Session Submission Summary

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CANCELLED Culturally Brilliant Leadership: The DNA of Organizational Excellence

Sat, October 14, 10:30 to 11:45, SQUARE, Studio 213

Session Submission Type: Workshop

Short Description

When addressing culture, many organizations focus on what is wrong, broken, or defective instead of what calls forth excellence in people. The Cultural Brilliance ™ model reveals the hidden parts of the “cultural iceberg” through authentic and dynamic involvement at all levels, co-authored design by employees and management, and action integration that moves beyond dialogue into iterative, systemic implementation. This experiential workshop will help participants understand how to implement cultural changes that integrate new behaviors, systems, and productivity. Participants will experience the Cultural Brilliance process, co-design a leadership mindset, and leave with a road map for designing brilliant cultures.

Detailed Abstract

Organizational culture is a significant driver of organizational performance. Since culture forms as organizational members communicate across time zones, make important decisions, and learn from these experiences (Schein, 2010), creating and leading a brilliant culture, one that is responsive to the needs of people, systems and the external environment, is essential for an organization’s growth and stability.

When looking at culture, many organizations focus on what is wrong, broken, or defective instead of what calls forth excellence in people. When organizational leaders shy away from solving problems in a direct, healthy manner that develops their employees, they will ensure that, over time, productivity, innovation, and engagement are drained from the business (Kegan & Lahey, 2016).

The Cultural Brilliance ™ model, created by Claudette Rowley, reveals the hidden parts of the cultural “iceberg” through authentic and dynamic involvement at all levels, co-authored design by employees and management, and action integration which moves beyond dialogue into iterative, systemic implementation. The DNA of organization excellence strengthens the strands of performance, innovation and profitability.

Claudette Rowley, Cultural Brilliance™ CEO, is a cultural design and change management consultant with a knack for building strategic initiatives and orchestrating organizational changes that boost business performance and increase employee engagement at the same time.

Today, leaders have a unique opportunity to lead from a new perspective and skill set, and to find the opportunity for excellence within turbulence. Many leaders are being called on to close the “complexity gap,” the difference between our capacity and what’s expected in the world (Bennet & Lemoine, 2014).The Cultural Brilliance ™ methodology offers a framework for helping to narrow that gap by uncovering the excellence that propels an organization forward, the operating assumptions that hold it back from optimal functioning, and constrain its ability to adapt.

Purpose of the Session: Participants will have the opportunity to explore new perspectives on organizational culture and the Cultural Brilliance ™ methodology in an experiential session. The methodology is a three phase process, Authenticity, Design and Integration, which harnesses the emotional intelligence of an organization and organizes it so that people work together and create exceptional business results. This workshop is designed to deepen leaders’ knowledge and “felt sense” of how to understand and work with their culture from a reality-based perspective.

Learning Outcomes:
• Identify the authenticity in a culture, an often missing strand of organizational DNA
• Design organizational cultures that are responsive and adaptable in nature
• Discuss how to implement cultural changes that integrate new behaviors, systems, and productivity
• Reframe turbulence into an adaptive worldview
• Determine the skills culturally aware leaders need to close the “complexity gap”

Workshop Overview
The workshop will be grounded in the Cultural Brilliance ™ methodology of Authenticity, Design and Integration. Participants will explore all three phases of the methodology and how their individual leadership influences their culture. Throughout the workshop, a list of competencies, mindsets (Dweck, 2006) and insights required by culturally brilliant leaders will be compiled and distributed.

Overview of learning objectives, the Cultural Brilliance ™ methodology, and how this model is relevant to leadership in turbulent times, followed by participant expression regarding the cultural challenges they face as leaders and practitioners.

Authenticity Exploration
Cultural Authenticity ™ in organizational culture is often "left on the table" and rarely discussed in a truthful, open manner. Assessing cultural authenticity includes understanding embedded operating assumptions, levels of psychological safety (Edmondson, 2004), and engaging employee participation at all levels. During this section of the workshop, we will discuss, “How would you define cultural authenticity for your organization?” “How do know when you’re part of a culturally authentic organization?” Participants will engage in an experiential cultural assessment exercise. We will also discuss the leadership mindset that supports an authentic culture.

Design Exploration
The process of designing culture is based on the concept of consciously and intentionally moving the culture from its present state to a future state. Cultural design process encompasses the process of psychological transition (Bridges, 1991) that organizations experience as they change. Our cultural design process looks through the lenses of environment, people development, and structural flow. During the workshop, we will engage in short design process based on what participants discovered during their Cultural Authenticity assessment and discussions, and continue to compile leadership competencies and insights.

Integration Exploration
Cultural integration is the process of implementing change in a planful, meaningful, clear way. During this phase, any agreed-upon cultural changes are integrated holistically. Metrics are identified and questions such as, “What behaviors, communication, and actions do we need to see in order to know a cultural change has occurred?” Participants will engage in an interactive "think tank" exercise to help them begin an initial integration plan.

Participants will discuss key insights and next steps. We will review the compiled list of leadership competencies, mindsets and insights, highlighting those most helpful in narrowing the complexity gap.

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