Karen’s Blog

What DO we do about our organizational culture in the midst of this Pandemic?


As a Certified Organizational Culture specialist, I am being asked a lot of questions about organizational culture since the COVID-19 Pandemic broke out. Here are some examples of the questions that are emerging:

– How do we maintain our culture with everyone working from home?

– Our culture had problems before the Pandemic – is this a good time to try to fix it now that people are working from home?

– We may continue to work from home permanently. How do we build a new culture with everyone working remotely?

– We’ve been working from home since March. What is our culture now?

– Even our board’s culture has changed – and not for the better. What can we do about that?

Is culture on your mind? Have you been so focused on other critical elements of your business during this Pandemic that you have been avoiding dealing with culture?

Culture is key to your organization’s performance. If you’ve been procrastinating about your organization’s culture, don’t wait any longer.

© Dr. Karen Somerville, PhD, C. Dir., MBA, CPA, CGA, CEC

Karen has more than 25 years of experience as a leader and has worked in all three sectors – the private sector, the public sector and the non-profit sector. She has served on many boards throughout her adult life. Karen holds a PhD in Management, an MBA, a Chartered Director designation, a Certified Executive Coach designation and CPA/CGA designations. She is also a CTT Certified Consultant, qualified to use the cultural transformation tools available from the Barrett Values Centre, a global leader in values and culture. Karen is the President of Performance Plus Group: www.performanceplusgroup.com .

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.