Arthur F Carmazzi is Founder of the Directive Communication™ Psychology and Ranked as one of the World’s Top 10 most influential Organizational Culture and Leadership Thought Leaders. As a bestselling author and renowned speaker in psychological approaches to leadership and organizational culture transformation, He has developed 384 DC Psychology Licensed Trainers and Coaches in 17 different countries who use his DC processes and innovative techniques and tools like the Colored Brain Communication Inventory profiling used for “Psycho-Productivity”, the HDMA, Corporate Culture Evolution Evaluation, and his line of active training games… to develop global organizations. His books include: “Architects of Extraordinary Team Culture”, “Culture Change Lessons from the Monkey King”, “The Colored Brain Communication Field Manual”, “Identity Intelligence”, “The 6 Dimensions of Top Achievers”, “The Meta-Secret” and “The Psychology of Selecting the RIGHT Employee” and “The Hero’s Way” Series.
What does organizational culture mean to you?
When you wake up on Monday morning, You jump out of bed with a smile, spend some time with your family and think to yourself: “Wow, I get to go to work today”, and as you walk out the door with excitement. when you arrive at work, you greet your colleagues and friends and feel a sense of pride for what you will work on today. During the day, you may get frustrated when things go wrong but your friends and colleagues support you and you work together to solve problems if you can. As 5 pm approaches, you are not worried about the time, you are concerned with achieving your personal goals for your work and you end up leaving about 5:22 with a sense of achievement –
Organizational culture is about how you feel, and how you personally succeed (or don’t) in an environment. That environment could be a team, a department or an entire organization. Do you feel you add real value to your group’s objectives, do you feel you have a purpose through your organization? The answers to these questions define the type of culture you have
What are the major determinants of organizational culture?
According to a study we did in 2014, “Awareness” is the key to the type of organizational culture that is created. When people in an organization are aware of how their own actions are affecting others, and aware of why others do what they do, plus a general understanding that people want to succeed in their jobs… it becomes easier to deal with situations intelligently. When people are unaware, they misunderstand others processes, intentions, and perceived incompetencies and “React” to them creating more reactions from others…
and the second element (which is related to the first), is Leadership. When the leaders are unaware, they create most of the organizational culture problems.
but it is usually not the leaders’ fault… and this is the third factor contributing to culture: “Feedback”, most leaders do not get feedback about how their actions or inactions are affecting their people. they often think they are doing the right thing while others see their actions in a very different way. these “Perception Gaps” are a major cause of poor leadership. And, feedback to teams and managers alike should be instant to clearly identify the issues when they happen, good and bad.
What is the role of employees in organizational culture?
Every employee is a “Culture Revolutionary”! We do not see the development of culture as part of the company, the company belongs to the shareholders. We find that when the culture belongs to the people of the organization, they take care of it and nurture it. A sense of ownership provides empowerment to solve employee problems “they” feel is preventing them from their success. As owners “they” create their own Guiding Principles that Thay want to live by… and these principles determine the behaviors that support an Ideal working environment to work in, be productive in and succeed in. Employees feel they are successful when they feel they add real value, and their role to treat other in such a way that all gain personal success in the process of achieving company objectives
What are the common problems associated with managing organizational culture?
1. Egotistical Assholes! people who have achieved leadership positions but don’t remember what it was like as an employee and now use their position to gain a personal sense of power and importance. People who feel they are better than others because of their achievements.
2. Lack of awareness! People who think they are doing right, but really have no clue to their effect on others and the organizational culture.
3. The Top DownMisconceptionn! When culture initiatives are created, they are usually top down, the assumption being the few people at the top know more about how to improve performance than the 1000 “regular” employees under them… and these few top people can get everyone to buy in because their idea is so good.
4. Speed! In the PFB era (Post FaceBook) we are now in much more control or our emotional gratifications than we ever were before, and we expect our gratifications fast… because we can. So if a culture initiative does not start to show Visible results in a few weeks at most, people disengage and then the initiative becomes an uphill battle where management push and people ignore.
What are the ways to innovate company culture? Any best practices to share.
The easiest and most cost-effective way to visibly affect organizational culture would be incorporating gamification and measurement systems to culture/values related objectives.
When Performance Measurement and Gamification are combined, it provides a fun platform for creating a high-performance culture. Here are some strategies and tools we use to get fast results
Create a Work Gamification System – 8 sections:
1. Start with identifying the culture goals connected to organizational performance objectives. These can be Leadership, Cross-departmental Cooperation, Effective Team Work, Innovation, Customer Service…
2. identifying the behaviors required to achieve the culture goals
3. identifying the emotional drivers that will motivate those behaviors
4. Theming the gamification concept to make it more fun
5. create the mechanics that will elicit the emotional drivers that support the behaviors
6. identify the reward systems within the mechanics
7. find partners who will support you and benefit from the goals
8. set up instant feedback systems to show progress
We use a Work Gamification Game called Performencia
that groups play for one day that takes them through the process so they have a complete gamified work process in line with objectives. This can be seen at www.gamification.coach
Identifying and Removing “Perception Gaps”
This is an essential part of culture development. Most managers want to be good leaders, but they do not get the feedback required modify their behaviors. Their own perception of how they are acting and dealing with situations is often very different from the perception of the people they manage, and this creates Perception Gaps where the manager continues the same behavior because the people around them do not feedback that they are having negative effects on the team and culture. It must be easy for people to give feedback without taking too much time to hassle.
Closing these gaps requires awareness and the ability to get honest feedback. The closure of these gaps can also be connected to gamification with a 360 tool that shows progression. We use the EDMA 360 Feeback Emotional Drive tool
Instant Feedback on Desired Behaviors with specific reference to Culture Goals
FAST and EASY are the keys to success with Measurement and Feedback… Speed of behavioral feedback is essential for behavior modification since Clarity is needed to effectively “connect” the specific attitudes and thoughts that made that behavior happen (good or bad). But getting managers and team members to give “regular” feedback is not that easy. So it needs to be fun… connecting it back to the word gamification, and it needs to be easy and take seconds to create feedback data points.
Creating and connecting behavioral data points regularly with practical culture objectives also supports overall performance reviews, but reviews you can see as they are created and it also sets up for interventions in performance if you see a sudden drop in positive events or an increase in negative events.
We use the Squadli Performance Management and Review App to achieve this. The app uses point weighted emoji and awards that are given to team members based on positive or negative behaviors that affect specific (and connected) objectives. Team members can see their team rank, top objectives they contribute to, and the top 3 of each of the emoji and awards. The web dash also shows all teams and team members in performance graphs and relates them to objectives… and the best part is it takes less than 20 seconds to create a data point.
Find Your Culture Evolution Benchmark
To improve culture you need to know where your culture is and what that means to the results and behaviors of the people within it. Using the Culture Evolution model, we measure the culture as a starting point, then measure the culture as it evolves adding the metrics to the work gamification and rewarding those who are contributing to its evolution. We use the Organizational Culture Assesment Tool – CCEE
Communication gap awareness
Improving culture requires awareness of how people communicate and interpret their world. Different people get clarity in different ways which also means different processes of HOW to do things. This varied interpretation of “The Right Way” to do things including communication, creates misunderstanding and animosity due to lack of awareness of the genetic “Ambiguity Relief” processes behind them. Many profiling tools try to provide a full personality snapshot but the reality is that it just makes things more complicated and only the HR people know what is going on… not the “people” who are perpetuating the organizational culture.
The Colored Brain psychometric tool identifies and measures the genetic Ambiguity Relief Process of how the brain gets clarity (the clarity process is responsible for the action sequences we use, our decisions, and even our learning). Since the tool only focuses on this one factor and doesn’t add in motivators or risk adversity profiles, it is very easy for Everyone in the organization to understand and applies the 4 Colored Brain processes and how to understand their unique process and synergies with it. The Colored Brain system takes the culture connection and gamification further by linking everyone in the organization to each other… letting people know who is in their “Danger Zone” and giving system intelligent tips on how to improve productivity with each person, lead them better, and even have better relationships with them.