Four Approaches to Accountability


[Excerpt from The Culture Question] Organizations can approach accountability in four distinct ways, as we explain with a model called the Accountability Grid (see image below). We’ve adapted this matrix from Ted Wachtel’s use of the Social Discipline Window, a conflict resolution tool. The four approaches are based on varying levels of both accountability and support: Ignoring: Avoiding problems we’d … Read More

How to Promote Continuous Learning


continuous learning, workplace culture, employees, leaders, mangement

One of the great joys of retirement is having more time (and perspective) to observe and reflect. As I consider the growth and development of my toddling grandchildren, I can’t help but note the extent to which they enthusiastically engage in an endless cycle of act, experience the outcome, receive feedback, learn. This iterative process is what translates a near-blank … Read More

Creating a Culture of Accountability


accountability, workplace culture, leadership, management

Accountability is one of the pillars of a highly functional and healthy workplace culture. Simply put, accountability means that people take responsibility for what they say they will do and what they have already done. Accountability and trust walk hand in hand. When we do what we say we will do, we establish trust. When an employee commits to completing … Read More

How Gender Bias Impacts Everyone


gender bias, workplace culture, gender equality, feminism, women in leadership

We are interested in your voice. Please accept my invitation to fill out our Women in Leadership Survey. Please note that we would like all genders to contribute. We will publish the results from this survey and review them at our upcoming Women in Leadership Conference in Winnipeg, March 19-20, 2020 Working for equality in the workplace is not just about … Read More

How to Develop a Culture of Mentorship


mentorship, workplace culture, team building, workplace performance

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] One often-overlooked strategy for creating a culture where people like to work is to consciously and consistently develop employees through mentorship. Investing in staff in this way creates opportunities for meaningful relationships, shows employees that they are valued, and allows them to develop their abilities, which will ultimately help the organization. A mentoring culture may … Read More

Want a Healthy Workplace? Start with an Assessment!


When I started as ACHIEVE’s Managing Director, our workplace culture was unhealthy. Our CEO was aware of this and wanted to do something about it. During my first week, he said “Eric, I know something is wrong with our culture, and your first job is to help us get healthy again.” Nothing like a good challenge to start a job … Read More

3 Pillars & Principles of Trauma-Informed Workplaces


You have probably heard a lot of buzz around being trauma-informed as it’s a term that is becoming increasingly embraced. Many organizations are actively seeking out ways to ensure their programming and services are fit for this label, which means they are engaging in the following pillars of trauma-informed care: Awareness of the prevalence of trauma, and how common it … Read More

Why Meeting Norms Matter


meeting norms, workplace culture, setting expectations, teamwork, collaboration

In my work as a school board superintendent, I had the great privilege of leading and participating with many teams. Consistently investing time on the front end to clarify the why, what, and how of our work was well worth the time. Team members need to be clear about the purpose for which the team exists (the why), the nature … Read More

Building Trust at Work


trust, building trust at work, leadership, management, workplace culture

In search of some inspiration for this article (and because of a writing deadline), I went for a walk to our neighborhood coffee shop. The barista engaged me in conversation by asking about my day and work – I told him I write about workplace culture. Then I asked him what he thought made a great workplace culture. Without missing … Read More

Why We Still Need to Strive for Gender Equality


gender equality, women in the workplace, feminism, feminist, women in leadership, workplace culture, workplace equality

This past weekend, my sister-in-law told me a family story I hadn’t heard before. When she was 16, she had a minor car accident. She hit a tree lining the driveway when backing the family car out of the garage. Her mother told her that she would have to tell her dad what she had done when he came home … Read More