corporate culture – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: corporate culture

Title: Ghost Cell / Antoine Delacharlery (FR) | Author: Antoine Delacharlery | Source: Ars Electronica | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Care, Connect, Contribute

In 1938, Sir Nicholas Winton started rescuing children from certain death in the Nazi concentration camps. He singlehandedly brought 669 children from Czechoslovakia to Britain and connected them with families there. Most of their families perished in Auschwitz. He never told a soul about his efforts and kept it a secret for 50 years until his wife found a notebook with the names and pictures of all the children he had saved. Sir Winton cared Read More

(Left: Title: Shoes taken off of the Jews-Holocaust Museum | Author: rpavich | Source: rpavich | License: CC BY 2.0) (Right: Berlin Holocaust Memorial)

The Menace of Mendacity

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. —Albert Einstein There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. —Buddha Truth is not a trivial thing. Words matter. Being accurate requires curiosity, diligence, and rigor. I know that everyone has a different idea about what is truth. Much of the debate started when Pontius Pilate asked Read More

"A Humument p190: Silence & Stars" | Artist: Tom Phillips| Source: www.humument.com | License: © Tom Phillips

Nouns and Norms

I have always loved new ideas and embraced them enthusiastically. I have read an enormous amount about a ton of concepts, and I have accumulated a large repertoire of nouns in my vocabulary. But nouns require action verbs to make them real.

As Bucky Fuller said, God is a verb.

Title: orange | Author: Bob May | Source: alternative_illustrations on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Balance and Unity

“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” —Abraham Lincoln, Nov. Read More

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gross Domestic Spirit

In 2016, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) exceeded 18 Trillion Dollars – a record high.

In my mind, we need to measure not only our GDP, but also our GDS – Gross Domestic Spirit. Spirit is a force we need to grow and measure if we are going to thrive and prosper as a society. Deep spirit is a powerful experience.

line dancing

2020 World Culture Vision

The TV show “Downton Abbey” demonstrates as well as anything I have ever read or seen how an all-pervasive cultural code can produce strange and incomprehensible behaviors in people. People will do abnormal things to look “normal” by complying with the unwritten rules of the game.

Just as financial reports need to be audited, so also do the norms and values of the culture.

"014b," by Elton Eerkens, www.eltoneerkens.tumblr.com

P and E Trump I and S

When I was a kid growing up in the 50s, my whole life revolved around kickball, basketball, running, climbing and hanging out with a neighborhood full of friends. My community consisted entirely of white, Christian, straight (as far as I knew) people. My world was physical and emotional. I measured success by goals scored and games won, and by how many friends I had in the In-Group.

[ C ] Chuck Close - Dalai Lama (2005) | Credit: cea+

Helping or Hurting

It’s Day One after the election of 2016. I feel sick and scared. Who better to suggest a remedy for our spiritual malaise and existential crisis than the Dalai Lama? In a recent article in the New York Times (November 4, 2016), the Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks co-authored a column: “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.” It seems like an odd couple to me, but their message is profound. They point out Read More

Photograph of Rick and Bobbitt

Three Types of Trust

I’ve been married to the same woman for 46 years, and I can say unequivocally that I totally trust her. I trust her to do the right thing, I trust her to not throw me the under the bus (even though I have given her many opportunities), and I trust her to stand up for people in need of special help. When she makes a statement, I know it is based on sound research; she Read More

Fear and Freedom

“The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.” —Aung San Suu Kui Raising children and having grandchildren gave me an intimate understanding of fear and freedom. I wanted my kids to have the freedom to explore the external world and to discover who they were, but I lived in constant fear of lurking dangers. I always leaned toward freeing them, but tried to establish boundaries that would keep Read More

Lithograph by Emily Bellingham, 2009. http://www.siteesite.com

Mathematics and Metaphysics

 “Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.” “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.” —Bertrand Russell I used to love algebra as a kid. It’s such an elegant language. And it’s based on a beautiful principle: you can do anything to one side of an equation as long as you do the same Read More

"People's Fukushima Radiation Mask," by Surian Soosay

The Morality of Normality

In our culture, it has become all too normal to abuse the environment, exploit workers, exclude groups of people, and misuse technology. In this post I share the three moral revolutions that need to happen to avoid atrocities like the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/

The Three Dimensions of Leadership Development

Everyone has an opinion on leadership. Amazon offers over 300,000 books with “leadership” in the title and about 4 new books per day are published by aspiring gurus or established academics. It seems like leadership commands as much curiosity as religion. Why is that? I think there are three reasons. First, readers are looking for different solutions for their particular needs. Some want to learn the secrets of a one-minute manager. Others want an in-depth Read More

Eastern States Penitentiary, by Victoria Pickering

Jails and Justice

My daughter, Emily, asked me a great question the other day: “How did your work in jail rehab inform your work with executives?” My answer: It was the best training I could have ever had. Why? Because the same principal applies to both: to get out of jail you need to move up the scale. Here’s the context and explanation. After returning from Vietnam, I spent 8 years in jail (1970-1978)—fortunately, not as an inmate, Read More

This “Wordscape” shows the birth of a word by mapping the data related to every utterance of the word “water” in Deb Roy’s home. Image credit: Philip DeCamp/Deb Roy, via Wired

Cultural Captivity

As I grow older I see the world with a different set of glasses. As I observe more closely, I see that context is more important than content, and that we are all held captive by our cultures. Here’s a jarring example to make the point. Imagine what might go through the mind of an Israeli police officer confronting a Palestinian teenager furiously throwing rocks at him. Without taking into account the conditions and history Read More

Title: one size – fits all | Author: Cees Wouda | Source: ceesjw on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Labels, Limits, and Levels

Dr. Bill Anthony, the highly respected, world-renowned, executive director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center at Boston University, initiated classes with new students by throwing the DSM into the waste basket. This dramatic statement was intended to communicate to people entering the mental health field that labels limit our ability to see the potential and possibilities of another human being.

Passion and Drive | Credit: Death to Stock Photo | License: CC0

Exploitation Masquerading as Engagement

Most companies measure employee engagement. It represents one critical way to determine the level of commitment and productivity of their human capital. An abundance of research suggests a high correlation between employee engagement and great performance. But how do we stop from crossing the line into exploitation?

Creating Organizational Soul

After publishing Corporate Culture Change, the Corporate Culture Sourcebook, and Ethical Leadership in the late 1980’s, I was retained by Lotus Development Corporation (now known as Lotus Software) in Cambridge, Massachusetts to help them align their culture behind a new network-centric strategy to better differentiate their company from its arch-rival Microsoft.

Photo of skyscraper (Credit: John Salzarulo)

Ethical Leadership

One more time. In 1987, Barry Cohen and I wrote the book Ethical Leadership. We published the first version of the book when greed was still in its relative infancy and millionaires (much less billionaires) were still relatively rare. It thus preceded the economic boom of the 1990s, a decade in which market values escalated to what was then outrageous levels. In finance, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the Read More

"Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Credit: Internet Archive Book Images

Leadership Myths and Realities

Over 25 years ago, Barry Cohen and I published a book titled Leadership Myths and Realities. Since that time we have held a variety of senior leadership positions and have continued to study the Art and Science of Leadership. This post will review the 10 myths and realities we wrote about in the late 80s, discuss their current relevance, and suggest any new myths and realities that have emerged. To be clear, myths usually contain some degree Read More

Credit: Mksaunders

Corporate Spirit: Oxymoron or Possibility?

Spirituality is coming to the workplace thinly veiled as mindfulness, awareness, and stress management. As the veil gets lifted, the questions arise: does it belong, can it co-exist with profitability, and what are the dangers?

Does spirituality belong in the workplace? It depends…