Daily Buzz: Is Your Culture Really “Innovative”?

Building an innovative culture? Start by not calling it “innovative.” Also: how one nonprofit is combating food insecurity.

As associations strive to strengthen workplace culture, creating “collaborative,” “innovative,” and “results-driven” environments is at the top of many organizations’ to-do lists. But using these types of  buzzy adjectives can actually have a negative effect, according to a report from Gartner, which surveyed leaders about effective ways to transform culture.

“Often the chosen buzzword is at odds with how the company actually operates,” says Harvard Business Review. “That causes what Bryan Kurey, Gartner’s managing vice president for HR research, calls a say/do gap: Employees see leaders’ cultural aspirations as hypocritical.”

Instead, leaders should focus less on labeling the ideal culture and more on practicing it. That means adjusting the organization’s policies to support transformation.

“As the leader, you need to set up the structures, processes, and incentives in your organization and put your money where your mouth is,” Kurey said in an interview with HBR. “That’s the part of leadership people often miss—enabling your organization to actually adopt the new culture you seek to have.”

And don’t forget about team member feedback, either. Make sure employee surveys include open-response questions so leaders see the raw feedback rather than the aggregated, generic results that can come from multiple-choice options.

Donate Your Leftovers


Cultivating the perfect meeting menu is one thing, but what happens when there are leftovers? Consider donating them.

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a nonprofit that collects food that would otherwise be wasted from markets, restaurants, and events and donates it to local homeless shelters and food pantries. Started in 2013, Rescuing Leftover Cuisine now operates in 16 cities and has donated more than 2.3 million meals.

In the U.S., “we produce enough food to feed everyone,” cofounder Robert Lee said in an interview with Connect Corporate. “One-third of excess food … can solve food insecurity.”

Other Links of Note

Does your annual meeting need a refresh? BizBash shares four trends in the conference industry to reshape your meeting agenda.

Millennials and generation Z eat a lot differently than baby boomers—and meeting planners need to adjust accordingly, says Event Industry News.

Make your newsletter pop on mobile with these five tips from digital marketing expert John Haydon.

(Peter Hermus/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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