It may seem like a minor thing, but visual displays of corporate values can help employees to internalize those ideals as they go about their work. I’m very interested in the cultural artifacts that make corporate values apparent in the physical workspace–much as Johnson & Johnson does with the display of its Credo in its offices around the world. While having highly visible values doesn’t guarantee that employees live into them, it does help to socialize those values and ensure a base level of familiarity. And when everyday behaviors do align with the physical artifacts that are the topmost level of organizational culture, that’s when the magic happens. Continue reading Making Corporate Values Visible: Livestrong
About a year ago I participated in a work training around collaboration and culture. We were asked to play a game which involved getting into a pair with someone else around the same height, clasping hands, and attempting to make contact with the partner’s shoulder. The objectives of the game were described as “to win” by “getting more points.” It was not clear exactly who needed to earn those points; that’s where the trouble started.
Continue reading Why Do We Sometimes Compete When We Should Collaborate?
Whether you work in a formal corporate environment or a laid-back creative one, most of us experience some degree of tension between individual and group success. As we work, we want our teams and companies to do well and look good. Yet, when it’s time for recognition, we also want people to notice our own accomplishments. Striking the wrong balance between individual and group success can lead to several sub-optimal motivational outcomes. Specifically, people may not engage and turn in their best work if they feel like their contributions are either undervalued or under-recognized. Continue reading Organizational Dynamics: Balancing Individual Achievement with Team Success
I recently read the book The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael D. Watkins. It was recommended to me as a good guide to starting a new position, and while I admired the structured analytical eye the author takes to understand work challenges, I felt it was lacking in an understanding of human behavior. One key area where the advice particularly seemed to deal with people (in this case, the people reporting to a new manager) as theoretical versus human entities was compensation for performance. Continue reading How Much Can We Personalize Job Rewards Without Being Unfair?
I came of age in the time of the tech bubble. I graduated college in the middle of the dot-com crash, and my professional career has coincided with the rise of the modern startup (and lately, the somewhat odd concept of the unicorn, or the startup company valued at $1 billion or higher. There are at least 131 of them.). In my opinion, the working world has changed quite a bit since many of the foundational theories about how organizations function were developed. Do they still work to describe the modern corporate world? Continue reading Can Traditional Organizational Culture Models Describe the Modern Working World?
So you want to become more active. How do you make it stick? In a workplace context, office artifacts can help motivate and sustain changes in behavior like walking more. Here’s an example of how.
I was recently walking through the halls at a different company location from where I usually work when a bright burst of color caught my eye. One team had hung a blackboard in their office area where they scrawled different ideas for how to reach 10,000 steps that day. I loved this board–it’s doing a lot of things right in helping people commit to movement: Continue reading Cultural Artifacts, Commitment, and Behavior in the Workplace