Kicking it Off With a Prayer and a Story!

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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At key times during the culture and disruption initiative I’m leading, I’m going to share the strategy, tactics, pivots, etc. with our followers so we all might learn together. It will be authentic, messy and hopefully instructive. Please join us with the overall objective of inspiring a movement to create even greater workplaces and organization cultures. Everyone has the right to thrive in a great workplace. Each of us has an obligation to make it so.

The Challenge: How do you kick off a culture “boot camp” with 25 culture champions, and 25 supporting experts, in a way that sets a deep and strong foundation? Leading a cultural transformation takes courage. Once you open up the culture conversation with an entire institution, you can’t just stuff everything back in the box. So the folks attending the boot camp and leading the first phase of our culture initiative, a comprehensive cultural assessment, would really benefit from coming together as one connected team. The way they insert themselves as listening catalysts in the organization will establish their brand as culture champions. It will have a profound impact on how the organization perceives the culture work as meaningful and sustainable. So a lot of thought has to be put into how to begin.

What We Did About It: The college has an indigenous center which is an actual space on campus. One might view this center as the heart and soul of the organization. It is the essence and symbol of diversity, inclusion, courage and resilience that drives this institution. The college and indigenous center also has the good fortune of having Deloris Cardinal, a Cree elder, as part of the faculty, and she kicked us off with a smudge and prayer. In the spirit of indigenous tradition, Elder Deloris “started us off in a good way.”  It was a remarkable moment to become centered. We then moved to our boot camp working room where in one large circle, our marvellous colleague Maureen Parker, led a storytelling process. Each participant brought something that symbolizes a moment in their lives that required personal courage. Building off our beginning prayer, we came together in story. As each of us took the step of being vulnerable and brave in sharing personal story, you could see the group beginning to meld into “one.” It indeed was a very solid start of our investment in pouring this strong foundation. I believe this will give us the much needed platform strength to launch from. Stay tuned to hear how the rest of the boot camp goes and what we do next. Thanks for being part of our journey.

Think big, start small, act now.

– Lorne

One Millennial View: That certainly sounds like a compelling and cool way to kick start the culture conquest. I like the way the group has become one, and I’m eager to hear how the boot camp continues.

– Garrett

Blog 989

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Hot Topic Friday: June 14

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my June 14 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: When You Make a Big Mistake is Your Career Screwed?

Source: The New York Times.

What It’s About? This superb article explores what happens when we screw up at work (and we all will). We usually make a bigger deal out of it than it is. and the author offers the following practical guidance: “The first step to correcting a monumental blunder is to be honest and critical with yourself and to acknowledge that it was indeed a mistake. The second step is even more crucial: Accept that it was a mistake, but don’t allow it to define you or your self-worth” Then move forward by embracing what’s in the way, is the way.

Why It’s Important: Both individuals and organizations can progress by recognizing and accepting the wonderful authenticity of human failure. We all make mistakes, and very rarely (if you look at the statistics), are they the end or derailment of a career. In my 40 plus years of experience, I honestly cannot recall when a mistake unilaterally ruined a career unless an illegal or egregious, immoral act was involved. Most times, good intention underscores a mistake. To create highly innovative, adaptive organizations, management’s constructive approach to dealing with blunders is important. However, we as individuals also would benefit from a growth and non-judgmental mindset. What if after all mistakes we just became fiercely accountable and curious to learn fast?

Hot Topic 2: Is Empathy Truly Valued or Mushy Silicon Valley Crap?

Source: Harvard Business Review.

What It’s About: Based on recent research, only 20 percent of U.S. employers offered empathy training for managers. Yet, in a survey of 150 CEOs, over 80 percent recognized empathy as key to success. Why the gap? Jamil Zaki, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and author of The War For Kindness: Building Empathy in a Fractured World, notes that empathetic workplaces tend to enjoy stronger collaboration, less stress, greater morale, and their employees will bounce back more quickly from difficult moments such as layoffs. Still, despite their efforts, many leaders struggle to actually make caring part of their organizational culture. In fact, there’s often a rift between the culture executives say they want and the one they actually have.

Why It’s Important: Compassion and empathy are such important values to espouse at the top and practiced by all. As Zaki describes in his book, people conform not just to others’ bad behaviors, but also adhere to kind and productive norms. His research also demonstrates that empathy is contagious: People “catch” each others’ care and altruism. To build empathic cultures, leaders can begin by identifying connectors, and recruiting them for help champion the cause. In this case, listen to those top CEOs. We can not assume people know how to be compassionate and empathetic based on their ability to define it. Teach it. Practice it.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 1 California N.V. 

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These six senses increasingly will guide our lives and shape our world.” – Dan Pink

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

Culture Cast – Stop Doing Stuff That No Longer Makes Sense

Personal leadership Podcast

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In season 3, episode 19, Lorne and Lynette discuss taking the steps to stop doing stuff that no longer makes sense.

People and organizations have so much on their plates, and we’re good at piling things on, however it takes courage to stop a time consuming practice you know is not working. Whether it’s attending meetings that no longer bring value, or filling your calendar with activities or processes that may be outdated, stop and declutter.

All that and more on this episode of Culture Cast.

Please feel free to subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow this podcast on Soundcloud, as well as iTunes, and Lorne and Lynette’s social media platforms for all the latest Culture Cast uploads and announcements.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Lynette Turner is available on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as through her site, LynetteTurner.com.

We look forward to sharing Season 3 of Culture Cast: Conversations on Culture and Leadership with you every Wednesday.

The Culture Boot Camp

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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At key times during the culture and disruption initiative I’m leading, I’m going to share the strategy, tactics, pivots, etc. with our followers so we all might learn together. It will be authentic, messy and hopefully instructive. Please join us with the overall objective of inspiring a movement to create even greater workplaces and organization cultures. Everyone has the right to thrive in a great workplace. Each of us has an obligation to make it so.

The Challenge: How do you start a cultural transformation? It’s really important to engage a core group of people to help lead the process. In this case, we recruited a group of “Culture Champions” to represent the entire college. Now, what do you do with this group to make it meaningful? Culture can be a mushy idea and concept. And then, how do you choose what to focus on to leverage and accelerate the initiative?

What I’m Doing About It: We are taking the Culture Champions through a learning and planning boot camp for four full days, starting this week. We will challenge them to observe the characteristics of other organizations’ cultures, and introduce the underlying concepts in the 10 elements required for building extraordinary, adaptive cultures (see pic above). We will then conclude the workshop with a game plan to unleash the Culture Champions to do qualitative research by listening to all parts of the organization, using the 10 elements as a guide. They will be expected to bring their findings back to my Culture and Transformation team by the end of the summer. We will use this data to build our culture advancement plan. Then it’s a matter of making choices, focusing, executing and building off of momentum.

P.S. When they come back with their data, I will also engage them in a visioning process to establish a multi-sensual description of a desired future culture “end” state, including milestones along the way.

Think Big, Start Small, Act Now.

Lorne

One Millennial View: Please come back to us with some bootcamp highlights, and I’m certainly curious to see how it pans out over the summer. In the spirit of the season, hopefully it’ll make a splash like a water slide more so than a lazy river.

– Garrett

Blog 988

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Lead In With Lorne – Have You Considered Using This When Giving Feedback?

Personal leadership Podcast

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Welcome to another Lead In With Lorne. This week, Lorne discusses an important and powerful phrase that he has to remind himself to use.

When you use the phrase “have you considered?” when giving feedback, it has a huge and positive impact on the recipients. It’s simple and easy to forgo, but consider using it the next time you’re in that position as a leader and see how it works for you.

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too. We hope it enriches your Monday!

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Hot Topic Friday: June 7

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my June 7 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.

Hot Topic 1: Learning from a Drag Queen.

Source: The New York Times.

What It’s About: This is a raw and important story about the challenges we face being our true and authentic selves. The author, a gay man, married with a young son, experiences an event and becomes aware of a small inner wish that his son “would not be like me, that he would blend in and not suffer the way I did. My scar is rooted in anger and fear — and shame, the part I thought was gone but is still there.

Why It’s Important: A drag queen (a key subject throughout the story), gives the author simple and practical advice, “just listen to your son.” None of us should feel the need to hide who we really are. The author goes on to reflect: “There’s no guarantee what kind of person my boy will become, what his dreams will be, and I can’t expect his path to align with mine. I can’t protect him from prejudice. He will have scars. But I can choose not to pass my scar on to him.” Let’s work hard not to pass on our scars, and let’s learn more about being allies so none of us need to hide.

Hot Topic 2: The Connection Between Resilience and Inclusion

Source: Forbes

What It’s About: Forbes has published an important article about the connection between diversity, inclusion and resilience. The article notes we have this illusion where we mistake signifiers of surface differences, like skin color, language, religion, lack of religion, geography, etc. as true difference. However, the author points out that true difference doesn’t dwell in the surface stuff. It’s how we see, understand, and then choose to act in the world.

Why It’s Important: We need to progress our thinking and action to respect identity diversity, while we evolve to embrace comprehensive cognitive inclusion. This is sometimes counter-intuitive to an organization’s slavish commitment to alignment and harmony. What’s in the way, is the way. And the paradox is that cognitive diversity actually leads to more inclusion, hence more advanced harmony and adaptive resilience. Please read the full article. This way of working will become more strategically important and mainstream in the best institutions.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

The Investor Red Blend Napa Valley 2015.

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

Having a purpose statement doesn’t equal having a purpose.” – Aga Bajer

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.