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It's Not My Fault! Creating Accountability in Business

Accountability, both in business and in personal life, is defined as taking personal ownership to ensure responsibilities are achieved as expected. It is a mindset that a leader must possess and then foster throughout their organization. To fully grasp accountability in business, it might help to first understand the opposite of accountability.

Consider the typical teenager and how they’d likely respond when asked to explain why they received a failing grade or were issued a speeding ticket. Refusing to accept accountability, they’d claim, “It’s not my fault!” They’d then go on to explain, “the teacher hates us and asked questions on topics that we never learned” or “the officer let everyone else go but stopped me because he is after teenagers.”

Every adult was once a teenager and likely went through this phase of refusing to assume accountability. Unfortunately, some never completely snap out of it and live their entire lives believing that their shortcomings, to a certain extent, are the fault of someone else. In contrast, those who do understand and embrace the concept of accountability never take a victim mentality but rather accept personal ownership of the areas for which they have accepted responsibility. They then guarantee a result and focus all of their energy to ensure that it happens. If you manage a business, such a high level of accountability can be a huge asset to your company.

Does this ring true for you? If I were your boss and demanded a “guarantee” from you on all of your goals for this year, would you give it to me?

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Role of Leaders Culture of Customer Centricity

Choosing to create a culture of customer centricity involves many specific actions, processes, initiatives, and methods to make sure the outcome is not only what is intended, but also expected, in order to make a real difference to the overall success of your organization. As such, it is the role of a great leader to help their people do what is necessary to bring customer centricity to life, within the broader context of many other equally crucial and demanding activities. In this video, Phil Geldart, author of “Customer Centricity: A Present and Future Priority,” explains the role great leaders play in a customer centric culture.

Video Transcript

Phil Geldart: And so you work your way all the way up the organization and you realize, to be truly customer-centric, you need to equip every level of leadership with the skills and the behaviors and the mindset to think about the customer, and to translate that mindset into action themselves.

Customer centricity is a culture. It’s not easy because it means that everybody in the organization is thinking about the customer. The reason that’s not easy is because many people in the organization never actually meet a customer. They never talk to a customer and they feel, “oh, customer centricity is what happens at the front lines.” What happens at the front lines is customer service; within the organization, it’s customer centricity.

So now: I’m an employee, how do I start thinking about the customer? How do I start evaluating whether the decisions I’m making are actually going to benefit the customer? I’m going to look at my leader. I’m going to expect my leader to be there to help me think about the customer, to show me how to think about the customer, to remind me about thinking about the customer. If my leader doesn’t do that, I’m just going to focus on my job. So, the leadership is vital within any organization, if you truly want to be customer-centric.

Which leads to an interesting question: do the leaders know how to do that? Because the leaders know how to do their job. And it’s difficult for them to think about the customers because they, too, have leaders. And so you work your way all the way up the organization and you realize that to be truly customer-centric, you need to equip every level of leadership with the skills and the behaviors and the mindset to think about the customer, and to translate that mindset into action themselves. And then to equip them to take those skills and that thinking, and coach their employees to do the same. You can’t have customer centricity without great leaders who are modeling that behavior and coaching others to do the same.

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4 Strategies for Becoming an Inclusive Leader (and Why It Matters)

Adopting an inclusive leadership style benefits individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole. Research by Deloitte has found that leaders who create an inclusive culture for their teams see a 17 percent increase in performance, a 20 percent boost in decision-making quality, and a 29 percent better collaboration. Inclusive leadership respects and values individual differences in work styles, learning, ideas, and communication, and leverages those differences for the benefit of the team and organization. Here are four strategies for becoming a more effective leader by focusing on inclusion.

1. Treat people fairly

When you recognize the traits, experiences, and working styles that make each person unique, you allow employees to bring their full selves to work for the benefit of the team. Inclusive leaders recognize individual differences and treat others fairly in light of those differences. Research shows that fairness is highly valued by employees and helps to build their engagement at work. A survey of full-time employees found that after fair compensation, “treating the workforce fairly” was named the second-most important workplace attribute.

It’s important to note that treating people fairly doesn’t mean treating everyone the same. Inclusive leaders assess individual strengths and preferences and strive to align each individual with the role and work that best fits their knowledge and skills. For example, individuals who bring an analytical skillset may be better matched to certain projects than those who are more creatively inclined. Leaders who take an inclusive approach also offer individuals on the team equal opportunities for growth to ensure they have chances to learn and develop their skills.

2. Encourage communication and collaboration

Recognizing the benefits of having a variety of perspectives on a team is at the core of inclusive leadership. Inclusive leaders pull individuals together to share their ideas, knowledge, and experiences, making sure that everyone has the chance to contribute. Some of the ways you can practice more inclusive communication and collaboration include:

  • Asking for input from individuals who are new to a topic or seem apprehensive to speak up in meetings.
  • Encouraging cross-team collaboration on key projects.
  • Leading by example and frequently demonstrating teamwork with leaders in other departments or functions.

3. Use cultural and emotional intelligence

Inclusive leaders recognize that not everyone sees problems and opportunities through the same lens, nor do all individuals manage their emotions in the same way. Leading a team requires developing a sensitivity to the ways that individuals respond to different leadership styles. One individual on the team may appreciate it when a leader spends time listening to their frustrations, while another may look to the leader for a motivating pep talk. Developing strong emotional agility will enable you to use different leadership strategies to motivate and support each person on the team.

4. Seek continuous learning

Part of being an effective leader is being committed to your own learning and growth. At the same time that new ways of working are introduced in the workplace, so too are new ways of thinking, communicating, and collaborating. Inclusive leaders recognize that no one has all the answers and that it’s necessary to seek out opportunities to sharpen their leadership skills, as well as the skills and knowledge of everyone on the team. Examples of how to demonstrate a commitment to continuous learning include:

  • Being willing to learn from feedback and work to achieve a better outcome after a failure.
  • Seeking to overcome biases and outdated beliefs.
  • Engaging in ongoing training and development opportunities.

Inclusive leadership helps to ensure the organization realizes the full benefit of different perspectives and ways of working. Without it, employees can miss opportunities to grow and perform to their potential. When leaders have the desire and capability to be more inclusive, the whole team is positioned for greater success and healthier team culture.

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A Culture of Accountability: A Culture Transformation Success Story

How Eagle’s Flight Helped A Global Fortune 500 Financial Services Company


Client Request

A sustainable and engaging Culture Transformation initiative focused on creating a strong risk and compliance culture while also incorporating strategy, quality, the customer, and corporate values



– 14,000+ employees of all levels across the United States

– 4,000+ international employees who support the United States business


Eagle’s Flight Delivered

100% customized two-year, multi-phased Culture Transformation initiative, which dramatically changed the culture of this organization


Tools Provided

– Two 360 degree assessments for all leaders and managers were conducted over the two-year initiative

– Various models designed to encourage targeted learnings and behaviors

– Participant takeaways and resources

– Six digital reinforcement activities

– Comprehensive communication strategy and support


Approach for Distributed Workforce

Targeted and customized approaches were taken during each phase to ensure appropriate content was delivered to each audience

Specifically designed training for leaders, managers, and employees

Leaders and managers also attended all employee sessions

During the final phase, all levels were brought together in one day of training, intentionally designed to encourage networking and open discussion between various levels and positions within the organization

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The 10 Qualities of a High Performance Culture

Creating a high-performance culture is a journey that has the potential for many pit stops and breakdowns along the way. Plastering your company’s desired idea of a high-performance culture throughout the walls of the company is certainly a step in the right direction, but a company’s culture is really defined by what the people of the organization do.

In a great culture, people contribute to their fullest. Unfortunately, most organizations leverage only about 70% of an individual’s contributions. The remaining 30%–what the company doesn’t get—is the high performance. Here are 10 qualities a high-performance culture must consistently demonstrate:

1. Embrace a change mindset.

Change is central to innovation and growth. To get ahead of the competition, companies reinvent jobs, processes, structures, and work practices. Ultimately, the future of most businesses and individuals depends on the ability to change, learn, and to grow, which means each individual on the team must demonstrate a change mindset.

2. Develop strong leaders.

Creating a high-performance culture composed of individuals eager to outperform requires leaders who constantly inspire and engage employees to be the best they can be. Strong leaders build loyalty and inspire people to work hard to fulfill their job duties. Leaders need to engage, align, inspire, and mobilize individuals and teams to create a high-performance culture.

3. Empower people to make decisions.

Companies with high-performing cultures encourage individuals to ask questions, make decisions, and act upon those choices. High-performance cultures trust individuals’ decision-making abilities and create environments where they feel like owners. In this setting, individuals who feel empowered to solve problems and try new approaches to old problems or procedures tend to be more enthusiastic about their jobs. And, individuals who feel this way are less likely to become disengaged or seek work elsewhere.

4. Adopt a strategy of continuous improvement.

High-performing companies constantly strive to simplify, improve, and align their processes to respond to events effectively and to eliminate unnecessary procedures, work, and information overload. These companies also measure progress, monitor goals, and report everything that matters to everyone in the organization so that all individuals have the necessary information to drive improvement.

5. Establish meaningful core values.

Companies with this type of culture ensure that their commitments are aligned with established core values and have clear ethics supported by organizational policies.

6. Develop a coaching mindset.

Companies with high-performing cultures insist that coaches make their people feel valued and powerful; ask questions and listen; offer reflections, observations, and suggestions; and schedule debriefing sessions. Individuals in coaching roles take responsibility for their own development and performance, too.

7. Enhance training and development.

Engaged organizations recognize that setting their people up for success will result in continuous improvement and growth for individuals and for the company. Talent is viewed as an asset and customized training and development plans align with the organization’s overarching objectives and direction, providing individuals with clear career pathways.

8. Share information.

Creating a culture of transparency, openness, and trust by encouraging the free flow of information can give companies a powerful competitive edge. This happens when individuals share knowledge and ideas because they’re part of a culture that wants them to do so. It’s also important to encourage open and honest debate and urge people to report errors or concerns without fear.

9. Make work enjoyable.

High-performing companies that incorporate fun and engaging activities into their cultural fabric report many positives including higher morale and productivity, reduced stress levels, lower absentee and attrition rates, and an increased ability to attract and retain key people. While individuals are encouraged to have fun at work, they also work hard and are judged on their successes and job performances.

10. Measure culture.

High-performing cultures are characterized by an ability to align, execute, and renew. Moving towards and maintaining a high-performance culture requires measurement along the way to determine where progress is being made. As the age-old saying goes, what gets measured, gets improved.

Creating and maintaining a high-performance culture is challenging, and it can be done. Ultimately, though, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to culture. The specifics of a high-performance culture are unique to your company because they’re based on what will work best for you to reach your destination.

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The Real ROI of Leadership Activites

Calculating ROI is one of the biggest hurdles decision-makers face when determining which leadership activities to include in organizational development and training initiatives. Although some metrics are more difficult to quantify than others, approaching leadership development with measurement in mind can help you identify the activities that will offer the best return on investment. When evaluating which leadership activities are the best fit for your organization, consider how each option contributes to the following.

Increasing Engagement

One of the first steps in any type of training is engaging participants. How does the leadership training you are considering compare to your current approach? You can measure and compare engagement by conducting feedback surveys both during and after training events. This is an important metric for training because when participants are not fully engaged, they are less likely to retain new information.

Learning for the Long Term

When you invest in leadership development or any other type of training, you want the new knowledge and skills they’ve acquired to last. This is challenging with all types of individuals because the forgetting curve indicates that people forget most of what they have learned in about a week. However, the rate of learning decay depends heavily on how the information was presented in the first place. For example, an individual might remember only 5 percent of the information delivered at a lecture, compared to 75 percent if they learn by doing, otherwise known as experiential learning. When selecting specific activities, make sure you have a mix of delivery types to promote engagement and therefore, longer-term learning.

Connecting to Real-life Application

Leadership activities that successfully convey the theories behind improving performance provide value, but the best ROI will happen only when those theories are applied in real life. Look for a training approach that includes on-the-job application as a key component. This might come in the form of hands-on training, role-playing, or a debrief of experiential learning activities. Tracking behavior change on the job will help you evaluate whether your organization’s leadership activities are producing the desired results.

Retaining Knowledge

In addition to selecting an information delivery method that promotes better retention, it’s important to reinforce new knowledge in order to combat learning decay. After participating in activities and connecting them to the workplace, implement a measurement and reinforcement plan to encourage participants to retain information and apply their new skills. When individuals know that their performance is being measured, they are more likely to strive to meet clear benchmarks, especially if they have recently learned new skills that will help them achieve those goals.

Impacting the Business

Perhaps the most important metric when determining the ROI of leadership activities is how the business is impacted. The specific objectives you choose to monitor will depend on your organizational goals, but might include:

  • Decreasing the number of customer service complaints
  • Increasing the productivity of teams
  • Improving the efficiency of a specific process
  • Decreasing the employee turnover rate
  • Improving employee satisfaction


The methods used to calculate ROI will vary depending on the metrics you are measuring and they won’t always appear in terms of dollars and cents. For example, increasing engagement in these activities won’t directly translate to a financial return, but it is a key component of reaching your overall business goals. Regardless of your organizational development goals and the development initiatives you implement to support them, you won’t know whether you have achieved them unless you have a measurement system in place.

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Guide to Improving Company Culture - Culture Transformation

Improving Company Culture: Everything You Need To Know About Culture Transformation

Text Version:




Organizations of all sizes need to understand how to build a positive, productive culture that reflects their core values and unites employees around a shared vision and common goal. A truly great company culture doesn’t typically develop on its own, nor can it be created overnight. Depending on company goals, the industry, and other factors, it is often necessary to undergo a transformation that will allow you to build the culture you desire. A study by Deloitte found that 82 percent of executives and HR leaders believe that company culture is a potential competitive advantage, but only 19 percent believe that they have the “right culture,” and more than 50 percent are currently working to change theirs.

Depending on your specific goals and objectives, one kind of culture may be more appropriate than others. When you look at the culture of an organization, you are actually looking at the sum total of the behaviors of all the employees. The company’s culture may have a place in a strategic document somewhere, or be on posters on the walls, but really the culture is defined by what the people of the organization do — which may or may not match a written definition.

It’s not sufficient to know what the people in the organization do in general. Culture
is more closely aligned to what the people do in times of stress, at the time of an
acquisition, or when the organization is in some kind of transition. The behavior of the people at these times is what really defines a corporate culture.


Culture transformation is an opportunity to move an organization forward in an exciting way that will give it a competitive advantage or address a significant challenge. Widespread culture transformation involves changing the behavior of all employees and leaders at the organization. They will be asked to approach work, relationships, and accountabilities with different skills and mindsets. Ultimately, a culture transformation has the potential to refocus and reenergize the entire workforce.


Sets Organization Up for Future Success and Growth

More than 50% of respondents said corporate culture influences
productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value, and growth rates.

Boosts the Attraction and Retention of Top Talent
72% of C-suite and board members say culture is a strong reason people
join their organization.

Leads to Improved Employee Engagement
Organizations that create a culture defined by meaningful work, deep
employee engagement, job and organizational fit, and strong leadership,
are outperforming their peers and will likely beat their competition in
attracting top talent.

Improves Safety
A company with a strong safety culture typically experiences few at-risk
behaviors; consequently they also experience low incident rates, low
turnover, low absenteeism, and high productivity.

Delivers an Excellent Customer Experience Through Engaged
79 percent of employees at companies with above-average customer
experience are highly engaged in their jobs, compared to 49 percent
of employees at companies with average or below-average customer
experience scores.

An organization’s leadership, its board of directors, or the results from customer or
employee surveys may clearly indicate the need for a change in the culture. Although the words “culture transformation” may not yet have been spoken by anyone involved, there is an acknowledged desire to change individuals’ behaviors so that the organization benefits in some way as a result. These benefits can — and should — be expressed using the metrics that typically matter most to an organization: improved customer feedback, increased sales revenue, fewer safety incidents, or decreased turnover, for example. If those benefits are deemed critical to the success — or the survival — of an organization, then a culture transformation is necessary.

Sometimes an organization’s pain points are obvious; at other times a specific
opportunity presents itself. In these cases, the reason for the change, and what needs to happen in order to achieve the desired outcome, can be clearly articulated. Having this kind of clarity increases the chances of a successful transformation. However, organizations are often a blend of many subcultures, so clarity on which behaviors are desired and rewarded can be difficult to achieve. This is especially common in large, geographically dispersed organizations or those that have recently acquired other businesses, gone through massive hiring rounds, or struggle with siloed departments.

Here are a few steps to take to help know when a culture transformation is needed.
Step 1: Conduct an Analysis of Organizational Culture to Get Insight on Where You
Currently Are A transformation of corporate culture must begin with a clear understanding of where the culture is now. There has to be a reason for the organization to want to change the culture in some way, and the more clearly this reason can be articulated, the easier it will be to change it.

The first step is to conduct an insight discovery, which gathers authentic quantitative and qualitative information that focuses on key areas and provides invaluable information that is the cornerstone to the success of a culture transformation. All too often, culture transformations do not take into account the unique reality of an organization. To conquer this challenge, you must understand the current reality and define where a shift in behaviors will optimize productivity and results. You must also understand which contextual elements are barriers, and which are enablers, and address those in the design of your culture transformation strategy.

An insight discovery may also utilize the following tools:
• Small focus groups gather together 5-6 individuals from different levels and
functions to discuss how they feel about the culture and their own division;
running several groups will allow you to pinpoint viewpoints from all areas of the
• One-on-one interviews with senior management and executives, which can help in
gathering concrete, specific, and detailed examples of the current culture
• Interactive discussion sessions are an innovative and practical approach where
large groups of people are brought together to engage in interactive discussion
sessions; this method encourages communication and allows you to collect
feedback from more employees simultaneously
• 180°/360° surveys give managers the opportunity to provide detailed feedback
to their direct reports (and vice versa), which is a powerful way to identify how
leaders are leading the organization; this tool should measure behavior rather than

With the aid of the tools above, you will want to conduct a corporate-culture gap analysis to fully understand the culture you have and how it compares to the culture you want.
A gap analysis not only helps you define the existing culture, but it can also deliver new insights into employee attitudes and beliefs that might have been previously unknown or misunderstood.

Step 2: Define Where You Want to Be and Commit to It as a Leadership Team

Once you have collected all the necessary qualitative and quantitative information on the current status of the company culture, it is time to define where you want to take it. This means casting a vision for the future and showing why what is currently in place will not allow the organization to make it there. Whether a culture transformation is necessary to improve engagement, reduce safety incidents, maximize the effectiveness of sales, or become more customer centric, the reason for changing and the way the transformation will happen needs to be cemented. At this time, company leadership will need to come to an agreement that this is in fact the path forward, and commit to doing their part to seeing is succeed.

Step 3: Prepare the Organization Mentally for the Impending Transformation
Culture transformation takes more than everyone agreeing that the culture needs to
change. It also requires long-term commitment and a vision for change. For employees to see and understand the culture transformation journey they’re about to embark upon, leaders need to establish a vision for the desired change, outline the reasons for the change, and help employees understand how the change will impact their individual roles. For the vision to become a reality, it also needs to be communicated to employees broadly so they have a chance to express their concerns, ask questions, and get the clarity they need to support the initiative.

A Culture of Leadership Excellence
A culture of leadership excellence is one where company leaders at all levels are committed to continuous improvement. This instills a sense of confidence within individual contributors that they are led by a team of leaders who truly care and want to see individuals, teams, and the organization succeed. Leaders show their commitment to upholding this type of culture by participating in ongoing training, leadership development, mentoring, and coaching. Also, those who have inherent
leadership skills are far more likely to be recognized and nurtured appropriately to eventually step into a position of leadership, thus building a pipeline of future leaders for the organization.

A Culture of Collaboration
A study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity found that companies with a collaborative culture are 5.5 times more likely to be high performing than companies that don’t have one.

In a culture of collaboration, organizations maximize employee knowledge and
capabilities because the ideas and information created by employees spread more easily. This is a result of communication and collaboration across functional and departmental lines, which positively influences company performance and the bottom line.

An Inclusive Culture
An inclusive culture develops when organizations put a concerted effort into ensuring that every individual in the organization feels that their input is welcome and valued. As a result, employees are more likely to contribute their ideas, champion new projects, and be more engaged with growing the organization overall. Also, when employees work for an organization where they feel their contributions are appreciated and valued, they are more likely to have higher levels of employee engagement and stay with the organization. This means increased
employee retention rates and decreased recruitment costs.

A Customer-Centric Culture
An organization with a customer-centric culture always considers the viewpoint of the customer when making decisions, creating processes, defining expected behavior, and developing strategy. It’s an all encompassing philosophy that is all about the consumers who buy your company’s products or services. This type of culture permeates your entire organization, including those who are not customer facing.

A Culture of Accountability
In this type of corporate culture, individuals feel accountable for both their own work and that of their teams. As such, they feel empowered to take ownership of tasks and outcomes, and trust their colleagues to do the same. In a culture of accountability that functions well, every team member actively and willingly contributes to the success of the organization, because they understand that their contributions have value.

A Culture of Sales Effectiveness
A culture of sales effectiveness is centered around supporting the activities that generate revenue for the organization. For organizations with a large sales force, developing this type of culture within the team can improve their ability to sell new products and services as solutions to customer pain-points, to approach new markets, to develop a sales process that is in line with their company values, and to use the tools that will help them maximize sales.

A Culture of Safety and Compliance
A culture of safety and compliance is one that is committed to protecting the health and well-being of every individual, meaning that employees inherently protect not just themselves, but also their colleagues. Building this type of culture requires having safety procedures in place, requiring specific behaviors, and providing ongoing training to ensure that everybody has all the necessary information and conviction to perform their job safely.

A Culture of Innovation
Innovation is highly valuable and necessary for the ongoing success of the organization. A culture of innovation is one that focuses not only on coming up with new ideas, but also on following a rigorous process to bring those ideas to fruition. It is a culture that actively engages in creative thinking and executes on new ideas to drive organizational growth.


Leadership is absolutely vital to any culture transformation. It is the difference between success and failure. From the words they speak to the way they behave, leaders play a critical role in setting the tone for what’s acceptable or expected within a company. In fact, when leaders model the behavior changes they are asking employees to make, a culture transformation is 5.3 times more likely to be successful.

What Is the Role of the Leader During a Culture Transformation?

1. Communicate the Vision to Their Direct Reports
It can be overwhelming — even a little scary — for employees to be told that they need to change significantly, especially if they’ve been in a role for a long time. But if leaders communicate the vision for the transformation, the rationale behind it, and a general idea of what will be required of individual employees, they help their direct reports to see the big picture and the anticipated benefits. The more leaders share the vision in positive ways, the more employees will be able to connect with it, and the more willing they will be to alter their behavior to align with the vision.

2. Set Realistic Expectations
Leaders also need to set clear and realistic expectations. Strong leaders are able to work with each employee to set achievable, measurable goals, helping them to understand exactly what is expected. By providing this clarity, leaders help to create an environment where employees are positioned to succeed and perform at their best.

3. Provide Timely Feedback and Coaching
Once expectations are set, leaders need to deliver clear, actionable feedback to help guide employees toward the expected behaviors. This takes both candor and empathy, so that employees can accept and incorporate the  feedback, rather than feel that they are being scolded for poor performance.

4. Attend Training and Development
Changes to behavior often require new skills — either technical skills, soft skills, or, most likely, a combination of the two. In a Wall Street Journal survey, 92 percent of employers said that technical skills and soft skills are equally important, as skills like communication, teamwork, and critical thinking can help organizations to innovate and grow. Learning and development bridges the gap between knowledge and action, and leaders
play a critical role in helping employees on this journey by coaching them on how to apply the learning from training back on the job.

5. Lead by Example
The biggest role of leaders during a culture transformation is to lead by example — none of the factors above will have much impact if leaders are not modeling the changes they are requiring from their employees. Leaders must be honest, supportive, and accountable for their actions, because employees take cues for acceptable performance from their leaders.


Get Aligned as an Executive Team
Once the need for culture transformation has been identified, the executive team must get aligned on the path forward and commit to seeing it through until the expected results are realized.

Involve All Levels of Leadership
Within a culture transformation, leaders are the ones who should be providing the motivation for success. They should be reinforcing the rationale for the transformation and should be front and center in encouraging people to persevere when it’s challenging to adopt the new behaviors.

Regularly Communicate the Anticipated Benefit
Frequent communication helps foster openness to new ideas and behaviors. In fact, one study found that regular communication around change-management initiatives can help to reduce employee resistance to change.

Provide Training on What to Stop, Start, and Continue
The new behaviors and skills required for a culture transformation will require training. This training should provide employees and leaders with an understanding of exactly what they should stop doing, start doing, and continue doing in order to support the desired culture.

Build Conviction, Not Just Skill
Emotions are a vital part of who we are as human beings, and are a powerful motivator. Therefore, undergoing a culture transformation requires significant attention to building personal conviction so that each employee believes in the reasons for change and acts accordingly.

Consistently Monitor Progress
In a study, 73 percent of C-suite respondents said they had no formal process in place for measuring corporate culture.11 Although measuring culture has its challenges, it is imperative to do so in order to demonstrate that progress has been made, and keep people motivated to see the initiative through to completion.

Celebrate Success
When the organization is in the midst of organizational transformation, it’s possible to get caught up in daily challenges and lose sight of the progress that has been made. Keep your employees motivated and focused by intentionally taking the time to recognize and celebrate key milestones, so everyone can see the progress being made, and notice the difference.

Maintain Focus on the Initiative for a Minimum of Two Years
Culture transformation is a long-term commitment with its share of highs and lows, so you’ll need to take specific action to ensure that the impact of culture change is sustained over time.

Include Everyone
When embarking on a culture transformation, everyone affected by the transformation should be involved from the outset.

Ensure That HR Practices Are Integrated and Aligned
During a culture transformation, Human Resources will need to update talent management practices and programs to support the new organizational culture. Recruiting activities, performance-review systems, and training programs are all areas that should be adjusted to ensure that the organization is hiring, developing, and retaining individuals who embody the values and behaviors of the desired organizational culture.


When is the best time to begin a culture transformation?
As soon as the need for change has been recognized, that is the time to get started. Don’t be delayed by other priorities, or by concerns that employees are overworked. If you are going to change the way people do things, and this change will be for the better, then the sooner they can learn the desired behaviors, the greater the impact will be — and the easier their jobs will become. If handled correctly, the behaviors introduced as part of the change initiative will feel seamless, complementary, and helpful to team members.

How long will a culture transformation take?
A culture transformation, even one done on a smaller scale for only a single department, will take several months, and for a company-wide one, as long as four years. Throughout that time, the plan will require the same focus and attention that it initially received, despite the possible hindrances or distractions which can occur. Once begun, people need to know that senior management remains fully committed to the sustained effort required to see the transformation fully implemented.

Is culture transformation painful or exciting?
The common folklore is that creating a new culture will probably be painful; either it will require people to do things which they do not want to do, or take too much time that they don’t have, or be something which is felt to perhaps be important but not urgent. By no means should this be the case. A culture transformation can be a very exciting time that harnesses the energy and enthusiasm of the entire workforce. In fact, a culture transformation of any shape or size should be recognized as an opportunity to fully engage the workforce. It is an opportunity to provide them with skills that can last a lifetime. When it is done properly, and seen to be led by management, then the organization will be quick to support it and eager to reap the benefits. This is not to say that learning new behaviors is easy, or that existing ways of doing things are not deeply ingrained and well entrenched. They are.  However, changing these existing behaviors to new ways of doing things does not have to be painful; it can be a welcome change that breathes new life into a workforce if done well.

What role do a CEO and executive team play in a culture transformation?
The CEO and executive leadership team of an organization play a critical role in shaping company culture, whether they do it intentionally or not. Their influence on the culture is far-reaching, which means that if the  organizational focus is on a company-wide culture transformation, then the CEO and the executive team have to be fully involved. On the other hand, if the organizational focus is simply on a culture change within a division,
then only the divisional head needs to be seen as its leader. Similarly, if the culture transformation is occurring at a local level, such as a distribution center, then the head of the distribution center needs to be fully involved. The principle is that the most senior individual in the area undergoing a transformation needs to spearhead the initiative.

What is the role of Human Resources in a culture transformation?
Human Resources plays a vital role in any transformation, but they should not be seen to be the primary driver. The lead drivers of any culture transformation must be senior management. The Human Resource function covers off a number of key components critical to any transformation, including:
• Training
• Communications
• Line manager support
• Assessment and measurement
• Performance management
• Recruiting
• Succession planning
• Promotions
• Rewards and recognition

Is training required in a culture transformation?
Training is a critical component of any culture transformation and will be required in some form. This is because employees within the organization who are directly affected by the transformation will need to know what new behaviors are expected, and how to demonstrate them. To do this, training will be essential. Keep in mind that training must be done with care, since training can actually change the entire direction of an organization, and radically influence the outcomes.

Organizations have unique cultures, and it’s important to understand that “one size does not fit all.” There are some organizations where a great culture will be defined in terms of hours worked and revenue brought in, such as in a company where billings are paramount. Another company will define culture in terms of impact on people’s lives and communities, such as an organization committed to community service. Each organization needs its own culture. This culture should be a reflection of what is important to them, and what is necessary for them to succeed in their marketplace. Therefore, there is no single definition of a great culture. What makes a culture truly
great is whether or not it optimizes the talent and ability of its people. If it has been identified within your organization that a shift in the corporate culture is needed, or if you are not certain but feel that many organizational challenges may be rooted in the current culture, a transformation may be required. To begin your own culture transformation, start with a chat with our experienced team. In that conversation, we can help you better understand what all this means in the context of your needs and reality.

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Personal Development in Healthcare

Just as you approach the overall health of individual patients, you must also address the health of your entire healthcare organization. This includes building a strong backbone for your institute by developing mid-level managers. Providing personal development tools that will help them grow and thrive as supervisors and maintaining a robust leadership pipeline are essential for creating an environment that enables you to deliver superior patient outcomes. In this video you’ll learn why patient outcomes depend on personal development in healthcare.

Video Transcript

In 2008 the Institute for Healthcare Improvement came up with what was called Triple Aim. Improving the health of the general population, enhancing patient care, and then also producing per capita costs of healthcare focusing on that. Does anyone other than myself see
something huge that’s missing from that?

Which is why Triple Aim has now turned into Quadruple Aim, because the fourth element now is the staff itself, and the health of the staff. Do we just simply say congratulations you’re now a nursing supervisor, here’s 12 people, try not to mess it up. Or do we provide them with tools for success? Is there succession planning? Are there thoughts around this? Do we develop our leaders?

I will tell you without question, those mid-level managers are your most critical function, both on the clinical and non-clinical side.Think of the human body. You could have the most brilliant brain, which is your strategic plan. You could have the most brilliant rank-and-file,which is your legs. But if your spine is weak you are done, and your spine are your mid-level managers.

Personal development at all levels of the organization is critical, but if it doesn’t start, and live, and thrive in that core of your mid-level managers, those nursing supervisors on the clinical side, those supervisors on your non-clinical side, you have very little chance of getting to that ultimate goal of superior outcomes for your patients, and creating a superior reputation for your institute.


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How To Motivate Others? Be a Leader Worth Following.

Think back to the best boss you’ve ever worked for. How would you describe them? Often, words such as inspiring, motivating, caring, and authentic come to mind. It’s these leaders that employees want to follow and who make a lasting impact on their career.


Outstanding bosses are able to combine their interpersonal and communication skills to inspire the people they lead. It’s these skills that motivate others and creates within them a desire to follow, or be part of, their vision. Although interpersonal and communication skills are often considered to be something people are born with, it can be broken down into different techniques that can be learned, making it possible for every leader to be one that others want to follow.



There are ten traits that together combine to create a leader that has the ability to motivate and draws others to be part of their team.

1. Be Happy.

It projects a sense of personal confidence and well being and tends to make others feel positive about the culture and excited about the team they find themselves on. Employees want positive work relationships and when their leaders foster a happy environment it increases motivation, morale, and stronger bonds.

2. Be Decisive.

Others will be confident in your leadership, the direction, and actions being taken if decisions are made quickly and those decisions are well-informed. Most importantly, a decisive leader makes decisions that are clear and final.

3. Be Knowledgeable.

Being well-prepared breeds confidence. It allows the decisions that are being made to be done so decisively, and on the basis of relevant information and facts.

4. Listen.

Everyone appreciates being heard and being listened to. When employees know that their thoughts are being considered, they feel freer to express their ideas, opinions, and perspective. One study found that employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel motivated and empowered to perform their best work.


5. Have Innovative Ideas.

Being prepared with ideas, alternatives, and new solutions that others have not considered, naturally allows people to turn to the one with ideas for suggestions and direction. Be prepared by thinking in advance of possible ideas which are creative or innovative, and certainly different from those which are usually put forward.

6. Communicate Clearly.

Acquiring the ability to communicate in a way that can be understood by others is an essential leadership quality. Leaders who communicate clearly help teams understand expectations, give feedback and coaching that results in performance improvement and develop deep, authentic connections with others.

7. Be Encouraging.

Everyone wants to know if they’re doing a good job. Encouraging others is demonstrating the ability to spot something positive in the midst of a task, or at its completion, and then speaking encouraging words. When you’re a leader, your words are magnified and hold immense power. When you positively affirm an employee, that encouragement motivates the employee to continue.

8. Create an Atmosphere of Fun.

People enjoy working in a fun-filled environment, and often a little bit of creative thought and energy focused on creating an environment that is a pleasant one to work is worth the effort. For example, one of our leaders at Eagle’s Flight has a kids bowling set at the end of a long hallway. Any time a team member has a “win” they get to take a bowl. This motivates the entire team, creates an atmosphere of fun, and celebrates that employee’s success.

9. Tell the Truth.

We may believe people would rather not be told the truth, however, this is rarely the case. In most instances, people appreciate the truth if it is delivered clearly and kindly. This in turn creates trust that people are able to rely on what you say.

10. Be Enthusiastic.

Attitudes are contagious. When you’re enthusiastic this energy overflows to others. Remaining positive, outgoing, and excited about the future will result in others wanting to be part of that excitement and follow your leadership.

Leadership traits are learnable and by consciously making an effort to exhibit these ten traits, your employees will be more motivated and inclined to follow your lead. By doing so, one day, when your employee is asked to think of the best boss they’ve ever worked for, hopefully, they describe you.

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3 Benefits of Developing Coaches Within Your Organization

Good leadership is about more than just developing strategies and delegating tasks. Excellent leaders are skilled at helping others gain new skills and guiding them on a path that leads to performing better and reaching personal goals. When this aligns with organizational goals, everybody wins: Employees enjoy personal growth and a work environment that supports it, and organizations build a high-performing, engaged, and loyal workforce.

When leaders are actively invested in developing employees’ skills and competencies, they will see their efforts bear fruit. In addition to strong training and development programs, coaching plays a valuable role in developing and engaging talent day to day, leading to a broad range of benefits such as empowered employees, improved performance, and higher engagement.

1. Empowered employees

Coaching helps empower employees to come up with solutions and implement their ideas. This benefits the organization because empowered employees know they have the freedom to be proactive and make decisions that will improve the company.

Why Empowerment Matters

When employees understand the boundaries and freedoms that have been defined for them, they are able to use their knowledge and skills to the fullest. Research from the University of Iowa shows that employees who work for organizations that promote employee empowerment are more engaged, take more initiative, and report greater job satisfaction. When employees are granted the autonomy to make decisions within their scope of expertise, not only do they feel valued, but they also make their organization more responsive, more innovative, and, ultimately, more productive.

How Coaching Helps

Identifying the appropriate level of autonomy for individuals is not as simple as using a template. Because each employee has a different working style and every task has unique requirements, boundaries have to be determined at the individual level. Often, when an employee has too much freedom, they can feel overwhelmed. On the other hand, when they are too restricted, they can become frustrated and disengaged because their talents are not being used to the fullest.

When employees work directly with coaches to determine the right balance between freedom and restrictions, they are able to grow to their potential. As employees learn and develop, their boundaries should be adjusted to continue the cycle of empowerment. Communication is a critical element of this process. Coaches must both listen to the recommendations of empowered employees and have the ability to provide the honest feedback that will help them grow.

2. Improved performance

Another benefit of coaching is that it can greatly improve individual performance.

Why Performance Matters

Most employees want to do a great job. In addition to providing training and the necessary resources to do the work, organizations that also provide one-on-one coaching are able to improve individual performance, which ultimately leads to better organizational performance.

However, Gallup research shows that traditional approaches to performance management are falling short and not reaching stated performance management goals. Only two in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work. When only 20 percent of employees feel motivated, it is nearly impossible to achieve organizational excellence.

How Coaching Helps

The importance of ongoing interactions in a coaching relationship cannot be overstated, especially when the goal is to improve performance. It starts with providing clear direction for a specific task or goal and laying out a path to achieving it. If the interaction stops there, the employee might be able to successfully complete the task based on the clear direction, but if that’s all they get from their manager, it’s a missed opportunity for improving performance.

A good coach will periodically check in—ideally, at least once a week—to discuss the progress that has been made, help overcome any hurdles, and highlight areas for improvement. This continued engagement enables the employee to make incremental (and sometimes drastic) improvements that will allow them to become an overall better performer. Modeling behavior is important, but even the sharpest employees cannot rely on observation alone. When coaches explain why something is done a certain way and how that method evolved, employees gain new knowledge and can apply it to other work.

3. Higher engagement

Improving employee engagement is a goal for many companies, and coaching is one way to get individuals to stay tuned in.

Why Engagement Matters

Gallup estimates that the cost of poor management and lost productivity from employees who are either not engaged or are actively disengaged is between $960 billion and $1.2 trillion per year. This loss can have a major impact on the bottom line, especially for companies with larger workforces.

Despite this dismal statistic, the modern workforce wants to be engaged. Employees want to understand how their roles connect to the larger team and to the organization as a whole. According to the Gallup study referenced above, employees who strongly agree that they can link their goals to the organization’s goals are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged. Unfortunately, only 44 percent of employees say that they can see this connection.

How Coaching Helps

Engagement is directly linked to the frequency of communication with a manager and the content of those conversations. The same Gallup report indicates that employees who receive daily feedback from their manager are 3 times more likely to be engaged than those who receive feedback once a year or less.

Gallup has also found that employees who have had conversations with their manager in the past six months about their goals and successes are 2.8 times more likely to be engaged. This is a substantial return for a relatively small investment of time and energy from a coach. However, only 20 percent of employees say that they have talked with their manager in the past six months about steps to reach their goals, indicating a lost opportunity for increasing engagement. It’s clear that communication needs to happen more frequently and that it must address employee goals and successes.

Goal-setting through coaching also leads to better engagement, but only 30 percent of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in the process of setting goals. These employees are nearly 4 times more likely to be engaged than other employees, but for the ones who are not involved in goal-setting, the consequences can be damaging. According to Gallup:


“Unfortunately, the majority of workers tend to sense an unfairness or injustice in how their performance is managed and evaluated. They are held accountable for work that they don’t always have the tools or support to accomplish successfully, and they often are not even invited to a conversation about how work could be done more effectively.”

Coaching can help eliminate these negative feelings. Actively setting goals together, creating milestones to achieve them, and tracking progress along the way give employees the chance to be involved in their own development and feel that their leader has their interests in mind.

Creating accountability through coaching and goal-setting also helps improve engagement because employees own the results of their actions and behaviors and are accountable to both themselves and their coach. When individuals know that they are responsible for completing a task or behaving a certain way—and have the skills and competencies to do it—they are motivated to stay engaged and meet their goals.

Develop Coaches Within Your Organization

The benefits of coaching extend beyond just increased engagement, better performance, and empowered employees. Developing leaders from within the organization helps build the leadership pipeline and grows institutional knowledge.

Teaching leaders how to be coaches also helps them become better at their jobs. They learn how to give and receive feedback, set measurable goals, and track milestones. They must also model the behavior they want to see in their employees, which means they are more accountable for their own actions and behaviors. All of these skills can be applied in future leadership positions, as well.

Leaders don’t automatically know how to be good coaches, but they can be taught with leadership development that offers practical strategies for coaching teams toward sustained performance improvement. Just like any other skill, coaching can be taught through experiential learning. It can also be honed over time through real-life practice and additional training to learn new techniques and approaches. If you want to empower employees, improve individual performance, and develop an engaged workforce, consider making an investment in developing coaches within your organization.

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