The Highlights from the Creating a Positive Organizational Culture Event

On Tuesday evening, SOS Leadership Institute, Concordia University, and campus2careers hosted a fantastic event entitled “Creating a Positive Organizational Culture.” Featuring two dynamic keynotes and a panel discussion, the event offered learning, information sharing, and networking to more than 75 professionals. Click here to see photos from the event. Here are a few of the highlights:

From the Opening Keynote by Dr. Don Christian of Concordia University:
  • Focus on your organization’s values and never lose sight of the organization’s mission. Act in a manner that’s consistent with the values, mission, and vision, and talk about it.
  • Assure that your mission and vision are aligned with your organization’s mission and vision.
  • At times you must connect the dots for people. Help others to see how your actions align with the organization’s mission and vision. Celebrate each success.
  • Find partners who can help you to get a seat at the table. Never underestimate the value of relationships.
  • “The only power you don’t have is the power you give away.” Empower yourself. If you don’t feel invited to the table, invite yourself.
  • You change an organization one project at a time.
  • Culture eats strategy for breakfast.
  • If you can’t change the culture of your organization, change the culture of your department. If you can’t change the culture of your department, change the culture of those around you.
  • As an HR professional, challenge yourself to ask good questions, be a good listener, and always provide value.
From the Panel facilitated by Nathan Green of campus2careers:
  • Everyone within the organization is responsible for shaping the culture. HR professionals have many touchpoints and must recognize the influence they can have on the culture.
  • A culture definition shared by a panelist: “Whatever it takes to survive.”
  • To have an impact on culture, HR professionals need relationships throughout the org. They must be viewed as business partners. Connect with decision makers.
  • Come to work everyday believing that what you do matters.
  • HR professionals must have the courage to be the voice when the organization’s leaders are making decisions that don’t align with the type of culture they say they want to create.
  • Hire people who align with the culture your organization is striving to create, which isn’t necessarily the culture that currently exists.
  • Key metrics HR pros can use when “taking the organization’s culture temperature” include: employee retention, revenue, and employee engagement. Exit interviews can also provide important insights.
  • Transparency is key for HR pros when issuing surveys to assess culture. Are you sharing & taking action on the results?
  • Leverage management. Be a leader. People leave managers, not companies.
  • Each individual manager within your organization establishes a climate. What types of climates are being created by the managers within your organization?
  • If you’re going to change a culture, you have to make sure the leadership is on board.
  • As a leader, engage to build trust and rapport. Make it fun!
  • In a positive culture, the voice of the customer is heard everywhere.
  • Often we jump to solutions without thinking about the strategic picture. In order to be viewed as true business partners, HR professionals need to always think strategically and not simply be “solutioneers.”
  • Most leaders get culture. They just don’t know how to impact it.
  • To turn around a toxic culture, start with yourself.

A huge thank you to our fantastic panelists who generously shared the insights above and many more:

– Angie Cartwright, PHR, Owner, Potentiality Coaching and Consulting
– Brett Rodgers, HR Manager, Anue Systems
– Shane Sokoll, SPHR, Assistant Professor and Director of the HR Management Degree Program, Concordia University
– Angela Loeb, Owner, InSync Resources

From the Closing Keynote by Bill Moyer of SOS Leadership Institute:

  • Are you in business? Or in busy-ness?
  • Are you so busy doing everything that you don’t have to time to do what matters most?
  • A good culture looks like personal responsibility. Personal responsibility starts at the top.
  • All organizations are perfectly designed for the results they are getting.
  • There’s nothing soft about soft skills. What’s soft about communication?
  • To lead your organization toward a culture of growth, implement this mindset: If you don’t grow, you go.
  • The enemy of growing is knowing. Don’t let what you think you know stand in the way of what you can learn and how you can grow.
  • All organizations are made up of two things: systems and people. You manage systems. You lead people.
  • What is a stagnant culture? “Don’t know they don’t know. Know but won’t grow. All blow and no go.”
  • What is a development culture? “Values driven. Ethical leadership. Development of all people at all levels.”
  • Is your organization focused on what matters most? Focused on people or the bottom line?
  • You can be a difference maker. Are you making the difference you want (or need) to make?

Thanks to all who attended. We look forward to seeing you at future events…the plans are already in the works for our next event! Stay tuned! Subscribe to the SOS Leadership Seeds of Success e-newsletter so you’ll know when our next event will take place.

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