A Tale of Two Cultures, Part I: Boeing

Gustavo Grodnitzky Organizational Culture

It has recently been suggested to me that I speak about organizations after they have succeeded or failed based on their culture, rather than during some cultural transformation that is occurring. This is true for two reasons: Cultural examples of success or failure tend to be clearer after the fact. If culture is a vehicle to success or failure (and …

Do You Know the Secret to Innovation That Most People Forget?

Gustavo Grodnitzky Organizational Culture

Brand new year. Brand new decade. This is the time of year when organizations, and the people in them, create strategic plans and make resolutions. Both fail more often than not. Why is that? While it is admirable and even desirable to look ahead to try to improve our organizations (and ourselves), our efforts often fail for a single reason: …

How to Manage a Negative Employee

Gustavo Grodnitzky Employee Engagement, Organizational Culture

How should you handle an employee who is chronically negative about your company? It is unfortunate, but this question and others like it arise with some frequency in my work. Just last week, I was asked the above question by a participant in Culture Catalyst, an eight-week program I offer to leadership teams. There are several steps that might lead …

Is Your Workplace Culture REALLY a Meritocracy?

Gustavo Grodnitzky Organizational Culture

I was recently asked to serve as a consultant for a company wanting to build a stronger culture. When I began to learn about the company’s vision, values and mission statements, I ran into something that was uncommon. Their values included the statement, “We promote, reward and compensate based on merit, which we see as the result of ability plus …

Does Your Workplace Culture Motivate Employees to Succeed?

Gustavo Grodnitzky Employee Engagement, Organizational Effectiveness

At a recent public forum for business leaders, I was asked this question: “Do you think a workplace culture can really change what motivates someone?” This questioner (whom I suspect had been “volunteered” to be there) had a heavy tone of doubt, disbelief and a bit of disgust thrown in for good measure. How did I answer? If you’ve heard me …

How to Build Courage Into Your Culture

Gustavo Grodnitzky Organizational Culture, Organizational Effectiveness

“Why won’t my people just tell me the truth?!” I’ve heard that statement countless times in my 20+ years of consulting — usually from a truly exasperated CEO or other executive who has learned about some systemic failure. “These things aren’t supposed to happen!” is a typical follow-up statement, made with equal parts surprise, frustration and even anger. Systemic failures, …

What REALLY Boosts the Bottom Line? Workplace Culture

Gustavo Grodnitzky Culture Trumps Everything, Organizational Culture, Organizational Effectiveness

“Middle management is where culture goes to die.” I routinely make this statement in my culture presentations – often receiving something between giggles and guffaws (also referred to as “knowing laughter” in the speaking world). I follow that up with anecdotes showing that managers manage tasks and bottom-line numbers, while leaders lead people. Now, finally, science, in the form of …

How to Handle Criticism Better

Gustavo Grodnitzky Employee Engagement, Organizational Culture

“That was the worst presentation I’ve ever seen! You got paid to do this presentation?! You’re a joke!” Those were the actual words spoken to me. Verbatim. After a presentation I used to give on anger management, several years ago, in Bangor, Maine. At that moment, I had several decisions to make: How would I think about what I had …