There probably will be a period in which the idea of going to the office again feels exciting. So there may be a brief spike in the number of people who face traffic and drive in for a few weeks. But that novelty is likely to wear off quickly. People will be faced with a simple choice: Get dressed up and sit in traffic, or turn on the computer immediately and be productive without the hassle.
Businesses have long known that workplace cultures can do a lot to exacerbate or alleviate extreme stress. Cultures in which people are more comfortable and less overwhelmed see all sorts of benefits, including, often, greater focus, strategic thinking, and creativity.
Culture is a social construct and training will never be the route to more diverse and inclusive organizations. Training solves information problems and our D&I challenge is an emotional and social anomaly; accordingly, the solution must solve that problem. Training is merely a box-ticking exercise that is convenient, feels safe for leaders, but has utterly failed.
According to Jason Korman, CEO and founder of culture design group Gapingvoid, Memetics is exactly what corporate America needs right now. Jason has helped to transform the cultures of companies like The US Air Force, Zappos, AT&T and more. As basic as it sounds, the solution is to use memes to ensure your remote teams don’t feel stranded. That meme, an image, a virtual background can emit a feeling of connectedness, so everyone knows they’re in it together. What is culture?
Purpose is a term that confuses many leaders.
We often see a company’s “purpose” as friendly-sounding platitudes about customer-centricity or people, but purpose is one leg of the culture stool (along with mission and vision) that should motivate and provide clarity to employees. Purpose demonstrates why employees should show up to work excited.
The United States government has so efficiently botched its response to this Covid-19 pandemic that it seems like a coordinated effort to keep us working at home forever (those of us who still have some level of employment at least). But let’s not focus on that, let’s focus instead on one of the many companies seeking to take advantage of this new paradigm of remote work by selling virtual backgrounds.
When Boeing fired CEO Dennis Mullenberg late last year, the markets, investors, regulators, and other interested parties likely all breathed a sigh of relief. The man at the helm during two high-profile 737 MAX plane crashes was gone.
When performing their post-mortems on Mullenberg’s tenure at Boeing, sources have blamed his insensitivity to victims’ families, his cavalier attitude toward customers like Southwest Airlines, and Boeing’s overall culture of secrecy, among other issues. For me, however, the most significant issues are Boeing’s refusal to consider divergent opinions when developing the 737 MAX and when addressing the safety/performance issues that caused the crashes, and simultaneously, the corporate culture that places profit over safety.
As we come to accept that even more of us will be working from home for months rather than weeks, it’s important to differentiate between physical distancing and social distancing, and vital for company leaders to use all options available to maintain culture in our instant WFH era.
This is an article about what to do in this time of disconnection and how to make sure that when we are able to come together again in shared space, our organizations are still functioning. I am not talking about the rules and systems, most of which will still be intact, but the unseen piece which we call culture, essential to all long-term business success.
Two major, ongoing stories involving the Navy and the coronavirus illustrate a key challenge the U.S. military is facing: the need to be agile so that innovation can thrive.
First, the USNS Comfort was sent to New York City to help relieve hospitals and other medical centers inundated with patients. But the ship was unable to quickly take on many of those patients, due to what The New York Times called a “tangle of military protocols and bureaucratic hurdles.” As the head of New York’s largest hospital system put it, “If I’m blunt about it, it’s a joke.”
Meanwhile, there’s the story of Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, who was fired ostensibly for not following the formal chain of command — though he was clearly trying to protect his crew from the deadly coronavirus. Sailors cheered for Crozier as he departed the USS Theodore Roosevelt, showing their support for him. (Crozier later reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 himself.)
To succeed over the long-term, culture needs to be the driving force behind all aspects of corporate management.
A landmark study produced by my firm has confirmed what many of us knew in our guts all along—CEOs who cultivate engagement and high-purpose cultures do better for investors, employees and themselves.
Our new report “Culture as a Management System: How CEOs Who Lead High-Purpose Organizational Cultures Deliver Remarkable Business Performance” draws on Gapingvoid’s work with a wide range of clients including AT&T, Microsoft, The U.S. Air Force, and Zappos, building on our own compiled data with proprietary analyses along with respected third-party studies.
By approaching managerial decisions through the lens of culture, leaders can make a bigger impact for the organization and its employees.
Corporate culture is undergoing a transformation. As organizations evolve and reinvent themselves in response to societal changes, new technologies, and competitive disruption, they’re finding that hierarchical cultures of the past must change as well.
And while the shape and impact of corporate culture is changing in the 21st century, the role it can play as a determinant of success is not waning anytime soon. As the researchers of the MIT SMR/Glassdoor Culture 500 put it, “To survive and thrive in today’s market, a healthy corporate culture is more important than ever.”
Should a company be customer-obsessed like Amazon or employee-focused like Richard Branson said? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Businesses do best when they’re built around high-purpose cultures, which are equally focused on both employees and customers. Some skeptics think this is impossible, and that one or the other must end up taking precedence. But most of the time, business leaders can do right by their staff and the consumers they serve.
When nearly 200 CEOs from some of the nation’s largest corporations got together recently, they faced a big challenge.
Across the United States and in much of the world, there’s great distrust of corporate leaders—a distrust that’s growing along with CEO pay and levels of inequality. As Scientific American has reported, “economic inequality negatively impacts nearly every aspect of human well-being.” Many workers are finding that the system is rigged against them.
The result of the meeting of the Business Roundtable was an official end to the organization’s stance, in place since 1997, that “corporations exist principally to serve their shareholders.”
Late last month, the company provided a $5 million grant to Catalyst, a global nonprofit working toward workplace gender equality, to support its Men Advocating Real Change program.
The Midland location last year was one of Chevron’s first to launch a MARC program. The Chevron Women’s Network and Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth brought the program to the company in 2017. The company instituted a pilot program in Houston, and it has expanded to seven Chevron locations globally and includes more than 750 employees. It joins other employee networks at the Midland campus, including a Women’s Network and Black Employees Network that brings the workforce together with cultural events, networking, volunteering and speaker events.
Most people’s lives are a reflection of their past, rather than their future.
For most people, today will look quite similar to tomorrow. 2019 will look similar to 2018.
Most people’s lives are highly predictable. And there’s a very good reason. Your brain is quite literally a “prediction machine” designed to keep you from situations and scenarios filled with uncertainty and the possibility of failure.
According to several psychologists, the foundation of all fears is the “unknown.” We want our lives to be predictable. We don’t want to deal with the intense emotions involved in doing something new and different.
Jason Korman is the CEO of Gapingvoid, a culture design company that uses innovative methods to shape organizational behavior and effectiveness. One of their core methodologies is to use artwork to infuse cultural values into the minds and identities of employees. One of Gapingvoid’s signature concepts is what they call, “Culture Walls,” which are pictures representing the cultural values and desired behaviors of a particular organization, which images are placed on walls throughout the organization. These images are created by the famed business writer and author, Hugh MacLeod.
Job-hunting isn’t like what it used to be. Feelings of desperation have no place. You’ll become more human – more like yourself – and free yourself to be more professional by becoming aware of values, fine-tuning your self-knowledge, standing out with recruiters and interviewing with a new strategy.
“Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate, and personal. An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn’t matter. The intent does. Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”―Seth Godin
The above image is my “Culture Wall,” created by GapingVoid, a company that helps people design their organizational culture. The art is done by Hugh McLeod, who has drawn pictures for books by Seth Godin and many other influential individuals and companies.
For most executives, organizational culture has been a bit of a mystery. We read about companies with great cultures: Zappos, Rackspace, REI, Southwest Airlines, etc., but how did they create workplace environments that enabled their employees to be more efficient, passionate and effective? Was it deliberate? If so, can it be repeated and designed?
For ten years, Gapingvoid Culture Design Group has been working with some of the most culture-centric businesses in the world — seeing what works — and developing new approaches to design and scale what we call end-to-end Culture Design.
In the midst of their tinkering and testing, Gapingvoid has come up with something incredibly useful, scientific, artful, and effective.
The tool they’ve developed is so effective that many of the leading entrepreneurs and organizations are using it.
So what is it?
It’s called The “Culture Wall.”
At HERWorld18, we turned the energy gender gap on its head.
In an industry where women comprise about 20 percent of the workforce, most energy conferences have a similar percentage of female speakers. At HERWorld18, we too had a roughly 80/20 breakdown.
82 percent of our speakers were women. 18 percent were male.
One of our goals as an organization is to elevate the women in this industry. But we also want men to have a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation.
So we asked one of our male speakers — Jason Korman, CEO of culture design firm Gapingvoid — what he thought of the HERWorld18 experience, both as an industry outsider and a member of the gender minority.
Almost every company in the United States has organizational change wrong.
They believe “culture” is about having a list of values.
Culture is not about having a list of values. Nor is leadership about charisma.
The reason organizations fail at their primary task (which is delivering value and delighting customers), is because they fail to grasp what truly motivates and inspires their people.
People aren’t motivated by rewards or punishments.
They aren’t inspired by upward mobility and performance rating.
People, at their core, want to have MEANING in their lives. They want to feel a part of something bigger. They want a true sense of connection.
Gapingvoid and Brian Solis have a new schtick about the business of creativity. As with most things that gapingvoid churns out, 10 reasons your culture is failing and new insights on how to fix it is highly accessible and entertaining as they tap into the zeitgeist around creativity, culture and the perceived need for change.
Changes in culture have defined human lives throughout the ages. At the Toppel Career Center on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus, change has been top-of-mind for as long as Christian Garcia (associate dean and executive director) can remember.
Jason Korman, CEO of gapingvoid ltd., maintains that employees who believe in their workplace and are fulfilled in their work contribute to the ideal environment for recruiting. He’s developed a strategic approach for his consulting, primarily to multi-national organizations.
Intrinsic motivators are the key to getting through tough times, says Jason Korman, CEO of Gapingvoid Culture Design Group, and the coauthor with Brian Solis of a new e-book, 10 reasons your culture is failing and new insights on how to fix it.
Jason Korman, CEO of Miami-based culture consultancy Gapingvoid, whose clients include a number of tech companies, has a different view. He believes the diversity problem in technology has more to do with a lack of female and minority candidates.
As the delivery of care continues to transform, physicians are being called upon to address costs, improve outcomes and increase patient engagement. Miami-based Gapingvoid, a consulting firm focused on change management, believes they can help meet that triple aim by creating immersive art installations that purposefully connect people with positive outcomes both visually and emotionally.
Many hospital and clinic waiting rooms are stark, dated, poorly lit and uninviting. As Gapingvoid CEO Jason Korman points out, the only thing to fixate on is likely a 2010 copy of People.
University of Miami’s Toppel Career Center looks a little brighter these days. Maybe it’s because of the new building. Or perhaps it’s the smiles of recent graduates glad to be rid of homework. But one new development stands out among the rest: the opening of a permanent exhibition featuring 80—that’s right, 80—artworks by the cartoonist Hugh Macleod.
“If you’ve ever been to Paris, or Rome, or any old European city, no matter where you stay, you walk out of your hotel room, you walk two steps, and you look up, and there’s this art,” says Jason Korman, CEO of Gapingvoid, which helps companies “transform [their] businesses” through art.
Some of the world’s biggest companies are taking serious business advice from lighthearted cartoons. The likes of Intel, Volkswagen AG and Cisco have turned to artist Hugh MacLeod and business partner Jason Korman of Miami Beach-based Gapingvoid Ltd. to inspire employees and revamp corporate culture.
We’ve been turning to the comic pages for a long time for business advice, whether intentional or purely by luck.
Gapingvoid’s unique style of visual communication has long been popular among successful and aspiring entrepreneurs: They decorate their offices with prints of gapingvoid art; they wear our t-shirts; and they read our blog and newsletter. We admire and appreciate all entrepreneurs – they are the future – and we salute them (and you) with this short look at entrepreneurship told through a series of cartoons.
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When artist Hugh McLeod first starting scribbling cartoon art with motivational messages for businesses on the backs of business cards years ago he had no idea his work would eventually adorn the walls of some of the top corporations in the world including Microsoft and Facebook.
For Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid, the message behind his work offers a special meaning to anyone who comes across it – at home or in the office.
Get inside the head of an entrepreneur through cartoonist and author Hugh MacLeod’s first one-man show. “I’m Not Delusional: The Art of the Entrepreneur” is a tribute to the emotional journey of the entrepreneur.
When cartoonist Hugh MacLeod arrived in New York City in 1997, he checked into the YMCA with two suitcases, a couple of boxes and a copywriting job at an advertising firm. His only canvases were a handful of blank business cards in his pocket.