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!
Making New Year's Resolutions StickK! An interview with Jordan Goldberg, CEO of stickK.com
Happy New Year! Thank you for joining us for this special New Year's episode of The People and Projects Podcast!
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How many times have you set a new years resolution only to have it hit head-on into the wall of reality of daily living? My experience? New Year's resolutions often don't last the day, much less the end of January!
There are all kinds of resolutions you might consider, personally and professionally. On a professional level, for project managers that have not yet gotten certified, why not make this the year that you get that done? It's so easy to put it off. For others, there might be some habits you want to improve such as getting more sleep or going out on a date with a loved one more often.
There are countless ideas for resolutions but how do you make them stick? Well, on this special New Year's episode of The People and Projects Podcast, you'll hear from Jordan Goldberg, CEO of Stickk.com. Make sure to check their service out!
In 2010 I resolve to continue publishing episodes every other week, and there's already a great line-up recorded. I resolve to work to keep the podcasts at 30 minutes or less where possible and I'm going to look to keep bringing a project management angle to the interviews even when the topic is leadership focused. Most people listen via iTunes but I resolve to finding a better Flash audio player in 2010 as well!
In 2010 you'll be introduced to a premium version of the podcast that will help you not only learn yourself but help you develop those on your teams. More on that in the coming weeks.
Hey, one last thing! I love to hear from listeners! Take a moment to send me an e-mail at email@example.com. Did you have a favorite cast this year? What do you like about our shows and what suggestions do you have to make them better? I look forward to hearing from you.
Here's to 2010 being your best year ever! Happy New Year!
World of Thanks, a special Thanksgiving podcast episode
Thanksgiving is, indeed, one of my favorite holidays. Though celebrated this week in the States, many other countries have a similar holiday with essentially the same purpose: give us a chance to reflect on what we're thankful for.
The People and Projects Podcast is all about helping you to deliver projects and lead teams. So, it's worth asking: how important is being thankful to helping you lead and deliver?
It's critical. In fact, let's test that out for a second....
Think back through bosses you've worked for in the past. Or consider teachers you've had over the years, and perhaps even your parents. Out of that list, who jumps out as someone who was stingy, so to speak, with their gratitude towards you? Whether in word or action, they just didn't dish out appreciation very often.
Can you think of someone? Many people can. What consequences come to mind that resulted from that lack of gratitude?
Some two years ago I was talking with a CEO about how I like to send Thank You cards to people. He actively tried to convince me that such expressions of gratitude--especially in writing--were a waste of time, much like "holding hands and singing." He said, "People don't need a boss telling them 'Thank You'. Rather, results speak for themselves."
Wow. I can only imagine what he's like to work for!
Go back to your list. Get that ogre out of your mind and replace them with someone who did a great job of making you feel appreciated. Once again, whether in word or deed or both, they oozed with gratitude.
What difference did they make?
In my experience, those leaders are able to accomplish so much more. Their teams are more engaged. They can be more innovative because they are working less out of fear and more out of self-motivation. Expressing gratitude and recognizing others for the work they do is a clear mandate for anyone who desires to deliver projects and lead teams.
Maybe it's the economy... Maybe it's the growing discontent among many that our political leaders are out of touch. There's no shortage of things to be upset about.
So here's what I've found. Being thankful is a choice. It's something we need to proactively pursue to avoid being sucked into the whirlpool of negativity and entitlement that surrounds us.
In recent years my company has sponsored a gratitude project called the World of Thanks initiative. Each year people from around the world write in to answer a very simple question: "What are you thankful for?"
Though the answers vary widely, I always get great feedback from people about how they find it refreshing to take a moment to participate in the project as well as read the results from young and old alike.
As many of you know, this year we opened it up for people to call in with their message so we could include their thoughts in this podcast. For all that called in or just replied to the invitations with messages on LinkedIn, Facebook, or e-mail, thank you for participating.
And now, it is my pleasure to share with you the voices of your fellow podcast listeners as they answer the question, "What are you thankful for?"
Why Feedback Doesn't Work, with Charles Jacobs, author of Management Rewired
Chances are as a leader you'll be faced with having to give someone constructive feedback this week. Yet have you noticed how people often aren't quite as open to the feedback as you'd like them to be?
Chris Hogan, who talks about a process called Courageous Conversations, says the key when you're receiving feedback is to avoid blaming, complaining, and explaining. That's courageous advice, for sure, and easier said than done.
I was able to catch up with Charles recently while he was relaxing in the Caribbean! Enjoy the interview! To learn more about Charles, I invite you to check out his website at http://www.managementrewired.com/.
I consistently hear from my executive coaching clients that navigating conflict is a real challenge. Because of that I created an engaging e-learning offering entitled Beyond the Rock and the Hard Place: How to Deal With Conflict More Effectively. As a thank you for listening to this podcast, you can get $50 off the cost of a license. Instead of $149, you can get your hands on this practical learning to help you manage conflict more effectively for only $99. Just use the coupon code of OCT-ROCK-50OFF.
Managing Generation Y, an interview with author and speaker Bruce Tulgan
You've heard the terms Generation X and Generation Y. There are plenty of stereotypes associated with each term. Yet when you're responsible for leading a team that spans generations, it's easy to struggle with challenges that vary from attention spans to how to best motivate and recognize accomplishment.
Or maybe you are working for a younger boss. He or she is the age of one of your adult kids! What are some ideas to keep in mind to help you manage your younger boss?
When I'm looking for insights into leading across generations, I turn to one of the foremost experts on young people in the workplace: Bruce Tulgan. Bruce is the author of Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage Generation Y. You'll find my interview with Bruce in this cast helpful as you seek to lead today's workforce.
In our last cast I announced a drawing for two copies of Phil Simon's book Why New Systems Fail. The two winners are Renee Klivickis and Bob Sims! Congratulations to you both!
Would you like a chance to get a copy of Bruce Tulgan's book Not Everyone Gets a Trophy? Just send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and where you live. Put "Book drawing" in the subject line. I'll draw two winners from those who respond by September 10.
Make sure you listen to the end of this cast to learn about the special discount I'm offering for my e-learning on managing conflict. You can save $50 off the price of one license and $130 off a 3-pack. Just use a coupon code of PODCAST0909 when you order. Visit http://bit.ly/ConflictElearning to learn more about the training.