Leadership Development

Organizational Culture 2

10 Ways To Cultural Change

Every organization has a culture – as a leader you need to know whether the culture is healthy or not. Toxic culture must be addressed but so should healthy culture to see if it needs tweaking.

Changing the culture in an organization can be a nightmare for a leader. If a change in leadership is because of a poor performing business, it can become incredibly frustrating for a new CEO to have to sideline results to focus on changing the culture.

But here’s a thought; what is your culture? Would it stand up to scrutiny? Are your values open to scrutiny both in your personal and business life?

Investopedia defines Corporate Culture as “the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.”

Success comes from understanding the behaviors and motivations of the people. Only then can cultural change have a hope of succeeding. Using a highly-validated discovery such as DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process, leaders can identify, in advance, the people’s ability to cope with cultural change and how it should be introduced and communicated. Only then can CEOs know that whatever they introduce will work.

Culture change requires strong, focused, versatile and decisive leadership. A person’s performance needs to be addressed in relation to their behaviors and personality, not necessarily to their ability. Knowing an individual’s personality traits in advance, and how, or if, they fit the proposed organizational culture and values, can make all the difference in terms of the success or failure of the proposed changes.

There are several keys for CEOs that will support their cultural change efforts.

  1. If no one is talking and boasting about the culture of the organization, it’s a sure sign there isn’t one, or if there is, it’s toxic.
  2. It starts at the top – often said, but rarely practiced. A leader who knows their own personality, their EQ, their communication style, their bias (yes, we all have them) and their own personal values, are more likely to be able to introduce cultural change than a leader who does not have this insight.
  3. Measure the current culture – maybe not everything needs to change.
  4. The use of a validated personality discovery process can quickly identify those able to manage cultural change and who are behaviorally smart enough to capture culture and vision quickly and run with it.
  5. Data that delivers accurate information about people can identify quickly those who can be used as ambassadors to manage the introduction of cultural change. (And it won’t always be the obvious employees)
  6. Hiring – audit your hiring processes – introduce a validated personality profiling system. Set a hiring benchmark. Don’t settle for second best. Re-training existing employees could be a more effective option.
  7. When introducing a cultural change training program, keep auditing it to ensure it’s relevant and working.
  8. CEOs – it’s important not underestimate the power of your regular communication with the business. Use your communication to acknowledge the people who have disproportionate influence in the organization and are working with you to introduce the cultural change.
  9. If there are hot spots and resistance to the cultural change, name and shame them.
  10. CEOs – remember to create a vision of what the future for the organization looks like after the cultural change.

In conclusion – here’s the prize: as the culture develops and individuals take responsibility for what happens in their work areas, problems are solved where they happen and by those affected. This frees up leadership to focus on the business and its opportunities.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

 

Leadership2

The Good the Bad and the Ugly – Leading Corporate Culture

It’s the behavior of the leaders that shapes the culture of an organization. Do you agree?

As leaders, we make a conscious decision to lead well. But how successful are we if we don’t understand the impact of our own behavior on the culture of the organization. As leaders, we are always under the microscope of our employees; they mimic our behavior, adopt our values, and quote us. As for our customers, if what they see are inappropriate values that may determine whether or not to do business with. How can we ensure we are giving out the right message and that how we’re represented to our customers is good for the organization? Our behavior, and how it’s mirrored by others, impacts our organization’s bottom line. So it’s up to us whether our personal impact is positive or negative.

Just this week I have seen examples of both positive and negative behavior which highlights the need for leadership to understand that setting a cultural standard can showcase the business well.

It’s interesting that the two most emotionally charged environments for customers are flying and finances and yet much needs to be done to improve the cultures of these two industries regarding the behaviors they demonstrate when serving their customers.

Having just completed a 14-hour flight and needing to change currency in a bank I feel able to make some comment on the service I personally received.

Leg one of my flight had me more involved in watching the personal conversations/gossiping going on between the cabin crew when I was trying to get their attention for some water. To the crew, passengers seemed to be a distraction, at best, and a nuisance, at worst, to their conversation. It would not be difficult to determine that this level of poor customer service comes from the top.

The second leg of my flight was entirely different, the passengers were king, and the staff was attentive. They were gracious and professional, able to accommodate different conversations amongst all age groups and cultures. Clearly, standards set by leadership.

Next came the bank, long queues, no explanations, shortage of staff, and teller didn’t even look at me. Interestingly, I saw other tellers behaving in the same way. Again, this kind of behavior is mirrored from leadership. Sadly, I’ve experienced this the world over.

However, the second bank welcomed me at the door, and based on my need, directed me to a teller. I was greeted with a smile and made to feel that my $500 money exchange was the largest financial transaction the bank would undertake that day. Clearly, an example of leadership that teaches appreciation for each and every customer interaction.

When leaders set the vision and cultural direction through the lens of the customer, and they examine why people behave the way they do, they can then set vision and culture that responds to the needs of the customer.

It isn’t enough to know that people are nervous about flying or that they are concerned about having enough money for their journey. Airline staff and Financial organizations need to understand not only how to build a trusting relationship with their customers, but also to examine themselves to understand how they will react to the anxious passenger or fearful investor.

Great leaders know the importance of understanding their own leadership personality. By using a validated profiling system such as the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process, they can see in great depth their inherent behavior. This insight is foundational to self-awareness from which setting values and culture stem. Successful leaders set a vibrant culture that engages and energizes employees. They clearly define what culture means to them and walks it out both personally and professionally.

A culture audit will quickly identify how set values are being interpreted. For example, lack of resources can trigger behavior that directly impacts culture. Lack of training is a further trigger. But if culture criteria and standards are not set and known throughout the business it cannot be audited.

Michael Hiltzik, writing for the LA Times, makes this observation: The airline and banking industries may seem to be about as different as chalk and cheese, but Airlines and Wells Fargo have been shown to share a common bond: toxic corporate cultures that can be blamed on the men at the top, their chief executives.

Investopedia suggests the following meaning of corporate culture: Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management interact and handle business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires.

Prof. James L. Heskett wrote in his book The Culture Cycle, effective culture can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with culturally unremarkable competitors.

Culture is learned behavior, but its growth comes from a place of self-knowledge. If leadership and individuals know their own personality, they can quickly identify how well they can adapt to cultural standards.

So, what’s the lesson to be learned? Culture is set at the top of the organization. Leaders need to uncover their values as an important first step to establishing the culture of their organizations. This approach, using DNA Natural Discovery helps define the framework within which culture is set, decision making styles are formulated and goals achieved. It becomes especially important when leadership has different, even conflicting values. Admittedly defining your values is often hard to do, but when done truthfully and openly upfront at the leadership level, culture becomes much easier to set, communicate and carry out.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

The Right White House Team

Balancing Trump’s Personality with the Right White House Team

Part 3 of 3 – It’s Somebody’s Circus With Somebody’s Monkeys

President-elect Donald Trump is determined to make America great again. To this end, he will take bold steps to deliver this promise. Balancing Trump’s Personality (Influencer DNA Behavioral Style) will require the right White House team that can cover his inherent blind-spots.

Donald Trump succeeded in winning the White House because intuitively he understands his personality and how to apply his pioneering, fast-paced, and risk-taking traits. Even if some aspects of how things get done or what he says are controversial, he understands how to use his expressive communication style to win people over.

However, Trump is likely to be pragmatic when it comes to selecting his White House team. He is driven by results, outcomes, and success and will surround himself with people who can deliver his vision. He has the ability to draw people together even if they were once an adversary, and will be able to quickly harness appropriate skills and talents to implement plans and ideas.

Donald Trump thrives on conversation and gains much of his knowledge, insight, and initiative through debate. Further, he understands the benefit of hearing other’s thoughts and opinions; for him, knowledge is power. The right White House team will need to consist firstly, of individuals who understand his enthusiasm, and secondly, be behaviorally smart regarding knowing how to manage their own and their president’s personality. Standing up to him will be hard, requiring confidence and courage.

In this team, there is only one place for a Trump personality, but those who have even opposite behaviors to Trump must be vigorous and able to add value to the White House team through balancing Trump’s personality and their own.

The ability to understand one another’s communication style is imperative to the success of the team. Each member will need insight into their behavior and communication style and know how to moderate their approach to build a team of confident people empowered to share their thoughts and ideas, in a mutually beneficial environment.

Donald Trump's White House Team
Donald Trump's White House Team

The Trump Team needs to provide balance to Trump’s personality. The green bars are Donald Trump’s personality traits measured by the Business DNA Discovery Process. The personality traits required to balance Trump are highlighted by the gaps in the summary below. He needs to hire behaviorally smart people who can fill these talent gaps.

Commanding: A consensus seeking, group orientated diplomatic person able to counter Trump’s authoritarian leadership style

People: A thinker, serious, quiet, able to listen/observe but with the confidence to point out potential issues/dangers.

Patience: A people-focused person, encourager, empathetic to others, skilled at accepting other’s differences & managing them.

Structure: A structured person, skilled at keeping others on track, focused, delivering results, keeping promises.

Trust: A person who will explain other points of view when trust is lacking. Confident to challenge micromanagement when others feel overly managed.

Pioneering: A person confident to say STOP when too much change is destroying reliable tried and tested, still relevant, processes.

Risk: A person strong enough to challenge or question high risk without shutting down innovation.

Creativity: A person excited by creativity but able to suggest balance and a more anchored approach

As for Trump’s current White House team appointments, without a formal, behaviorally smart process in place: “Is it a good way to pick a cabinet? Not especially,” says Reed Galen, who worked on several presidential campaigns and served the George W. Bush administration. “But Trump ran the worst technical campaign in modern history and is poised to become president, so what do any of us really know?”

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

How Hillary Clinton Undermined Her Own Success

With(out) Her – How Hillary Clinton Undermined Her Own Success

Part 2 of 3 – Hill’s Lack Of Self-Awareness

Hillary Clinton must be wondering why she lost the election while being the favorite and front-runner for most of the campaign. How did this happen? Hillary must look inwards to who she is and see that she did not master the strengths and struggles of her natural, “hard-wired”, Strategist DNA Behavioral Style. These behavioral insights identify the primary drivers of her good (and bad) leadership decisions, financial dealings and general approach to life.

The truth is that sometimes it is hard, even for me, to recognize the Hillary Clinton that other people see
- Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton’s Strategist behavioral style has made her successful, but with blind-spots that were clearly not managed, and therefore, her downfall. How Hillary Clinton Undermined Her Own Success:

Hillary Clinton Insights
  • Skeptical, and not transparent with information
  • Questioning, guarded, wary, and controlling
  • Not a good listener
  • Unable to relationally connect to people and feel what they are feeling
  • Very self-reliant and operates based on her own thinking
  • Structured, but potentially too rigid with plans
  • Quite cautious and not prepared to take strategic risks

 
For a smart, politically seasoned woman it’s fair to say that Hillary Clinton got in the way of her own success. Hillary Clinton’s behavioral insights reflect that she could be seen as cold and unapproachable as well as untrustworthy and dishonest, and did not do enough to allay these opinions.

Her personality showed her to be aloof and less willing to make changes, yet had she understood how others saw her. She could have managed her reflective behavior more effectively.

Clinton’s need for information and analysis gave the impression she was more focused on numbers and following a structured plan than on voter’s needs. Having insight into other’s perceptions would have ensured that her messaging was warmer and more empathetic. Furthermore, she could have gone deeper into the heartland where Trump went and secured the support of the disenfranchised white voter.

One clear issue that showcases how Clinton got in the way of her own success was an arrogant belief that she was taking for granted the presidential win, simply because her message was clear and candid. But had she known that her ability to listen empathetically to the people was very low, she could have changed her messaging to be significantly more heartfelt and managed her lack of empathy.

There is no doubt Clinton has the ability to take charge. The question is, does she have the personality to bring others along with her? With a tendency to keep information to herself and to invest little or no time in building meaningful relationships, it’s fair to say that her leadership style would be aloof and non-inclusive, which would certainly alienate team members.

When you are seeking to engage others with your plans and agendas; when you need others to deliver goals and your vision, failing to understand that a personality that is reflective, task focused, and overly serious about facts & figures, yet highly competitive, can be viewed as distant, cold and unapproachable.

Further demonstration that Clinton got in the way of her own success is her tendency to prefer tried and tested solutions. At a time when the people were looking for a change from the status quo, she did not understand that her lack of creativity presented her as gray and boring.

Clinton v Trump – The Comparison

66/98 Clinton will make considered decisions; appearing to be hesitant, requiring more and more information which could appear to be procrastinating. Trump will make fast decisive decisions; sometimes getting it wrong but always moving forward.
96/73 Clinton follows the rules to get the results she needs. Trump will break down boundaries and not wait to anticipate outcomes
54/99 Clinton tends towards keeping things as they are; avoids moving away from tried and tested ways of proceeding. Trump is all about doing whatever possible in achieving goals
95/62 Clinton will stick to agreed direction and agendas to achieve goals, even if they are not working out. Trump will change direction mid-stream if a different plan brings success.
66/92 Clinton is stuck in the status quo. Trump is open to new ideas if it achieves his goals.
66/90 Clinton needs details, analysis, and research to make decisions. Trump is not into the details, just the results.
79/90 Clinton is less forthright with communicating, which might cause confusion in mixed messaging. Trump is clear and forthright in expressing and communicating.
79/96 Clinton is less comfortable with conflict. Trump is not fazed by conflict and a dirty campaign.
90/84 Clinton is motivated by personal interest without regard for others. Trump the same.
92/90 Clinton is disinterested in other’s problems.
90/92 Neither are empathetic towards issues others face.

Hillary Clinton is calm and controlled in her behavior; appearing remote and superior. Her inability to understand her personality, or have the behavioral insights to be able to manage it, so people could see the strengths and talents as a leader cost her – the White House.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

Donald Trump's Behavioral Insights

Donald Trump – Making Behavioral Insights Great Again

Part 1 of 3 – How well he knows himself!

Well, the Trumpster beat the odds and has jumped over everyone to win the Presidency. How did he do it? The answer is deeply rooted in Donald Trump’s behavioral insights – his natural, hard-wired Influencer DNA Behavioral Style. These personality insights identify the primary drivers of his good (and bad) leadership decisions, financial dealings and general approach to life.

I’m not running for office. I don’t have to be politically correct. I don’t have to be a nice person. Like I watch some of these weak-kneed politicians, it’s disgusting. I don’t have to be that way.
- Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Influencer behavioral style has made him successful, but if not managed, could be his downfall. Overall he (is):

Donald Trump Influencer Insights
  • Driven by power and success
  • Very spontaneous and instinctive
  • Extremely creative and an out-of-the-box thinker
  • A take-charge, decisive and a fast-paced decision-maker
  • Works with people to get the results he wants
  • Could be unsympathetic to others needs
  • A strong communicator but lacks filters
  • Very confrontational and prepared to play tough
  • Into achieving economic and political goals. He could risk a lot and be too optimistic
  • Into trying new ways. Sometimes they win, and other times they fail.
  • Has a transactional mindset and could be too impatient when a program does not work out quickly

Donald Trump’s behavioral insights reflect that he is supremely cognizant of these behavioral abilities and uses each to further his personal agenda.

It is clear Trump knows his personality; he knows success is his lifetime goal. Anyone who has even limited behavioral awareness should have known that the election trail was all about the salesman’ getting the sale (the White House). But from here on we’ll see the negotiator because that’s how he knows he will get results. Trump will be a hard-nosed negotiator; whether putting together a White House team or negotiating trade deals on the world stage, he will be reluctant to give in on even the smallest points.

The old idiom my way or the highway will probably be the new White House mantra.
Trump won’t be fearful of taking risks, he will play the odds, some you win and some you lose, but as long as he is always moving forward to the goals and objectives he has set – he’ll feel he is on track.

As a decision maker, Donald Trump will not be readily swayed by sentiment or humanitarian impulses. This will be advantageous when it comes to balancing competing interests or bargaining with adversaries. He is likely to be a bold and ruthlessly aggressive decision maker showing little concern for the emotions of others.
That said – he knows how to keep people on board; he knows how to set others up for success in order to achieve his goals. The result is, a Trump that is equipped to be a strategic player in situations where achieving results is a priority and concentrate on matter-of-fact, practical issues.

Listening to those around him talking about his loyalty, great to work for, cares about me and my family, further demonstrates his ability to manage his personality. Confident, goal-setting people, such as Trump, excel by blending their strong drive to reach key goals with sound knowledge, high-quality processes and quality control standards.

With his outgoing and innovative nature, there is no doubt Trump is the Populist’s choice. Ultimately, he won from his preparedness in the rural areas where Hillary did not go. He won what should have been Democrat territory

Trump v Clinton – The Comparison

98/66 Trump makes fast decisions; sometimes getting it wrong but always moving forward. Clinton hesitates, wanting more information, with a propensity to procrastinate.
73/96 Trump breaks down boundaries and doesn’t wait to anticipate outcomes. Clinton is only interested in knowing the outcome of decisions she might make.
99/54 Trump is all about setting the bar as high as possible in achieving goals. Clinton tends towards keeping things as they are.
62/95 Trump changes direction mid-stream if a better plan is formulated to bring success. Clinton sticks to agreed and established direction and agendas to achieve goals even if they may not work out.
92/66 Trump is open to new ideas if it achieves his goals. Clinton is more stuck in the status quo.
90/66 Trump is not into details, he just wants results and will say what he wants to say even if possibly wrong; decides instinctively. Clinton needs details, analysis, and research in order to make decisions.
90/79 Trump is clear and forthright in expressing and communicating. Clinton is less so, which might cause confusion in mixed messaging.
96/79 Trump is not fazed by conflict. Clinton is less comfortable with conflict.
84/90 Trump is motivated by his own personal interest or advantage, especially without regard for others. Clinton, even more so.
90/92 Neither are empathetic towards issues others face.

To give Mr. President Elect the final word – “No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.”

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

titanic

6 Steps for a Leader Hired to Change the Culture, a Case Study

CASE STUDY: 6 Steps for a Leader to Change the Culture of a Team, Remove Roadblocks, Adapt Communication and Improve Processes.

SITUATION: I was asked to consult a recently hired CFO help her team adapt to the significant changes needed to be made in how the team operated. Her team was perceived as not being as effective as they should be. Plus, the organization needed more reporting and more collaboration from her team.

She spent 6 months asking questions and evaluating feedback and was finally ready to unveil her vision and goals for the team to support the organization. Her wonderful presentation explaining her process and detailing her vision was everything you would expect from a true leader. But soon after, she didn’t see any of expected changes. So she started attending some of their meetings, and provided even more direction. Still, she had trouble getting people to engage and respond in the way that she expected. The changes weren’t happening fast enough and she wasn’t getting feedback to help her understand why.

CFO VISION: A finance “organization” that

        • Has fewer boundaries and fosters alliances
        • Embraces a talent development and succession planning system
        • Fosters financial investment which demonstrates return on value and/or investment
        • Guides and implements business plans driven by strategic plans and executed with annual budgets

EVALUATION: After meeting with everyone and having them take the Business DNA Natural Discovery personality assessment, the gaps in behavior and communication styles became clear. Addressing them, however, would not be so easy.

The CFO is much like a lot of leaders: a driven Initiator naturally inclined to be Fast-Paced and Spontaneous (see the table below.) She is good at logically focusing on and driving for results. She leads by instinct and quickly adapts in the moment. She prefers spontaneous discussions to talk about what to do in the moment.

Image 1

Her team of accountants, however, are like many in their field. They’re highly Planned and Anchored (see table below.) Their natural strengths are to be very thorough, detailed, analytical, and consistent. They want specifics on what would be covered in a meeting ahead of time so they can research and properly prepare. They need more concrete information on what is expected, in order to be able to follow the specific steps to meet a goal.

Image 2

 

You can probably see the challenge without me telling you. The leader and her team have completely different ways of operating and communicating. They don’t know each other well enough, yet, to trust one another or know how to adapt to each other’s style. And there was no time left to figure it out organically. “Forcing” the team to be like the leader simply wasn’t working, and this left everyone feeling stressed and overworked.

SOLUTION: Although this may seem obvious from a distance, when a person’s behavioral style is acutely ingrained from both a natural and a habitual /learned perspective, it can be incredibly difficult to change. It requires consistent encouragement and mental focus. It’s like being asked to write with our opposite hand. Unless we’re naturally ambidextrous, our writing will not be as good if we don’t intentionally try, and most of us will “absent-mindedly” default to our regular hand.

Key steps for this CFO / Team:

  1. CFO lead by example in acknowledging different behavioral strengths and styles and attempt to adapt.
    - Talk openly about the obvious differences and politely help each member learn how to reciprocate.
  2. Leader to give more specific, concrete examples of her vision, as in an agenda with pre-set questions, well ahead of meetings and ensure safe environment where questions and follow-up, are warmly welcomed.
  3. CFO provides more 1:1 time/check in points, or smaller meetings, to glean better information from the team and identify roadblocks.
  4. Leader to lay out the step-by-step “plan” for change, rather than abruptly making decisions without a chance for the team to absorb and adapt.
  5. Team to resist the urge to “do nothing different until the detailed steps are clearly articulated”, by asking questions, focusing on what steps they should stop doing / what steps they should start doing. “Plan” for expected changes.
  6. Hire a mediator to address the gap between the big picture, and the detailed steps to get there with the focus on removing roadblocks and process improvement.

RESULT: Through individual coaching, team sessions and practical suggestions on how to build adapting into their day-to-day lives, the team turned a corner and is operating more efficiently and effectively with less stress. Many of the tangible changes were put into motion and their internal customer survey feedback improved significantly. While it’s a conscientious effort to adapt, with time and practice, it becomes the new second nature.

For a free trial of Business DNA, please email inquiries@dnabehavior.com.