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Focus on Culture! In his initial run for President, Bill Clinton is famous for reducing his campaign message to campaign staff to one simple sentence: "It's the economy stupid!"  During his presidential campaign, there were many competing issues to engage with such as foreign affairs (the first Iraq war had just ended and the Soviet Union had just been dissolved), healthcare, trade policy, attacks on his character - to name only a few.  However, he told his campaign staff that the only issue which really mattered was the economy. With the support of this fixated focus , he was able [...]

Culture and competitive advantage are connected

Culture and competitive advantage are connected

A unique Global Culture Survey which involved 3,200 management leaders around the globe was just released. Managers responded to questions about the influence of culture on business success. The Katzenbach Center, an institution which is part of the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers carried out this annual Global Culture Survey. There are many key takeaways from the results of the survey. One in particular really got my attention: "66% of the C-Suite and board members surveyed said that culture is MORE important to performance than the organization's strategy or operating model." This assessment is supported by more detailed data. Respondents were [...]

We have encountered the enemy and the enemy is us A four year research project conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte has just come to an end.  For a period of over four years, more than 16.000 people were surveyed about their experience with digital disruption and the adequacy of their organization's response. The results are in. "The true challenge of mastering digital disruption (and a major part of the solution) is enabling people.   Companies can effectively navigate the challenges of digital disruption by undertaking initiatives which are far more organizational and managerial than technical." Source: [...]

In today’s world, just about everyone has a smart phone and therefore the possibility of connecting with others in a myriad of creative ways. Tech companies offer all kinds of collaborative software including real time messaging, file sharing, video meetings, etc. Without a doubt, all of these features have an impact on the culture of an organization. However, most of these software offerings are targeted for individual or team use. What is needed to support an organization’s culture is a digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives, one which is a systemic digital offering. This was the [...]

In today’s digital world there is an increasing spectrum of ways to connect with each other digitally: virtual groups and teams, communities of practice, zoom meetings to name just a few. As a result, it is difficult to imagine work getting done without harnessing the power of networks in our organizations. However, when it comes to organizational culture, companies have a tendency to under utilize the power of their networks. The abstract nature of culture may be one reason why this dynamic component of culture is underestimated. Transforming a culture is a difficult enough challenge for CEOs and leaders in [...]

Focusing on the future Feedback is an essential element of good leadership and high performance teams.  Individuals cannot function in a vacuum.  They need to know what they are doing well and what they need to improve. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith - a well known management educator and coach notes that feedback has a fundamental limitation.  Feedback by its very nature looks at the past instead of looking ahead towards the future.  This makes feedback potentially static and undynamic.  The past cannot be changed. It is in the future that possibilities for development reside. To address this fundamental flaw in feedback [...]

More than 100 different topics offered through the CoachingOurselves© module library Ensemble Enabler is proud to be a certified provider for CoachingOurselves© – the company which was inspired by Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University (Montreal). This Peer-to-Peer Networking concept was launched in 2007. Over the years, CoachingOurselves© has developed an extensive library of content for use in Peer-to-Peer Networking sessions in conjunction with world renowned experts and business leaders in their fields. For instance, Professor Edgar Schein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has written modules on leadership and organizational culture. Professor Philip Kotler – a distinguished Professor of [...]

PMG is a medium size company specializing in the manufacturing of automotive parts.  New management was recently hired to lead the organization into the next phase of the company's development.  After a review of the business, the leadership embarked on several strategic change initiatives. How could the management be better prepared to guide these initiatives in an effective manner? Taking the Fish out of the Water A fish does not know what water is until it is taken out of the water.   Similarly, leaders and managers in organizations often do not see the water around them either – until [...]

The Context The EKN division of E.O.N. - a German based energy company - convened a meeting in the form of a systemic dialogue in order to enhance employee engagement.  150 employees out of a total EKN workforce of approximately 800 participated at two locations - Hamburg and Landshut.  During the course of these meetings, multiple proposals were made that could potentially have a considerable impact on EKN's workplace.   However, over 600 employees were not able to participate directly in the formulation of these proposals.  How could these employees not only be informed of the potential proposals being considered, [...]

Getting started with Peer-to-Peer Networking

Getting started with Peer-to-Peer Networking

The Peer-to-Peer Networking process combines state of the art management content with the benefits of social learning. This approach provides a cost effective way to develop people and is easy to implement.  Employees can either have a face-to-face experience in your organization's meeting rooms or participate in a Peer-to-Peer Networking module virtually with other colleagues online. Your business can take the following three steps to introduce this process into your organization: 1. Test it with a team   If you are intrigued by the concept of the Coaching Ourselves approach by Henry Mintzberg - try it out.  Select a team for a 90 minute [...]

Lifelong Learning Knowledge is accumulating at an ever increasing pace in today's world. As a result, fostering lifelong learning is regarded as essential for a company's on-going success. Individuals need to continue learning throughout the course of their working lives. Companies support their employees' learning journey by offering a broad spectrum of courses and training programs as part of their management development programs. Normally such formal courses and training programs are based on an established template which are carried out repeatedly. External experts with specific know-how are often engaged present this knowledge to the participants. This top-down approach may provide [...]

Deliberately developmental organizations focus on culture

Deliberately developmental organizations focus on culture

Organizations need to create work environments which provide employees with psychological safety  It is becoming increasingly clear that mastering digital disruption is primarily an organizational culture issue not a technology issue.  The results of a 4 year study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Deloitte clearly spells this out. Digital maturity is the new paradigm which will increasingly be the focus of organizations' efforts to master digital disruption.  A "fearless culture" is the first step to digital maturity. DIGITAL MATURITY is defined as "an organization's ability to compete effectively by taking advantage of opportunities enabled by technological infrastructure, both [...]

A digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives – its community One of the key activities of any organization is timely and fact-based communication about what is occurring in an organization – whether it be in a time of crisis, change or celebration. Commonly an individual or dedicated staff carries out this responsibility on behalf of the leadership to disseminate information to its employees. The use of specific channels of communication tools mirror the uniqueness of each organization and its culture. But is this classical communication sufficient to foster an organization’s culture which needs to foster nimbleness [...]

Any promising change initiative begins with identifying the projects focus and clarifying its goals.  Digital transformation is so all-encompassing that companies often find it difficult to adhere to these fundamental best practice principles for change management initiatives.  Part of the dilemma is that various misconceptions prevail about digital transformation:  What exactly is it? How and when can it be achieved?  Diverse views on the matter crop up and inevitably lead to a lack of alignment across the organization. Ensemble Enabler has developed a special modular learning initiative consisting of 6 core topics to support organizations to address the digital transformation process [...]

Keystone Habits in Organizations - A Success Story

Keystone Habits in Organizations - A Success Story

I recently read a story which merits retelling . It is a powerful story about how an unwavering focus on a specific value can help to turn a company around. The year was 1987. The company was the A luminum Company of America otherwise known as Alcoa. The business results in the last few years had not been good. A new CEO was being brought on board to see if the ship could be turned around. That new CEO was Paul O’Neill – a former government bureaucrat. The investment community did not know too much about him, so when he [...]