Photo by Melanie Stander

Last week I ran back-to-back virtual culture workshops for clients in Australia/NZ. Ahead of the workshops we undertake a listening exercise and ask staff for their insights on the team culture. In both exercises comments such as this were made:

Do any of these statements ring true for you?

They are prevalent in almost every survey that we undertake prior to program commencement. And they always present teams in a negative light. …

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The last major global event that the world of work faced prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was the global financial crisis(GFC). Triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis in the US (if you haven’t watched The Big Short, you really should) it led to the biggest global recession since the Great Depression in the 1920s. Banks failed, countries went bankrupt and hundreds of thousands of companies followed suit.

And yet, despite it all, many under-threat organisations not only managed to stay afloat but were able to bounce back much faster than others. Post-GFC, researchers found that these resilient organisations had made…

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Most projects rely on constant human interaction in order to ensure that outputs are designed, built and tested in line with user expectations before being released. Traditionally — for many organisations — this has relied on in-person workshops and meetings because, well, some things are just best done face-to-face. But that’s not to suggest that these things can only be done face-to-face. After all, most tech companies have been delivering projects successfully in a hybrid working environment for years now.

Contrary to popular belief, these organisations don’t consider themselves to be special or different, they’re just better at maintaining connection…

Image: Prateek Katyal

Nothing beats the feeling of getting to the end of the working day knowing that you’ve managed to use all the available time to be as productive as you can be. Not only is it good for you, it’s good for others too. The ability to get your work done in a timely manner is infectious and will help other people do likewise.

And yet, being productive is one of the biggest challenges that employees have faced during the pandemic. Imposed lockdowns created situations where demands on people’s time (and mental health) were unlike anything that had been experienced before…

Image: Claudio Schwarz

The first half day of my culture definition workshop is always spent on personality and communication because without self-aware individuals who understand how to build connections the culture is doomed to fail.

Yet, there are still so many organisations and teams out there that see relationship building as a secondary activity to the work itself, rather than an enabler for it.

As humans we are intrinsically wired to work together, but it can only ever be truly effective if we understand the people that we’re working with. What are their strengths and how can we leverage them? What are their…

For decades, organisations and their managers have dictated where work takes place, but thanks in no small part to the fact that the virus proved that productive work was possible outside an office, employees are now in a position to demand a greater say on their place of work.

There are some organisations that embraced this flexibility early in the pandemic and are already reaping the benefits of being able to draw from a global pool of people. …

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During my culture definition workshops I challenge the teams that I work with to come up with simple ideas that they can immediately implement in order to positively evolve their culture. The exercise demonstrates just how easy it is to transform the daily micro-experiences that form ‘the way we do things around here’. Lots of great ideas are generated and their implementation is a demonstration of what is possible when people have the opportunity to work together (rather than being told) to find smarter ways to do things based on the new cultural foundations that they’ve built. Here are five…

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In a survey released at the beginning of this year, only 20% of managers felt like they were up to the job of leading a team that wasn’t located in the same space. Another paper found that less than half of employees who didn’t feel cared for by their managers were engaged in their work.

Neither of these statistics will be a surprise to many people, but at the same time as organisations move towards more hybrid ways of working, the two are absolutely critical to maintain a vibrant culture that produces high levels of performance and engagement.

The root…

People don’t care how busy you are however, you should absolutely care about how productive you and your team are. And the key to achieving that is in understanding your priorities and then sticking to them day-in, day-out so that you can get to the end of your week knowing that you couldn’t have done any more to support the achievement of team goals.

The thing about priorities is that they change constantly and so maintaining your productivity will also require that you regularly question what you’re doing and its value (to stakeholders/customers) at that moment. …

Colin Ellis

Best-selling Author of Culture Fix | Keynote Speaker | Facilitator | Devoted Dad | Evertonian | Whisky Lover | Likes to laugh, a lot

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