Hispanic Chamber of Commerce St. Louis → on 21st Century Workplace Culture

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In this interview with Carlos Restrepo from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce St. Louis, Judy Ryan shares what and why a 21st century workplace culture is needed. In today’s world of complexity, speed of change, technology and diversity, people need a responsibility-based workplace culture in which everyone participates fully to create extraordinary results.

Interview Transcript

I’m the CEO of life work systems real excited to share with you a topic called your extraordinary workplace and its really all about why and how to create a culture that allows people to be successful in this 21st century people are your greatest asset and when you have a workplace culture that’s excellent it helps you to overcome a lot of challenges that are part of our world today for example we have such speed of change now things that used to take years or months can take a day or a week and so people are scrambling to understand things like robotics our artificial intelligence or digital transformation or globalization so there’s a lot of complexity that people are dealing with and they need to have what’s called agile behavior to go with that set of speedy technologies that are coming in right now the other thing is that we have a lot of diversity issues that are just up for all of us maybe because we’re so global now in our communications but there’s a lot of diversity where people are still at odds with each other over religion or politics or gender ISM are you know even the intergenerational is a big deal and also people are not necessarily staying fully engaged in their lives a lot of them are shutting down and in fact the the statistics show that 71 percent of people are shutting down either in a big way or a smaller way and then it costs organizations over a million dollars for every hundred people if they don’t get that in order and also people are struggling with how do I stay ahead of the competition how do I stay relevant for example all of the fortune 500 companies in 1955 only 26 of them have survived to today so it’s a big deal to be paying attention to what’s coming next and there’s also the issues of how do we deal with you know all the negative behavior that is very evident and kind of in our faces right now and what are the cost to us as human beings when we’re not managing stress and we’re not man our wellness so those are some of the reasons is those goals and those challenges that we’re facing right now we have to have excellent people one of the challenges I have as a performance management specialist in a culture specialist is people really understanding what is wrong what you know what’s the problem why don’t we have extraordinary workplaces why do we have so many symptoms of challenges create a workplace culture where we’re meeting for very basic core needs of all people we either don’t have things in the environment that make people feel empowered or we need to remove things that make people feel disempowered empowered just means that I feel aware of my power I feel confident in using my power I’m given choices and opportunities to express and influence others feeling lovable is different than being loved or getting loved lovable is when you get the communication exchange that says that people want to know the way you think they want to know the kinds of things that you have to say and they even want to be able to understand and reflect to you the beauty of your emotions as well so it’s this feeling of being seen and heard it also is important that people feel connected in the community in order to be calm they’re most confident and successful self and this one is another one where people just need to have lots of opportunities to contribute as much as they are capable of without it being overwhelming explain that a lot of the systems we have been using for centuries it’s time to dismantle those and people are uncomfortable with the thought of dismantling them because they are not sure what they would put in place instead and they become afraid of well what if what I’ve been doing is now outdated does that make me outdated does that make me irrelevant 10,000 years ago we had what was called red organizational culture model these are the current day organizations that still follow this chiefdom kind of way of being but it’s basically there’s a top boss and everybody is submissive to that top boss what happened is that over time people started coming to during these communities the system that was put in place was around a fixed set of chains of command and often you can’t really rise in those organizations until you’ve got into a certain title or level of seniority or brought in with a certain amount of education and then the next group that came along were the ones that started to look at you know beyond just community living how do we help to create fast-moving successful business and so the focus was how do we find these Superstars and get them to jump through our hoops and the green culture model was just a further evolution of the orange model in that there was still a central hierarchy but people said you know if we just incentivize individuals we won’t get the exponential growth and profitability that we could get if we incentivized or gave team bonuses or even group punished if you want to look at it from the reverse all of these involve some sort of a control over and control under dynamic so the first kinds of culture that I want to talk about are the kinds of culture that are driven by control as the priority in these kinds of models profitability is more important than people people are kind of treated in a transactional almost a humanized way in a sense of you know we’re just sort of a cog in the machine there’s always hierarchy and a use of power over in power under dynamics win-lose there’s a high emphasis on external motivation and just getting people to do what I said so basically if they just comply that’s best I can expect so here are four kind of control models some of which you may be familiar with maybe haven’t really thought about the beliefs the management approach what kind of people are cultivated and hopefully this will just give you a quick dive intuited really consider the ramifications because I want you to think about the negative effects of these control models the first one is being an autocrat in the business world this is called the command and control approach I call it management by intimidation it is a belief that you know a strong manager has got to be take charge but what you’re really holding about the people that you’re leading is they can’t really be stood on their own you know if I’m not policing them and I’m not managing them and I’m not commanding and insisting then they’re gonna be wayward so the accountability is just do what I say do it cuz I said so do it because I’m the boss and what happens is over time people become resentful so they’re gonna be more likely to do that c- disengaged or they’re just gonna out an out result another control model that’s often a surprise to people is the use of incentives and rewards the belief you’re holding about people is that they’re basically selfish and lazy and I have to dangle a carrot and it’s my job to motivate people and that’s the mistake because I just want them to do what I want and I want them to jump through this hoop and so what you create are people that become more self-centered they’re going after the incentive it creates a scarcity mind it creates a sense of competition now we’re rushing to get the incentive we’re gonna be less concerned about quality or what’s appropriate it actually shows in the research that when you incentivize people you remove and diminish and reduce the commitment to the very behavior that you want them to engage in a simple example is if you had a kid and you paid him a dollar for every time they read a book their subconscious belief is going to be something like it must really suck to read because they have to pay me to do it and also there’s that feeling of being manipulated again I want to remind you it’s not to say that it you couldn’t dangle a carrot and it quote-unquote work but if you understand the side effects that could make a big difference to you wanting to continue it this quadrant is all about using judgment or measurements and the belief is that some people are less deserving than I am so my approach is to judge positive or negative it’s to bestow on people my favor or my disfavor and to try to use those judgments to get people to be the kind of person I want them to be so the real accountability approaches I just want you to please me when I’m doing this I want to be able to look at you and shake my finger at you and say I’m so ashamed of you and have you try to change your behavior so you please me and it what it does is it creates people that become conformers or yes men and women or people pleasers or they just get mad who died made you God and so there’s a sense of hostility in all of these this one it is the most harmful of all the control models and it’s pampering and spoiling people deep down inside when you pamper and spoil people you don’t have faith in their ability and their desire to contribute you don’t have faith in the use of their power you believe that you should hover or overcompensate or enable them to help them get up that hill or get through that that challenge so the idea is I’ve I do all this stuff for you somehow you’re gonna magically turn into this person that wants to pay back or once to give more or is stronger and more responsible but what you actually create our people that become certain that they’re entitled they’re more special and they will often underperform the reason all of these are not helpful is because the person trying to get the employee for example to dance the dance or do the right behavior is trying to motivate from the outside in and so what we do is we kind of do what’s called spitting in the soup of the control models because they’re very popular and they look like they work really fast but the last model is what’s currently trending it’s not yet mainstream but it is the one that’s in motion right now so here’s a couple of the major characteristics of a Teel organizational model instead of being profit driven their purpose orientated so there’s an honoring of people’s why that’s why simon Sinek is so popular and others like him billy freedom with responsibility are packaged together and our absolute crucial must power is handled very differently instead of fearing people’s power power is recognized it’s celebrated it’s guided it’s used to be soft organizing and self governing and agility agility is incredibly important for example in our world today because of the speed of change we have to be able to solve problems on the fly we have to be able to be confident to step in and not hold back because we don’t have a title or we don’t have the same kind of background as somebody else when you’re heuristic you are confident you use your intuition you use your own face of knowledge and you don’t wait for some algorithmics formula or somebody’s set rigid answers and this is really important because if you don’t have agility you don’t have people being both leaders and followers as is needed or you won’t be able to have things growing up side-by-side in a simultaneous way because it’s too overwhelming unless you have a certain kind of structure of human behavior and standardized ways of behaving with one another in our organization our model is a Cheel model you can come to your work life and you can bring all of you to your work life so your personal and professional lives coexist and they Co Express and for many people that’s very disconcerting because they’ve been taught to keep all that real separate and in its own compartment and I’m telling you that when people come together in a holistic way within their workplaces they are happier healthier and more productive here too all of the other models the teal organizational model is the only one that consistently uses practices to support the four core needs and does not introduce anything that would take away from the four core needs and then once there’s an a willingness to look and question the outdated nosov some of those models then it’s important to know what to put into the vacuum what to replace them with so that you don’t fall back on what you’ve always known Einstein said we can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them I just showed you four control models and the way people are thought of in those control models all of those thoughts we hold about people in the control model are not positive thoughts I would go so far as to say the thinking and the control models are the problem the way we caused the problem so what do we transform into an a responsibility based culture relationships are everything relationships are primary we’re not transactional we’re not feeling like cogs in a machine and the power is being celebrated it’s being recognized it’s being guided and it’s being shared and people are being developed from the inside out and no one’s settling for compliance we’re going for the big result which is commitment so what does that look like remember I said in the four control models the beliefs about people were very negative you know you’re lazy you can’t be trusted you know you’re somehow inferior and incapable in this model the belief that you hold is that people are and want to be great now they don’t always look great because sometimes those core needs are being thwarted in them and then they show up looking not so great but if you hold the mentality that they are and want to be great and that if they’re not it’s a system problem it’s not a human-being problem then you would be able to approach them from a totally different mindset and your leadership approach instead of managing motivating judging and pampering people you mentor them you use systems that are designed for you to mentor them and to let them mentor you back because mentoring in our model is about how do we help people have tasks ownership how do we help people to become owners of the way they manage their purpose their values their visions their goals their procedures their roles their relationships their engagement levels their productivity how do we transfer that ability for them to respond to them and support them and tool them up so that they can do it because when we do that we create soft directed fully engaged people and it is incredibly satisfying and powerful to see it happen all kinds of barriers break down all kinds of childish and blaming and victim kind of behavior stop it’s really really powerful and the reason it’s so important is because now you’re a hundred percent committed to developing people from the inside out and I think for many executives and managers they still hold this mindset that we only have to invest in developing our senior team and our mid-level managers and our supervisors and the reality is that’s like saying oh we’ll just give cell phones to the top people and it’s really not necessarily a good idea but a lot of times people haven’t ramped their head around that you can equip everyone with today’s technology and the ability of people to do things virtually it’s affordable and it’s very convenient for people to all be developed at the same time so one of my favorite new quotes is about change blindness and I’m just gonna paraphrase it it’s by a man named Sam Arvest man and basically what he said is that we have a problem with change blindness and it’s not that we don’t have access to information new information a lot of people have some components of new information on workplace culture and and what kind of extraordinary cultures are starting to trend but the two problems that he said around change blindness are that most people don’t want to go out of their way to really look at doing something new like they may look over and say oh their company is doing some great things that’s fine for them but we don’t want to go through all of that trouble and so they don’t necessarily understand the ramifications of holding on to the old culture models when it’s very important for them to progress into the new culture models the other thing that happens is people become worried that if they question what they’ve been doing that they’re even going to lose their identity or their significance in the workplace so it takes a very strong positive ego to be an effective leader that develops other leaders and that can move forward without clinging to old ways of doing things the last thing that I want to say is that when you have an extraordinary workplace culture what you’ve done is you’ve created this supportive system so that the managers aren’t over there freed up to run the productivity and meet the objectives of the business because all of the employees are part of supporting and a culture of excellence in extraordinary culture I have noticed a staff that is happier

they understand when I say something there’s a framework use that we we have a common understanding of I’m not causing that power over or power under but that we have a mutual respect for one another via even at the senior level we started finding ourselves being able to communicate better being able to trust each other I know this program made a tremendous change in our business so the LifeWorks model has it is everything it’s packed full having a system in place and allows everyone to know how to behave how to act a great thing for our organization and really we started to see those results it has taken the company to places of better engagement better collaboration better teamwork hitting our targets and we’re much more productive in that fashion culture here it has gotten so much better I love coming to work [Music] you

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