Scientists at Berkeley Earth just reported that the Earth hit a record high temperature in 2016, crushing the record set in 2015, which pummeled that of 2014.
The kind of which I’d rather leave to the sporting world.
NASA has calculated that the planet has warmed by a half a degree over the last three years, “a huge change for the surface of the planet to undergo in just three years, and the largest three year temperature increase since NASA began recording such information in 1880,” according to The New York Times.
And yet debate rages about this Inconvenient Truth. Is it a Chinese plot? A hoax? Lindsay Lohan’s doing somehow?
To quote a popular ESPN segment: “C’mon man!”
This first-ever unwanted three-peat got me thinking.
Let’s raise awareness. Maybe this article won’t save the polar bears, but it can help leaders save the day and affect a healthier culture.
So be on the lookout for these signs of trouble:
1. Radio silence from the troops
Silence isn’t always consent. It’s quite often dissent. If no one is speaking up or pushing back, it might mean they’re afraid to. Healthy debate is important for a healthy culture – if it’s absent you might have compliance, but not commitment.
2. Varying answers to the question: “What’s our mission/vision?”
It’s never a good sign when the troops can’t consistently play back what they’re being asked to do. Research shows lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities and not understanding how one fits into the broader mission/vision is a top cause of disengagement.
3. Rework is rampant
The exact antithesis of meaningful work is work wasted or redone. It’s a sign of unclear or imprecise direction, lack of organization, or changing priorities. Bottom line – it produces ill will.
4. Decisions take forever (and get revisited often)
Indecision paralyzes an organization. It creates doubt, uncertainty, and even resentment. Multiple options linger, sapping an organization’s energy and killing a sense of completion. And when decisions get revisited (without compelling new data), it fuels frustration.
5. It’s more competitive internally than externally
When it feels like you’re competing more against coworkers than competition, trouble is brewing. Low camaraderie equals high drama, and high turnover.
6. Leadership teams conduct inquisitions versus inquiries
When employees leave a meeting with leadership feeling like they were just part of the Spanish Inquisition rather than part of a supportive set of inquiries intended to gain understanding and to help – it weighs on the psyche.
7. The dead weights go unaddressed
This says you have a culture where under performers are allowed to stick around, and stick in the craw of everyone else picking up the slack. Poisonous.
8. Constant meetings after the meeting
We’ve all seen it. You get out of a meeting and pulled into a longer one right after where you talk about what wasn’t said, what people really think, etc. It’s a sign that trust is low and gamesmanship is high.
9. Bad news travels via rickshaw, not rocket
Holding and molding bad news versus elevating it quickly is a sign that retribution is common, and that openness and honesty is uncommon. Neither are good signs.
10. Newcomers are largely ignored (and must fend for themselves)
This is a sign that people are just worried about themselves, and that a caring undercurrent isn’t exactly pervasive.
11. “Not my square” is heard too often
This indicates that ownership and accountability are absent, harbingers of an unhealthy culture. Relatedly, you hear “they” a lot instead of “we”.
12. Training is continually de-prioritized
When the latest short term priority consistently pushes aside learning and growth opportunities, it wears on an organization. There are few things more meaningful to employees than investing in themselves.
13. The look and smell of the place
Watch out if the workplace resembles a dump – it might mean the lack of pride in the physical appearance is trickling down to a lack of pride in many other facets. And beware if the “smell of the place” is off – things like a lack of fun/laughter, little praise, or leadership having plenty of head, but little heart. An uncaring workplace has no chance of hosting a healthy culture.
14. Resignations take leaders by surprise
Leadership not having a pulse is bad enough, not having a pulse on the organization is even worse. It means the culture just might be running amok.
So here’s to hoping the only thing that warms up further in the future is your culture.