accountable for doing what is required.
  • Decisions are frequently made by leaders without regard for how they may impact others. Good leaders see both the short- and long-term impacts of their decisions.
  • Communication is important to any technical training a company may require. Without good communication skills, drama can result both inside and outside the company.
  • When employees have some control over, or at least an understanding of, the changes happening within their work environments, they are less inclined to resist them.
  • Enlightened leaders address issues immediately and correct course as needed, rather than hoping problems will simply go away.
  • Leaders must put time and effort into understanding their employees to ensure engagement happens in a positive way.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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86407323Today’s economy, with its insatiable need for great ideas and effective implementation, does not reward stifling environments and underdeveloped staffs. Instead, it demands smart work at full throttle. To unleash productive power, organizations look to their leaders. Global competitors and the advancement of new technologies require leaders to be constantly in motion as they lead their organizations to success by creating cultures of transformation. In Leaders in Motion, Dr. Marta Wilson offers her proven method for unleashing the full potential of every organization by helping leaders tap their potential to create and motivate cultures of transformation and achievement.

Wilson offers the following advice to leaders wishing to spur cultural change in their companies:

  • The race to win organizational health, wealth, and creative power begins with personal mastery, and the journey toward personal mastery begins with a commitment to integrity.
  • Organizational transformation is based on personal transformation.
  • The starting point for authentic organizational transformation is the leader, who must be committed to personal transformation.
  • To master their enterprises and the interpersonal connections within them, leaders must first master themselves.
  • Transformation requires personal mastery built on authenticity, integrity, consciousness, and willingness to embrace change.
  • Learning how to practice new reactions is an essential element of transformation.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: People Follow You, Positive Leadership, Corporate Culture

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With Thanksgiving leftovers still in the refrigerator and the Holiday season in full swing, it’s an important time for all of us to recognize what is important in our lives. Much of leadership training involves prioritizing work and managing time in an effort to become more efficient, but now more than ever, a good work/life balance is essential for a healthy and productive workforce.

Many companies have started offering benefits such as flextime and telecommuting to help workers reach a balance between their personal and professional lives, but this may not be enough in many cases. According to Jennifer Lacy, director of research for The New York Times Job Market, “There is a general perception among employees that working long hours is important for career advancement…This notion, and the pay and promotion policies that support it, often undermines attempts to promote work/life balance.”

For corporate work/life initiatives to succeed, they must be supported from the top. Culture is one of the largest driving forces in any initiative, but the recession has put even more pressure on those wishing to take advantage of work/life benefits because they are afraid of being viewed as not dedicated to the company. However, if companies can launch successful work/life programs, they can reap rewards that include less absenteeism, lower burn-out rates, and a more productive workforce.

So, while enjoying those leftovers and planning the family festivities this season, leaders and managers should also be thinking about how to best serve both work and family all year round.

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