Saturday, July 20, 2019
The problem surrounding culture in a lot of organisations is that senior leaders set the culture and define the organisation’s values, these often end up on a wall for everyone to see and it is assumed the culture and values are implemented. However, the reality can sometimes be that the shared beliefs, behaviours and assumptions of what the culture and values really mean are different in the eyes of employees.
Over the next few weeks we are going to pose a few questions to unpack why this occurs. These will include
1. Do you (senior managers) understand the true culture and the lived values?
2. Have you or your organisation identified the culture that you really want (Have you asked yourself “where do we really want your organisational culture to be”?)
3. Have you considered how to build a sustainable organisational culture (processes)
4. What is the best way to monitor and review your culture to ensure you maintain where you want to be.
So why do organisations get this so wrong? To start with, let’s look at what organisational culture is.
Organisational culture can be defined as a unique set of shared beliefs, assumptions, values and norms that shape the socialisations, representations, language and practices of a group of people. This is the mantra that employees use to guide behaviour and actions. Culture is therefore refined and conveyed by employees, consciously and unconsciously now and into the future.
Elements of culture can be typified using this Iceberg model. What you can see every day is classified as the artefacts or tangible elements such as physical structures, the language the organisation uses to function and sell its services, the rituals such as the way it positions itself and how its customers recognise it. These are the vision, mission, purpose, goals and strategic objectives of the organisation.
However, it’s the intangible elements below the waterline that represent the reality of your organisations culture. Things like shared values and shared assumptions, do they match what is above the line when leaders are not around, or does it change into something less desirable. Other areas that sit below the waterline include office politics and old ways of doing things that all have an impact on the intended organisations culture.
The challenge for leaders is to work towards a match between the intended culture above the water line and what happens day to day under the waterline. And this is what we will be looking at in more detail over the next few weeks.
Ask yourself these questions, do you understand the reality of your organisation’s culture and its lived values and is it a true representation of your business?
Monday, June 24, 2019
If you fear losing somebody you love
like rejection would be no surprise
even if they never said it out loud
you just knew by the look in their eyes
accept that anxiety is due to some action
we took while sleepwalking through life
we would be lying if we tried denying
we cause our own misery and strife.
There is a voice inside of our heads
that tells us of what is to come
deja vu turned upside down
is what it may seem like to some
whether it's foresight or just premonition
it leaves you feeling quite strange
whisper or shout, it allows for no doubt
that your fortunes are due for a change.
The cyclical nature of the human condition
prevents us from being at ease
it bars the door to the peace that we seek
it's a lock without any keys
hope and fear are two sides of a coin
a little like Abel and Cane
it's not every day that just one will hold sway
in the end it adds up to the same.
Listen to this then, if you should find
your emotions won't give you a breather
I'm telling you, dreams don't often come true
but the nightmares rarely do either.
Each day we wake up,
We have another chance.
We could just keep on moving,
Or we could decide to dance.
Dance as if you are alone,
And no one will ever see,
As this is your chance,
To see what you could be.
Remind yourself you are someone,
Someone who is grand.
Believe you can do anything,
Get up and take a stand.
Always keep looking forward,
Looking back is never good.
You want to look to the future,
And that is something you should.
You're winning. You simply cannot fail.
The only obstacle is doubt;
There's not a hill you cannot scale
Once fear is put to rout.
Don't think defeat, don't talk defeat,
The word will rob you of your strength.
"I will succeed," This phrase repeat
Throughout the journey's length.
The minute that "I can't is said -
You slam a door right in your face.
Why not exclaim, "I will" instead?
Half won then is the race.
You close the door to your success
By entertaining one small fear.
Think happiness, talk happiness,
Watch joy then coming near.
The word "impossible" is black.
"I can" is like a flame of gold.
No whining, heart! Eyes! look not back;
Be strong, O Will! and bold.
You're winning, though the journey's slow;
You're gaining steadily each day.
O Courage! what a warmth and glow
You shed along your way.
One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake the dream
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.
One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal
One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.
One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch can show you care.
One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true,
One life can make a difference,
You see, it's up to you!
Life is but a mirror,
Looking back at us.
Everything we do each day,
Should lead us to impress.
And sometimes when we need,
To see life differently.
We have that mirror to help us,
Change our view gently.
The eyes of everyone,
Also reflect back.
Mirrors come in different ways,
To show us what we lack.
But most importantly,
Don't forget to always look.
Be your best
And life will look after the rest.
What we see and what we do
Are reflections of what is true
Don't let your mirror reflect the things
That you do not want to come true.
Instead each day set your goals
Strive to complete, it is good for your soul.
Give life all you've got
Never look in the mirror and stop.
Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite, each sheer
Wherever you may meet it.
Remember every kindness done
To you, whate'er its measure.
Remember praise by others won
And pass it on with pleasure.
Remember every promise made
And keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you aid
And be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness
That comes your way in living.
Forget each worry and distress;
Be hopeful and forgiving.
Remember good, remember truth,
Remember Heaven's above you,
And you will find, through age and youth,
True joys and hearts to love you.
When we share with someone else,
Something valuable to us
You may find out later on,
To them they feel they were blessed.
Some of us have lots to give,
And some of us do not.
If someone could benefit,
Why not give them a shot.
Sharing is a wonderful thing,
Especially to those you've shared with.
There are a lot of kind people out there,
And that is not a myth.
So next time you see someone,
Who could benefit from something you can share.
Don't hold back and look away,
Be kind and answer their prayer.
Saturday, May 25, 2019
People have been coming to the wise man, complaining about the same problems every time. One day he told them a joke and everyone roared in laughter.
After a couple of minutes, he told them the same joke and only a few of them smiled.
When he told the same joke for the third time no one laughed anymore.
The wise man smiled and said:
“You can’t laugh at the same joke over and over. So why are you always crying about the same problem?”
Moral of the story: Worrying won’t solve your problems; it’ll just waste your time and energy.
An old man lived in the village. He was one of the most unfortunate people in the world. The whole village was tired of him; he was always gloomy, he constantly complained and was always in a bad mood.
The longer he lived, the more bile he was becoming and the more poisonous were his words. People avoided him, because his misfortune became contagious. It was even unnatural and insulting to be happy next to him.
He created the feeling of unhappiness in others.
But one day, when he turned eighty years old, an incredible thing happened. Instantly everyone started hearing the rumor:
“An Old Man is happy today, he doesn’t complain about anything, smiles, and even his face is freshened up.”
The whole village gathered together. The old man was asked:
Villager: What happened to you?
“Nothing special. Eighty years I’ve been chasing happiness, and it was useless. And then I decided to live without happiness and just enjoy life. That’s why I’m happy now.” – An Old Man
Moral of the story:Don’t chase happiness. Enjoy your life.