The Two Types of Work Environments, aka “Cultures”

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shutterstock_265217333Peter Drucker, the guru of organizational development consulting, was quoted as saying that “culture eats strategy for lunch.”

Company “culture” is defined as “how people within an organizational environment communicate and behave based on real or perceived values, beliefs, and rules (both written and unwritten).”

There are two types of company cultures:

  • A “compliance” culture, or
  • A “commitment” culture.

Compliance Culture:

A very autocratic leader is often at the helm of a “compliance culture.”

This leader is highly demanding, often requiring unrealistic performance expectations.

The “compliance culture” leader communicates in a way that does not permit discussion on ideas different from his or hers.

In a “compliance culture” team members are required to “comply” with the desires, demands and whims of the leader.

Team members learn early it’s best not to make decisions because mistakes are not tolerated.

Team members exist in survival mode, focusing on just fulfilling minimal work requirements and rarely help teammates, while the “command and control” leader preaches teamwork ad-nauseam.

A “compliance culture” creates a very stressful, “CYA” environment with a lot of passive-aggressive behavior.

In this environment company leaders to have to work harder to move the company strategy forward, often failing miserably as the culture of compliance eats away at potential progress.

Commitment Culture:

Conversely, working in a “commitment culture” is like working on a “championship” athletic team.

Everyone on the team knows their individual role in helping the company achieve its strategic goals.

The leaders’ open and collaborative communication style fosters an environment of enthusiastic contribution to help the company get where it is going. Team members’ efforts often go above and beyond expectations.

Ideas are encouraged and nurtured for further development.

Leaders see failures and mistakes as learning experiences, not something to punish.

Sometimes understanding the difference between “compliance” and “commitment” cultures can be challenging.

Last week I learned this the hard way.

I was working with an organization in a highly regulated industry, the healthcare field.

When I broached this topic company leaders struggled to understand why a compliance culture may not be most desirable.

They argued that because their industry required compliance with a multitude of health regulations, they needed a compliance culture to make the system work.

Initially, I struggled to explain the difference.

Then, it hit me!

A compliance culture doesn’t refer to the type of work that is done, it refers to the way people are led and how they are communicated with.

It is very possible to have a commitment culture in a compliance heavy industry.

There are always things that people in a work environment must “comply” with to fulfill job requirements, things like punctuality for meeting workday requirements, or fulfilling deadlines.

It works in athletics and it can work in business, too.

Winning a championship in sports requires athletes on a team to “comply” with the rules and laws of the team framework (coming to practice on-time, etc.) and the rules of the game they play.

They do so happily because the “commitment culture,” has everyone focused on winning so they “comply” with what the team leadership has set as guidelines for success.

Team leadership also provides opportunity for the athletes to use their unique creative talents to get the job done in the field of play.

It should be the same in business.

Is it, in yours?


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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7 Types of Twitter Contests to Boost Your Reach And Engagement

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enter to win

Looking for more reach and engagement on Twitter? Try running a contest!

Contests can benefit your brand in a number of ways. They can increase your number of followers, improve your reach and visibility, encourage your followers to engage more with your content, generate positive sentiment and more.

If you’ve considered running a Twitter contest, but aren’t quite sure where to start, we’ve got 7 ideas for different types of contests you can run.

1. Photo contests

Photo contests are a great way to get your current follower base more engaged with your brand. You can ask them to take a photo of themselves with your product, snap a funny pic or share an image of their daily lives.

With a photo contest, be sure you either retweet or thank each entry – and when you select a winner, give it lots of fanfare on Twitter!

2. Creative/funny answer contests

Ask your followers to submit their most creative or funny answer to a question or scenario you tweet. It’s a good idea to include a hashtag as part of this campaign, so you can collect all of the responses in one place.

Again, retweet the best entries to show appreciation, and to encourage other followers to enter.

3. Retweet to enter contests

One of the simplest types of Twitter contests is the retweet to enter. All your followers have to do is retweet your “seed” contest tweet, and they will be entered to win!

As a brand, you only need to look at who retweeted that single tweet, and randomly select a winner. What could be easier than that?

4. Follow to win contests

Another dead-simple Twitter contest is the follow to win. You can announce this contest across other social media platforms, letting your followers elsewhere know that if they follow you on Twitter they could win a prize.

5. First-to-answer contests

For an ultra-short-term contest, why not give your fastest followers a reward? Ask a question, and give the prize to the first person to tweet the correct answer. This works well in short spurts, and if you run this type of contest regularly, your followers will be more likely to keep tuning in to your tweets so they don’t miss out.

6. Tweet a hashtag contests

Creating a branded hashtag for a specific contest is a good way to improve your reach while rewarding your followers. All they have to do is include the hashtag you create in a tweet that is relevant to the contest, and they will be entered to win.

7. Caption contests

If you’ve got a creative bunch of followers, you can ask them to write a funny, interesting or smart caption for a photo you tweet. You’ll get to select the best one of the bunch and reward them with a prize. As with the other creative contests, be sure to tweet the winning entry.

As you’re creating your contests, don’t forget to follow Twitter’s guidelines to keep them above-board, and be sure to track the results. But most of all, have fun!

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