The Influence of Peers

By David Friedman, Founder/CEO A number of years ago, I was visiting a dear friend of mine who was the longtime Director of Housing and Residence Life at my alma mater, the College of William & Mary.  In the course of our conversation I asked her about the biggest lessons she had learned over her many years working with students.  Her answer has stayed with me for decades, and it actually has a profound bearing on the work we do on culture. This is what she told me: “I’m constantly amazed at the power of peer pressure.  I see good …

The Transformative Power of a Common Language

By Jake Friedman, Consultant I recently conducted my first in-person meeting with a client since early March. It was a “Rollout”, our term for the meeting where we help a client introduce their Fundamentals to the entire company. (For those of you who are new readers of our blog, Fundamentals are the behaviors that an organization uses to define its culture, the things that they say are “fundamental” to their success.) After the rollout, the CEO kindly invited me to join his team for lunch. While we ate, we went around the room and in turn each person gave one …

Listening is a skill.

By Bill Kaiser, Vice President And like any other skill, it requires focus, concentration, and practice to get better. I don’t know if there was ever a more important time for all of us to put in the extra work and get better at how and why we listen. In our practice of The HPC Way, Fundamental #13 is Listen Generously: Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Be present and engaged. Quiet the noise in your head and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Create space for team members to express themselves without judgment. Listen with …

The Impact of Integration on your Culture

By Al Curnow, Vice President These past several weeks have brought unprecedented levels of disruption to the workplace.   There have been massive layoffs, furloughs, and wide scale redistributions of workforces. Yet, there will come a time, hopefully not too far in the future, where we’ll need to regroup and reorganize.  We’ll need to bring staff back and perhaps hire new team members.   When we do, the manner in which we do so will be critical. This is our one opportunity to create a first impression and prescribe the lens through which we want our new team members to see just …

Culture in Uncertain and Chaotic Times

By Rob Wolff, Vice President For the majority of us, this is definitely NOT business as usual.   In our own ways, most of us are struggling to identify and adapt to a “new normal” and that brings with it numerous challenges. For some, the changes are subtle and low impact, while others are in full “reinvent the wheel” mode.  Where does company culture come in and what role does it play?  I’ve noticed a number of things after working with several of our business owners and CEOs since the start of the pandemic. For Leaders Back in early March, I …

By, David Friedman A number of years ago, I was leading a workshop and I was telling my “Ritz-Carlton story.”  For those unfamiliar, I developed the concept of the Fundamentals and the weekly rituals we practice after learning about Ritz-Carlton’s “Basics” and their “Daily Lineup.”  Ritz-Carlton has 20 Basics (behaviors) that they teach and practice, primarily through daily lineups that take place in every property in every shift in every department, every single day around the world.  It’s the backbone of their extraordinary consistency around service excellence. As I shared this story, an audience member shared his own Ritz-Carlton story, …

Creating Reliability Through Rituals

By Jake Friedman, Consultant Over the last couple blogs we’ve shared stories of how our client companies have relied on their culture to provide a stable foundation and a guide for decision-making during the current crisis. So what is it about practicing Fundamentals that makes a culture so sturdy, that makes it so ingrained, that even in these unprecedented times it remains reliably unchanged, even if everything else around us is changing? The key is in the ritualized practice of the behaviors that define your culture. In fact, our Founder/CEO here at HPC, David Friedman, says the idea of using …

Living the Fundamentals in a Time of Crisis

By Al Curnow, Vice President One of the things I enjoy most about my job is the opportunity to work with such great leaders representing incredibly diverse organizations.  Our clients include those that are for profit while some are not-for-profit.  Some are high-tech while others are “get your hands dirty” low-tech.  They include the world’s largest horseradish manufacturer and firms that provide vital services to some of our country’s most vulnerable populations.  Yet, while the industries we work with vary dramatically, there is a common thread among those that lead these organizations.  These leaders understand just how important their leadership …

Navigating in Tumultuous Times

By Bill Kaiser, Vice President The news is scary and the short-term future is uncertain. Now is certainly the time for us all to be thinking we rather than me. Although, when it comes to toilet paper and Spring Break beaches in Florida, it seems the “me’s” are dominating. I saw a recent Instagram post and the suggestion was, “Why don’t we all buy groceries that will last a week. And if everyone did that weekly, we would all have what we need!” Very sound advice. A Time to Lead I’ve been in a reading frenzy of late and recently …

Culture – A Force Multiplier

By Rob Wolff, Vice President Think of your best employees, the ones that you’d like to clone.  We all have these people on our teams, and there are usually people whom we used to work with that we’d also like to clone and put on our teams.  Usually there are only certain aspects of those people that we want to clone.  One person is incredible at follow-up, while someone else is really great at developing long-term, trusting relationships with customers.  A completely different person comes to work every day with a fantastic attitude – full of positive energy that radiates …