Posts Tagged ‘organizational culture’

Time to Take HOLD of Your Business Results

To improve business results, many organizations use the SWOT analysis.  For many years I have used a revised SLOT analysis when it comes to ensuring people secure the desired results.

Today, the word disruption is very much in evidence through the business and even personal worlds. The combination of algorithms and technology continue to disrupt how business has been conducted.  Maybe it is time to move forward and look at business results through a different analysis tool.

HOLD – A New Analysis Tool

When people within organizations start engaging in improving business results, the ultimate goal is to take HOLD of the entire organization.  Individuals within the organization must also take HOLD of their own results.

H Health – What is the health of the organization or individual?  This allows the organization as well as the individual to assess beyond the financial records to other critical elements especially attitudes, emotional intelligence and organizational culture. More and more research confirms emotional intelligence and organizational culture have far greater influence than many executives realize.

OOpportunities – Where are the current and future opportunities for sustainable, profitable growth?  With the qualified labor pool continuing to shrink, now is the time to look at opportunities to keep loyal employees and loyal customers.

LLimitations – What limitations are restricting the health and opportunities of the organization or the individual?

D Disruption –  What disruption has happened in the marketplace and its impact on the organization or individual?  Where is there a possibility for more disruption such as artificial intelligence?

Yes the SWOT analysis is a good tool.  The inherent problem is people are conditioned to the tool and in many instances viable data, facts and information are overlooked.

Change in the marketplace continues to happen at what appears to be the speed of light. To stay at least with the flow and hopefully ahead of the flow demands new ways of thinking for those who wish to change and improve their business results.

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Are You Missing This in Your Sales Performance Appraisals? Part 2

Much of the focus on sales performance appraisals is on the salesperson and his or her results.  Yet, any assessment should be reviewed first from the person conducting the assessment. Let me give you a more concrete example.

Years ago one of my college professors who was exceptionally trained in motivation and assessments would routinely look at the actual questions missed by the students.  If more than 40% of the students missed a question, he would not include that question in the overall scoring of the assessment.  His rationale was he failed to properly teach that key concept. This professor used assessments to gauge how well he taught the learning objectives.

Now fast forward to those in sales management.  What would happen if sales performance appraisals were a reflection not only on how well those in sales management guided their sales team, but how well the overall organization performed.  In today’s terms, we call that the sales culture.

Sales performance appraisals can be a temperature gauge as to the overall performance (think engagement) of the sales culture.  These are tools to improve everyone involved in the sales process and that means everyone in the organization.

Possibly before conducting any individual appraisal, the organization may wish to engage in an appraisal of their own efforts through organizational culture assessments.  These assessments can be quick to not so quick. What is critical is to have alignment to known successful criteria such as Baldrige.

Imagine if your organization could get a quick pulse on your sales culture in these key operational areas:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Customer & Market Focus
  • Measured Analysis & Knowledge Management
  • Human Resource Development & Management
  • Process Management
  • Business Results

Just by having one question in each of these key areas may reveal far more than those sales performance appraisals. Of course, this may be difficult if you as the sales manager or SMB owner is not willing to see beyond the results of your sales team.

Check out my calendar and let’s talk about how to improve your sales culture as well as those sales performance appraisals.

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Workplace Culture Is Perennial Flower Bed of Beliefs

Funny I just read a posting about the myth and reality of organizational or workplace culture and the author wrote “culture is defined by habits.”  Unfortunately, he has only identified part of the reality. Workplace culture is all about beliefs and those beliefs are very much like the flowers that bloom year after year in a perennial flower bed.



  • Habits are  behaviors. 

  • Beliefs drive those behaviors or actions.

  • Until the beliefs are identified, the good or bad habits will continue.

The problem is beliefs are never identified.  What ensues is an emphasis on habits or behaviors.

Then what transpires is the hamster in the wheel or the person on the treadmill living and breathing Einstein’s definition of insanity.

To cultivate a positive organizational culture requires identifying what beliefs are spur organizational growth and what beliefs limit organizational growth.  Note, I did not say what beliefs are good or bad because these two words are viewed differently and quite subjective.  This cultivation begins by assessing the workplace culture.  Such an assessment can be accomplished in small bites.  By taking smaller bites allow for the mid-size to small business to begin taking action and not become paralyzed by the huge elephant in the room.

For most small businesses there are four initial key areas that have embedded beliefs:

  • Leadership
  • Business Results
  • Customer and Market Focus
  • Strategic Planning

After these two areas are assessed, then the next two would be:

  • Human Resource and Talent Management
  • Process Management

Finally assessing these last two areas provides a complete picture of the beliefs held by the employees:

  • Information, Analysis and Knowledge Management
  • Sustainability

If you truly want a dynamic, sustainable workplace culture that continues to thrive and bloom year after year, then invest the time and a few dollars to discover those beliefs that will propel your business forward and those that are restricting strategic business growth.

P.S. Very few organizational culture assessments or surveys are this affordable or have a 20 year proven track record based on Baldrige criteria.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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The Breakfast Guest of Organizational Culture

Every morning businesses open and their leaders look to execute specific strategies based either upon their predetermined and strategic business growth goals or their Captain Wing It flight plan. They have their breakfast meetings with their other executive leaders and managers to plan this new day of business growth. Unfortunately, they fail to recognize the ever present guest of culture.

organizational-cultureThis silent, unseen guest as Peter Drucker quoted “eats strategy over breakfast.” And organizational culture continues to eat strategy during lunch, dinner and all the snacks in between. (Leadership Coaching Tip:  Strategy is thought, thinking and planning. Execution is the tactics, actions to implement the strategy.)

Probably the main reason business growth strategy fails is the organizational culture is ignored. The best example of this is within any merger and acquisition(M&A) where it is estimated 50% of all mergers fail.  One of the key reasons for this failure is the culture is not adequately assessed specific to the compatibility of the acquiring culture. (Leadership Coaching Tip: Culture is the sum total of all conscious and unconscious beliefs and behaviors.)

People (culture) are what make or break a company.

Those same people make or break strategy.

Just as cooks check to see if the temperature of the food is safe to eat, so should executive leaders check to see if their organizational culture is safe to execute strategy. One fairly simple exercise is to see if any of these culture issues are present through this  Culture-Strategy-Audit-ADVSYS. If so, then leadership will face culture barriers that will derail to sidetrack any strategic execution.

Executive leadership is ultimately responsible for organizational culture. 

They either lead culture or allow the culture to lead them.

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