Articles

Mar
16

Maddie’s March Culture Picks

ONCE A MONTH, I’LL ROUND UP SOME LINKS TO POSTS FROM AROUND THE INTERNET ON OUR TOPIC OF THE MONTH. HERE’S THIS MONTH’S READING LIST FOR YOU ON STRATEGY & CULTURE. Changing Change Management (McKinsey & Company) “For many organizations, a five-year strategic plan—or even a three-year one—is a thing of the past. Organizations that once […]

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Mar
11

Strategy at the Speed of Change

There is something comforting about a strategic plan. You do some really good, strategic thinking and then translate it into a series of goals and action steps to get you there. Even though the world seems like a swirling, giant hairball of complexity, your strategic plan can make you feel like you know exactly what […]

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Mar
10

Does Culture Eat Strategy for Breakfast?

I hear this a lot: Culture eats strategy for breakfast (or lunch, dinner, a snack, whatever). And the notion behind the statement is understandable: Culture is a strong thing. So strong, the statement argues, that if an organization chooses a particular strategy that requires employees to behave in ways that go against the culture, it […]

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Mar
10

The Culture of Strategic Planning

Associations love their strategic plans. It’s typically a given that associations should all have strategic plans, and when you get right down to it, the structure and sometimes the actual content of strategic plan is similar across many associations. Let me guess: Your association has three main pillars of your plan that are some version […]

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Mar
01

Why Your Mission Statement Needs to Go

The typical problem with Mission Statements is that they are generic, very broad and not memorable. Most importantly, Mission Statements attempt to combine the underlying purpose of the organization with its method of advancing that purpose. This is problematic because as methods change over time, the Mission Statement needs to be redone. Something as critical to […]

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Feb
27

8 ways to have a truly awesome organizational culture

We’ve provided a clear definition of culture and showed how that impacts behavior, as well as how it should impact the success of your association. You got to see how the leader of a very strong culture approaches the task, and then we discussed the link between culture and attracting and retaining the best talent. We challenged assumptions […]

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Feb
26

What is organizational culture? And how does it drive success?

One of the main sources of resistance I get against a more disciplined approach to organizational culture is that it is hard to define. It’s vague. It’s squishy. It’s complex. It means different things to different people. While it is complex, here’s what I have found to be a pretty clear definition: CULTURE IS THE […]

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Feb
26

It Doesn’t Take Years to Change Your Culture

I was at an event recently for association CEOs on finding and keeping top talent. The topic of culture was raised repeatedly (yay!), but in the middle of the panel discussion, a CEO of a large and successful association dropped this bomb (not a direct quote, but my paraphrase of what she said): It takes […]

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Feb
26

How to embed your core values

On the “love” side, I’ve seen many different organizations that I respect greatly — organizations with truly outstanding cultures — which not only have core values, but firmly believe they anchor an outstanding culture. They reference them frequently, at all levels inside the organization. They live them. On the “hate” side, however, I have also […]

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Feb
26

The Only Point of Culture is Driving Success

Here’s a basic truth: everyone wants a “positive” culture. This is most certainly true if you’re in charge in an association. You want to be able to say that the culture there is good or positive—maybe even cool, fun, or awesome. Right? WRONG. I understand the desire to have a positive culture — it’s certainly […]

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