Kevin Eikenberry is a recognized world expert on leadership development and learning and is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com). He has spent more than 25 years helping organizations across North America, and leaders from around the world, on leadership, learning, teams, and teamwork, communication and more. He has been named by Inc.com as one of the top 100 Leadership and Management Experts in the World and has been included in many other lists. He is the author, co-author or a contributing author to nearly 20 books, including Remarkable Leadership and bestseller From Bud to Boss – Secrets of the Successful Transition to Remarkable Leadership. His next book, co-authored with Wayne Turmel, The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership, will be published in June 2018. His blog is consistently ranked among the world’s best, most read and most shared on leadership.
We got an opportunity to catch up with Kevin Eikenberry, Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com) and a recognized world expert on leadership development and learning about how to build an effective company culture.
Hi I’m Kevin Eikenberry and I’m happy to be here talking to you about
Organizational Culture for the good folks at GroSum.
So I’ve got five questions I’m going to answer right now and so let’s get started.
The first one is what does organizational culture mean to me?
Well organizational gets culture gets talked about a lot it’s one of those hot topics I suppose with good reason it’s super important but I think because of all that talk it gets overcomplicated. Here’s what it means to me
and always is an organizational culture which leads us to the next question which is
what are the major determinants of your organizational culture?
Well there’s lots of things that would be included but here are the things that come to my mind off the bat number one is environment, what does the environment say about the way we do things around here, what is the universe if we’re all in the same place if some of us are remote all those things the environment in which we work where we work the location all those things would play a part in it.
Next is expectations,
- what do leaders expect of team members
- what do team members expect of each other
- what is sort of the natural flow
- what are the assumptions that have been made
- how are things handled
Third, leadership beliefs
- what are the beliefs that the leaders have about how to work
- what is the leadership style
All of this plays in does it not to how things are done around here.
And lastly is legend
- what does history say if people come into the organization
- what do they hear from others about
- what it’s like here or what it’s been like here or what’s important here
And so the legend and the stories and the history are also determinants of organizational culture.
The next question is what is the role employees have in organizational culture?
Well since we’re doing the work, we are all a part of it so we all have a role to play some people like to think. Well organizational culture is in the the realm of the leaders I would say not so fast all of us have a role to play because we’re all doing the work every day and so if the culture isn’t where you’d like it to be as an employee the first thing you can do is be the change. I think of Gandhi who said be the change you want to see in the world, start changing yourself changing the way you interact start changing how you want things done not in a forceful or boastful way but just in changing the way you do your work every day and as you start to do that it will start to change the culture around you which
leads to this idea that culture changes and can be different in an organization by location, by department, by workgroup.
Next, what are the common problems associated with managing an organizational culture?
Well the problems associated with that number one is that people don’t have a
clear picture of what they want it to be so if we don’t really know what we want
it to be it’s hard to manage it in some way. But I think the bigger ones are these number one is the problem associated with it is that managers and leaders just ignore it. They’re not really thinking about it, it’s on their radar but they’re not really thinking about it. They’re assuming that whatever it is is what it is they’re assuming that somehow it will get better if they just talk about it and lastly they
believe it belongs to someone else now I’ve already mentioned this when I
talked about the employees right that employees say well this doesn’t belong
to me, these leaders need to fix this. Everyone wants to turn that culture is
being about somebody else so if you’re in the middle you say well it’s senior
leaders or it’s the shop floor, if you’re an employee you say it’s them
up there and what I’m saying is that the biggest problem at all with managing culture is everybody thinks of someone else’s issue when it truly belongs to everybody in the organization.
And lastly, if you want to innovate company culture, if you want to change it, if you want your organizational culture to be different in the future what would you do?
Well number one, have a clearer picture of what you really want it to be so you know where you want to go then decide you’re gonna do something about that. Next, get started to do something and don’t just talk about it. Just listen to this read these words, have a plan you’ve got to have a plan for how you want to go after it here’s the next thing you got to stay at it. Changing organizational culture or truly organizational culture itself is one of the biggest determinants of organizational success famously stated by a number of different people is that culture eats strategy for breakfast and so if that’s true and I believe that it is that this is an important thing for you to do it’s not just an initiative if you want to innovate or change your company culture be clear about what you want it to be getting started have a plan and then you got to stay with it because this may be the most important initiative your organization ever takes on and it never it isn’t truly initiative because it’s got to always be a journey to keep to create it and keep it.
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