Jamie Notter

Does Your Employee Survey Measure Symptoms or Causes?

Jamie Notter

By now you should be aware that I’m kind of outraged that collectively we’ve spent billions of dollars on engagement surveys over the last several years, yet we haven’t improved our engagement scores. I think the metrics are a big piece of the problem.

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The New Work of Culture

Jamie Notter

In case you missed it, Maddie and I released a new white paper earlier this month about our new maturity model for culture management. The title of the paper is the same as this blog post, The New Work of Culture, and we chose that title because we’re trying to wake people up a little bit here.

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The Importance of Cultural Artifacts

Jamie Notter

This week I spoke to leaders from a group of contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers about both culture and employee engagement. In the afternoon session, I was part of a panel that went for two hours (!), so it allowed for some interesting and more in-depth conversations.

The 3 Things Every CEO Should Know About Culture

Jamie Notter

One of my mantras is that workplace culture isn’t as complicated, difficult, vague, etc. as we make it out to be. I’m not saying it’s super simple and easy, but it’s definitely something we all can handle.

AMC-Managed Organizations are More Stable than Standalone Organizations

Why do organizations managed by Association Management Companies outperform standalone organizations? This paper seeks to answer that question through the results of a study examining the rates of change in the length of chief staff executive tenure and changes in office locations of membership-based organizations between 2009 and 2015.

Beware of Your Assumptions about What People Will Do

Jamie Notter

I was listening to a podcast the other day with Esther Duflo , a recent winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, who was talking about the importance of empirical evidence when you’re trying to change things (in her context, reducing global poverty).

Benchmark Data Are A Complete Waste of Time

Jamie Notter

Okay, not ALL benchmark data are useless, but they are when it comes to culture and employee engagement. In our recent book on engagement , we have a whole chapter dedicated to gathering the right data, and we make the case for basically ignoring culture and engagement benchmarking data.

Is Culture The Weak Link in Your Chain?

Jamie Notter

Take a minute and look at your organization from the 30,000-foot level. You’ll see that you have a number of key functions that need to be managed well if you’re going to thrive. Some of them are infrastructure functions, like financial management.

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Solving the Employee Engagement Equation

Jamie Notter

Maddie and I are BEYOND excited to announce the release of our next book, The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement (for Millennials, Boomers, and Everyone Else!). It’s part of a series of Non-Obvious Guides that our publisher (IdeaPress, led by the super-smart Rohit Bhargava) is starting.

Do Millennials Define Engagement Differently?

Jamie Notter

One of the participants in my Managing Generational Diversity training course once told me an interesting story. Her Millennial daughter came home from work and told the mother that she had quit her job.

Find+Fix Your Culture Patterns

Jamie Notter

Since today is the last day of the year, I’m going to boil everything down for you. If I had to give ONE piece of advice to leaders who want to: get the most out of their organizations. attract and retain the best talent. beat the competition, or even make them irrelevant…. …it

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The Importance of Access (Culture 401 Series)

Jamie Notter

This post is part of a new series investigating workplace culture at a more advanced level (hence the “401” moniker, like you only get access to this course your senior year…), digging into what we see emerging as the “essentials” of culture in the 21 st century.

Seeing Systems (Culture 401 Series)

Jamie Notter

This post is part of a new series investigating workplace culture at a more advanced level (hence the “401” moniker, like you only get access to this course your senior year…), digging into what we see emerging as the “essentials” of culture in the 21 st. century.

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The REAL Meaning of Employee Engagement

Jamie Notter

When we set out last year to write The Non-Obvious Guide to Employee Engagement (which launches today!), our first task was to see what others were writing about the topic.

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Single Culture or Multiple Cultures?

Jamie Notter

Nearly every organization we work with confronts an important question at some point in their culture journey: Should they strive for one, uniform culture? Or should they let multiple cultures develop inside the organization? The answer (as frustrating as this can be) is “both.”.

More Evidence for NOT Copying a Culture

Jamie Notter

So I gave myself the rare gift of time last week and read two business books: Ray Dalio’s Principles and Patty McCord’s Powerful.

How Core Values Can Actually Erode Trust

Jamie Notter

Here’s a typical scenario. You want to create a stronger culture, so you ask your people to articulate some kind of ideal culture.

Do Destiny and Management Mix?

Jamie Notter

I was in Dallas this week speaking at an internal meeting at a large corporation. The session was on “Employee Engagement in the Real World,” and during the session I was talking about how Maddie and I define “deep success.”.

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Conflict Touches Everything

Jamie Notter

I started my career in the conflict resolution field, so conflict has always been on my radar, even as my work switched to workplace culture over the years.

Tight Cultures versus Loose Cultures

Jamie Notter

Earlier this month I spoke to a small group of COOs as part of an event put on by CEO Update.

Even Small Staffs Get Value from Culture Data

Jamie Notter

When we were creating the Workplace Genome culture assessment, I had an assumption that organizations with really small staff would tend not use it. I used to joke: Hey, if you’re only 19 employees, then instead of the culture survey, why don’t you just sit around the table and hash things out!?

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Strategy Innovation

Jamie Notter

For a project I’m working on, I dug out my old copy of Blue Ocean Strategy.

3 Tips for Making Culture Change Sustainable

Jamie Notter

This is probably one of the biggest fears among leaders when it comes to culture change: what if we start making the change, and then the effort just fizzles out? After all, culture is something that is easy to ignore, since it has the power to live and grow without your attention.

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You Don’t Need Happy Employees

Jamie Notter

The biggest reason our efforts to improve employee engagement over the last 20 years have been a horrible failure might surprise you: it’s because we’ve been trying to make people happy. Our collective image of an engaged employee is someone who likes coming to work, someone who smiles a lot, someone who has a positive sentiment about their workplace. They approve of how we do things around here. They like the way their managers treat them.


What Is Culture Stewardship?

Jamie Notter

When we give our consulting clients an overview of what should be included in their “Culture Playbook,” we offer up six possible sections of the playbook: Rituals and artifacts. Stewardship. Talent/HR. Process. Structure/Design. Technology.

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Younger Millennials Strike Back with “OK Boomer”

Jamie Notter

The keynote I did in San Diego last week covered both Millennials and workplace culture, and as I was preparing for it, I realized that Millennials have now been in the workforce for more than 15 years. The oldest Millennials are nearly 40 now, and that means that the younger Millennials (often called Gen Z) are now entering both adulthood and the workforce in larger numbers, and like every generation, the second-half cohort is noticeably different than the first half.

Core Values Are Not Enough

Jamie Notter

Core values seem to be somewhat popular among companies that get involved in culture work. It's almost a necessary box to tick.

The #1 Reason Why Management Retreats Fail

Jamie Notter

I was talking with a colleague the other day who said that in her experience, management retreats usually ended up at one of two extremes: either they were stellar and everyone loved them, or they were a disaster and people ended up quitting at the end.

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The Myth of Generation Z

Jamie Notter

I see a lot written these days about this mysterious new generation that follows the Millennials, often called Generation Z. Yes, just when you thought you had figured out the “kids these days,” now you have to start all over again with a whole new generation! Or do you?

Building Out a “Culture Ops” Function

Jamie Notter

I have a couple of keynotes at HR conferences coming up in September, and I am thinking about drawing some attention in those talks to a relatively new term in HR: Culture Operations, or Culture Ops. If you’re outside of the Human Resources world, you may not realize that the term, “human resources”, has become a bit out of fashion these days.

How to Prioritize Your Culture Work

Jamie Notter

At the end of one of the phases of our culture consulting , we help clients create a “ Culture Playbook.” It’s basically a list of things they will do inside their organization to either change or protect specific aspects of their culture, in order to ensure ongoing success.

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What It Really Means to Begin Something

Jamie Notter

When organizations do work on their culture, they frequently want to rush to action. When we show them the results of our culture assessment, for example, it often leads immediately to a discussion about what should be done about it.

Cancer Does What It Wants

Jamie Notter

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with larynx cancer earlier this year. I had a small growth on my vocal chords that turned out to have some cancer in it.

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Introducing WorkXO Solutions

Jamie Notter

So it was almost two years ago (January 2016) that we announced WorkXO to the world. It’s the company that Maddie and I created with Charlie Judy, a cutting-edge HR leader in Chicago.

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Managing Workplace Culture within EOS

Jamie Notter

EOS ( Entrepreneurial Operating System ) is a concept put forward by Gino Wickman in his book, Traction , and it is popular with many leaders.

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The Four Trends That Shaped the Millennials

Jamie Notter

I spoke this week at the Direct Marketing Association's annual meeting --twice actually: I did a "book club" session on When Millennials Take Over , and then I had a concurrent session on "What the Experienced Marketer Can Learn from Millennials."

What If There Were 100 Million Millennials? (Because There Are)

Jamie Notter

Warning: this is a fairly long post that delves into numbers somewhat deeply. But here's the good news: I've got some surprising revelations about the size of the different generations, so be patient and read through to the end!

The Similarity Between Culture and Parenting

Jamie Notter

I always enjoyed the film Parenthood , from the late 1980s. Steve Martin played a guy who struggled with being the perfect parent (which is, of course, impossible). But there was a scene where Jason Robards, who played Martin’s father in the movie, gave a great speech about how it never ends.

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Why Do People Resist Change?

Jamie Notter

Sorry for the bait and switch, but that’s actually the wrong question. People don’t resist change. They resist doing things they think are stupid. They resist doing things that go against their own interests. And here’s the big one: they resist doing things that don’t make sense to them.

What Makes a Good Team?

Jamie Notter

It’s not a random collection of your “best” people. We tend to think that putting the smartest, most capable people together on a team is the best decision, but some research I saw reported in the New York Times says otherwise.

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