Corporate Culture Survival, with Sloans Fellow Professor of Management Emeritus, Dr. Ed Schein
It happens regularly... my phone rings, I pick it up, and on the other end I'm talking with someone who's inquiring about bringing us in to deliver a keynote for a company event or training for their organization.
My first response is not whether I'm available on the dates they're looking for. My first questions are designed to help me understand the problems they're trying to solve.
Once I have a good sense of the issues they want to address, I inevitably ask a critical, open-ended question: "Tell me about the culture of your organization?"
How would you respond to that question? How would you describe your company's culture? Or the culture of your team? How about the project culture at your company--how things get done?
This is what I've found: understanding organizational culture is critical to being able to deliver projects and lead teams. If I don't have a decent idea of the culture I'm walking into for a keynote, workshop, or coaching session, I flat out won't be effective. It would be like walking in and finding that everyone speaks a foreign language.
Dr. Ed Schein is a world renowned MIT professor and expert on organizational culture, and has authored fourteen business books, including The Corporate Culture Survival Guide. When it comes to knowing how to get things done in a company, Ed is one of my heroes, so I was very excited to have the opportunity to speak with him recently. This episode contains the first part of my discussion with Dr. Schein, with the remaining to be included in the next cast.
Hey, I want to invite you to check out our new People and Projects Podcast website! Check us out at www.peopleandprojectspodcast.com. I would love your feedback on the site!
While you're at it, would you take a moment to tell a friend about this podcast? I would love to have the opportunity to help develop your friends and colleagues who have a desire to successfully deliver projects and lead teams.
Thank you for joining us for this episode of the People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!
Here's the situation... you're responsible for delivering a project. Your boss comes in today and announces that senior management has decided that you must deliver your project 4 weeks earlier than originally planned.
You know that the project is already carrying a lot of risk, and cutting 4 more weeks seems completely unrealistic, at least from your perspective. Yet it also appears, from your perspective, that speaking up or pushing back could be job risking. They aren't looking for your input--they're looking for you to deliver on the demand.
Whether you are a project manager or responsible for leading a team, we are regularly faced with situations that require us to influence others. Yet here's my observation: influence skills are one of the most under-trained areas for many people today. It's almost as if we think influence training is for salespeople or lawyers or "those people over in procurement."
We all can benefit from developing our influence skills. One of my favorite influence books in the last couple years is entitled Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive. I had the opportunity recently to speak with the co-author of Yes!, Steve Martin, and look forward to your feedback on the interview in this cast. By the way, you'll hear Steve share his thoughts on how to deal with that boss with unrealistic timeframes!
If you are interested in developing the influence skills of your project managers, team leads, or other organizational leaders, give us a call! Between keynotes, workshops, and executive coaching, we have a number of ways that we can help your leaders improve their influence skills. You can contact us toll-free at (866) 884-5323 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I invite you to join me in our next episode when I talk with Cornelius Fichtner, the host of The Project Management Podcast. For those of you who are certified PMP's and are interested in some helpful ways to get the required PDU's to maintain your certification, you particularly don't want to miss this episode!
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And, one last thing! Would you take a moment to let a friend or colleague know about The People and Projects Podcast? I'd love to pour into them as well, to help them lead people and deliver projects.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!