Clear Views Blog

Insights and strategies around creating cultures of engagement

On the Second Day of Work...Corporate Culture Insights

In our ongoing holiday series about what employees want from their companies, we tap into the longing people have to understand the company they work for by understanding the culture of the company, speaking the language and knowing the customs. Not always easy to do.

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Why Star Performers Fail Their First Year: 4 Tips for Success

Why is it when a super star leader is lured away from one company to the next, more often than not their performance suffers the first year?

In his recent book, Give and Take, Adam Grant tracks the research that teases apart the quantifiable impact of such a move. What is it about the knowledge these workers have that isn't immediately transferable? Or is it more of a case of adjusting to a new culture? Is there something the individual can do or the company can do to mitigate the negative impact of the move?

We care about the research because we see a many of our clients grapple with this performance and productivity challenge when they've hired brilliant new leaders.

Dr. Grant summarizes research that points to this conclusion:
* Our productivity is directly related to the processes and places we are used to working within. He points to a study of surgeons who work in different hospitals. Regardless of the number of times they do the same procedure, it's the continuity of location and staff that positively correlate with best results.

When we change the environment, we become disoriented, as it were. And it takes us, even as smart and brilliant as we are, time to catch on, to find our natural pace and recreate our support teams and resources. Which raises the second point from Grant's research synthesis:
* Looking at the field of financial analysis, "star analysts did maintain their success ... if they moved with their teams."

Which points to the imperative that new leader onboarding, the process of orienting new hires into the culture and company, should incorporate team development sooner rather than later. Not just the forms and software they need to know to get by, but the establishment of relationships that will foster shared learning and insights about the best ways to get things done AND new ways that may improve how we do things.

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The Need for Leadership Development: 5 Key Reasons

Five years after the start of the recession there are positive signs of recovery in many industries; in others, the recovery is limping along. Regardless of the economic landscape, smart companies know that developing leaders in their organization is key to building and sustaining success. An effective leadership development program can include a mentor program, development of high potentials, core leadership skills for all managers, 360 degree feedback program with consistent follow-through, or one-on-one executive coaching. The best companies utilize all of these approaches to develop their leaders.

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What do Birthday Cakes and Best Places to Work Have in Common?

Ten days before my youngest child’s 6th birthday, I’m scrambling to come up with a birthday celebration. Amidst reading the fabulous Pintrest ideas for Knights, Princess and Ninja parties and imagining myself pulling off the ultimate Martha Stewart feat of concocting a homemade castle creation, I receive the all-call email announcing it’s time to nominate Atlanta’s Best Places to Work. This email actually reminded me of the common link between birthday cakes and Best Places to Work—giving me insight for both my own party planning and for my clients seeking to improve employee engagement and their Best Place to Work culture.

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A Commitment to Change: One Perspective on Diversity in the Workplace

Recently, Karen Braithewaite started a petition asking Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to offer party supplies that feature Barbies of color. She has a daughter of color who would like to have a Barbie-themed birthday party that is representative of her. As of April 10, 2013, Mattel’s response has remained the same with no apparent commitment to change. They said, "It's very important that Barbie reflects the ethnic and cultural differences of people around the world. We work closely with partners to develop Barbie products such as party supplies, and we will share your feedback with them." Mattel’s statement regarding cultural differences is profound, although the implication is that Mattel has no control over the decision to entertain Karen’s request. Does your organization have a commitment to change and are they committed to making positive choices regarding diversity? Doing nothing is a choice that’s all too common.

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