Karen’s Blog

Demystifying the Role of the Board in Relation to Organizational Culture


“Organizational culture is how things get done around here.” – Deal and Kennedy

Organizational culture has been a popular topic for decades. Many now agree that culture is very important, that it can be managed, and that the board needs to be not only informed, but also involved. Where there is less agreement is how the board should be informed and involved vis-à-vis organizational culture. It is a complex area, and should not be underestimated. Research suggests that shifting an organization’s culture is the most difficult change initiative undertaken by organizations. Culture is a critical success factor for the organization, and the board must be appropriately engaged. The aim of this blog is to provide guidance for boards of directors in relation to culture and the board’s role with the following seven steps.

Is your Organization Facing Change Fatigue and/or Employee Burnout?


As an executive coach, and management consultant, I regularly hear about change fatigue and employee burnout. These issues are real, and often take a great toll on people in the organization — and the organization’s ability to be successful.

Here are a couple of tips to help with this:
– Make a list of all of the change initiatives underway in your organization. Postpone those change initiatives that can be postponed. End those that aren’t going anywhere.
– Every time you decide to start a new change initiative, decide what your organization is going to STOP doing to free up resources for the new change initiative.

Today is a great day to get started!

© Dr. Karen Somerville, PhD, C. Dir., MBA, CPA, CGA, CEC – is a scholar-practitioner with more than 25 years of experience in Senior Management. Karen is an expert in Organizational Change, a Chartered Director, a Certified Executive Coach and the President of Performance Plus Group: www.performanceplusgroup.com .

Time to step up your game? How to hire a coach


Check out this link for my article that was published in Upsize Minnesota in Jan. 2017 about stepping up your game and hiring a coach: http://www.upsizemag.com/business-builders/coaching . I will welcome your comments!

— Karen

Struggling with Organizational Change? Research Shows an Executive Coach May be the Answer for You


We’ve moved beyond change being a constant in today’s organizations. “Organizational turbulence” has increasingly become part of today’s everyday experience. The negative impact can be significant, e.g., poor performance, difficulty coping with uncertainty, stress, anxiety, longer work weeks, lack of confidence, etc. Many have turned to executive coaching as a way not just to cope, but to excel in times of change.

Organizational culture change is easier said than done


Culture change continues to be a very popular topic. On any given day we can open a newspaper and find headlines about needing to change the organization’s culture.

A “coach approach” to management: What today’s organizations need


A “coach approach” to management is becoming popular in many of today’s organizations, even though it has been around for decades. But there is still considerable uncertainty about what a “coach approach” to management means and what benefits this approach offers.

Organizational Politics – A Necessary Skill for Managers and Leaders!


Organizational politics exist in every organization. Many view politics as a fact of life. But often organizational politics is a taboo subject – many people simply will not discuss organizational politics. They are often considered the “dark” side of the organization. However, it is important to recognize that many political actions are regarded as positive, for example, mentoring and sharing information.

2016: It’s Time to Move Beyond Change Management and Embrace Organizational Change


Most agree that change is typically very challenging for organizations. Even the language of change is challenging for many. This article will clarify three terms related to change: change management, change leadership and organizational change. It will also address why change management is not enough, and why organizations need to embrace organizational change.

Coaching: Is an Assessment a Good Investment?


As a Certified Executive Coach (CEC), one of the things that I get asked about regularly is whether an assessment should be conducted as part of the coaching experience.  Some coaches don’t use any assessments; some coaches will only coach after an assessment has been done; many coaches consider assessments as optional.

Is Your Executive Presence Holding You Back?


Many executives are wondering about their “executive presence”, thanks in part to books such as The Power of Presencei and Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Successii by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. Executive presence has also emerged as a key focus for executives in executive coaching.