The challenge of changing company culture

Feels like over the last year I’ve put an extreme amount of effort in to change the company’s culture. Things are getting better, but there’s still a lot more to go. Still have people here who aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid. Suggestions?

Thoughts of the day: Getting buy-in to change can be challenging. Expose everyone to your message. Walk it, talk it, wear it — you’re the leader. Figure out where the lack of buy-in is coming from. Give people a reason to want to change.

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Can this partnership be saved?

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I have a partner who cuts corners all the time. I want to do things the right way. Seems like we don’t see eye to eye very often. What should I do?

Thoughts of the day: Start with goals to get clear about what each of you expect from the company. Think about how well matched the two of you are. Communicate a lot. Resolve your differences now.

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Help an employee develop coping skills

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We have an employee who is easily frustrated when things don’t go as planned. While she’s a great producer, she gets easily rattled if she gets surprised and that puts her off her game. She quickly switches from positive and outgoing to defensive and stubborn. If we can see it, we figure our clients can see it, too. How can we help her get a better grip on how she presents herself?

Thoughts of the day…Every smart employer’s job includes helping employees develop coping skills. Teach her to manage disruption and conflict. Check in if personal issues are getting in the way of making progress at work. Practice useful stress-survival skills.

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How to make a partnership work

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The partner we thought we had has turned out not to be a true partner. We feel like they went behind our backs and directly approached our customers and our employees. This, after they’d agreed to keep hands-off.

Thoughts of the day: How much do you have in common with your partner candidates? What do you have in writing to document your agreements? Check backgrounds before starting work. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Get everything in order up-front.

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Brace yourselves, growth is coming

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A major referral source for us is gearing up for a big summer push. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they are worried if we can we keep up. This is a great problem to have, but we need to solve it. How do we assure them that we can meet their needs? This will be a big leap forward for us.

Thoughts of the day: First, make sure you want the influx. Assuming you do want the work, build plans to gear up and assign people to implement those plans. Put someone in charge of monitoring workflow and quality. Meet with your staff to fill them in on what’s expected. Build in time to celebrate successes and let off steam.

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