KingChapman Blog

Building Trust In An Organization

Posted by Larry Hoelscher on Aug 9, 2019 4:48:39 PM

Trust in any organization is a big deal. We have consulted companies around the world, and it is obvious that when trust is present in an organization, performance is far superior than if trust is missing. Trust is an expression of and evidence for a good organizational culture.

There are two key elements to work with when organizations want to elevate levels of trust:

  1. Behaviors and actions of people in the organization = are readily seen (like symptoms of a disease)
  2. The source of those behaviors and actions = are invisible to the organization and consist of deep-rooted mindsets about trust (like the causes of a disease)
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Topics: Organizational Transformation

Premortems: Technique for Improving Strategic Thinking

Posted by Bob Chapman on Jul 15, 2019 8:00:00 AM

I recently was looking through blogs from McKinsey Quarterly and ran across one of my favorites. It is entitled Bias busters: Premortems: Being Smart at the Start. The authors advocate the use of Premortems as a tool for identifying biases which can get in the way of good decision making. I agree as I use a similar process with clients who are developing strategies and transforming their organizations.

Reading the blog from McKinsey & Co. also brought back fond memories of a great man who originally taught me about Premortems. Marty Leaf was an accomplished lawyer in New York. He began his career as a trial lawyer and later expanded to handle dispute resolution as well as complex contract negotiations. Marty also provided a great service to humanitarian organizations such as the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Hunger Project and a United Nations NGO. Marty’s clients were typically large, well-known businesses, but also included a diverse group of individuals such as Lhamo Dondrub, the 14th Dalai Lama, John Denver and Werner Erhard.

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Topics: Strategic Execution, Organizational Transformation

What Henry Cavendish Can Teach Us About Organizational Culture

Posted by Bob Chapman on Jun 10, 2019 6:23:56 PM

 

Organizational culture is one of the most important and yet misunderstood aspects in business today. Culture has profound impact on a business organization's performance. For example, a Harvard Business School study documented the significant impact of culture on performance. Heskett and Kotter documented the dramatic differences between companies with good cultures vs those with poor cultures on key performance measures. For example, the companies with good cultures achieved 756% growth in net income during the same time period that companies with poor performing culture saw just 1% net income growth.

Given the importance of culture on performance, one would assume that those of us in business would have an excellent understanding of what culture is. While this seems obvious, it is not the case. Most of us have an incomplete understanding of organizational culture. We assume that culture is:

  • The artifacts which can be seen in the organization. These artifacts include the behaviors which can be seen. It also includes how communication is delivered, the workplace is organized as well as how practices and processes deployed. While declaration is given that those artifacts are the culture, less consideration is given as to why those artifacts occur. Said differently, identifying what the cultural artifacts are is useful, however, meaningful change can occur only after determining why that culture occurs.
  • The values of the organization. It is common practice for executives who seek to change or improve their organization’s culture to use exercises to develop the exact wording for the desired values and principles of the organization. The assumption is that by identifying and claiming these new values that they will now occur in the culture. While this is a popular approach to culture change, it seldom works out for any length of time.
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Topics: Organizational Culture, Leading Breakthroughs, Organizational Transformation

Appreciating I.M. Pei and Architecture for Transformation

Posted by Bob Chapman on May 29, 2019 10:34:23 AM

Photo of The Louvre pyramid which serves as the entrance, designed by I.M. Pei 

A remarkable man died at the age of 102 on May 16th, 2019. I.M Pei lead the design of some of the most unique buildings, which blended daring visual effect with practicality. Among his most notable projects were Boston's John F Kennedy Library and Museum, Bank of China tower in Hong Kong, Japan's Miho Museum, Suzhou Museum in China and Dallas City Hall with fellow architect Theodore J Musho. Remarkably, Pei was in his eighties when he designed the spectacular Islamic Museum of Art in Qatar.

I came to appreciate I.M. Pei for his work on Louvre Museum in Paris. This project was for me a masterful example of architecture for transformation of a building. I have adopted some of the lessons I observed from the Louvre project to my work with clients as an architect for organizational transformation. Let me explain.

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Topics: Organizational Transformation