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Entries from July 2016

What environment are you creating for your employees?

28th July 2016

Team Environment

Each company and each team are different and the blocks to a high performing environment are often those habits, behaviours, processes that put a drain on productivity. They can include things such as:

  • Internal competition
  • Resistance to change
  • Hierarchy
  • Bureaucracy
  • Blaming and excuses
  • Poor customer service or consideration for the customer
  • Lack of openness and trust
  • Complacency

We are often ‘blind’ to these blocks as ‘we’ve always done it that way!’

One way to identify the environment – your culture, is to look at the behaviour and habits of the organisation. Which do you consider to be healthy and empowering and which do you consider to be unhealthy and limiting?

Which actually align to your organisations stated values?

Employees Learn from their Leaders

As a leader you are on show all of the time. You set the tone for the environment you create and whether you like it or not you are modelling the behaviour you expect from others.

When looking at the culture in your team it may well be worthwhile looking in the mirror at your own habits and behaviours first. Which of the following does your own team live with?

If employees live with criticism, they learn to blame others.

If employees live with hostility, they learn to resist.

If employees live with ridicule, they learn to avoid risks.

If employees live with shame, they learn to underestimate their abilities.

If employees live with tolerance, they learn to learn. 

If employees live with encouragement, they learn confidence.

If employees live with praise, they learn to appreciate.

If employees live with fairness, they learn accountability.

If employees live with opportunity, they learn to have faith.

If employees live with approval, they learn to like themselves.

If employees live with acceptance and recognition, they learn to find fulfilment in the workplace.

Taken from The secret of a winning culture by Larry E Senn & John R Childress

What do you need to change in your environment?

I don’t know of any organisation that doesn’t want teams to perform well. If you know that there is room for growth in your own team start by looking at the list above and decide what is missing. Then develop an action plan to bridge the gap.

If, on the other hand, you can say yes to all the positive behaviours above and you know the team is still not delivering on their goals it’s time to take a step back.

Start by looking at your strategy and strategic objectives. Do they take you toward your vision? If not you may have the wrong strategy and it’s time to revisit this.

If you look at your strategy and say yes – this drives us toward our vision, then the next step is to look at the behaviours that are missing. What values and behaviours do you need to live by to achieve your strategic objectives? Which of these need developing in the team?

Your strategy needs the right culture (behaviour and habits) to allow it to be realised.

As a leader your job is to ensure your culture is aligned with your strategy and using appropriate methods and tools to close any gaps there may be.

If you want to know more about how to identify your current or desired culture email me and I’ll set up a call.

“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success – or are they holding you back?”

Clement Stone




What elements of your culture do you cherish and what do you need to chuck?

7th July 2016

Culture - chuck and cherish


“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”

This is one of my favourite quotes from Peter Drucker as it captures so beautifully the power culture has in organisations.

When the strategy and culture are aligned things work effortlessly. Where the strategy goes against the culture – the culture will win out. It’s a bit like pushing water up hill!

Most people struggle to articulate the culture of the organisation. It’s not something you can get your hands on and it’s difficult to measure.

Culture is made up of the values and beliefs held by people within the organisation. These values and beliefs drive individual behaviour. Once you understand this you are able to ‘see’ the culture more clearly.

Sounds fairly simple right?


Having worked with a number of leaders in organisations many don’t know their own personal values. It’s no wonder they find the culture difficult to articulate. It also explains why culture change can be difficult. You need to be able to measure where you are and what specifically it is you want to change.

One of the best tools I’ve come across to do this is the Barratt’s Cultural Transformation Tool. What I like about it is it works with values and you can quickly get a picture from managers and leaders across the organisation on:

  • The top 10 values that drive the organisation
  • The top 10 values they think the organisation should be demonstrating

You are able to then see the gap there is between where you are and where they think you need to be.


Values in your current top 10 and in your future top 10 are the values to cherish and nurture. The more of these that match the smaller the gap and greater cultural alignment you have.

There’s a lot of research to support that this then drives superior levels of financial performance.


There are two categories for the chuck pile:

  1. Any values that are fear driven.
  2. Any values that are in the current top 10 and not in the future top 10.

Fear driven values will be having a drain on productivity and profit. They get in the way of people doing their jobs effectively. Examples of these are control, complacency, blame and bureaucracy.

With those values in your current top 10 but not in your future top 10 you need to understand how they show up behaviourally and the behaviours you want instead.

Cultural Transformation

Cultural transformation and leadership development go hand in hand. Are you putting the focus of your leadership development in the right place to address your strengths and your gaps?

One of the tools available is a tailored 360 assessment for leaders. You identify the values you are striving for in your desired culture and the assessment is based around this. You can then build development plans around individual’s strengths and growth areas.

A cautionary note – you may lose people who are not aligned. This is a good thing for them and for you. When you are working in a culture that doesn’t meet your values you will be de-motivated and unhappy and therefore not performing at your best.

If you want to know more about the Barratt’s Cultural Transformation Tools email me and we can set up a call to discuss further.

“Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.”

Barbara Geraci





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