In our multipart series on preparing for presentations, we have discussed defining a purpose and the effective use of visuals. Too often we don’t think of meetings within our own organizations as presentations, but they are! We lament “another meeting.” We rush to the restroom, grab some water if we are being healthy, caffeine if we are not, and dash off, mumbling under our breaths.
When we hear the word “presentation,” we often think of an assigned topic, an assigned time, and an audience outside our organization. Perhaps a potential customer, an educational tour, or a pitch to donors. While those are all important presentations, just as important to your career are the informal presentations you have with your leadership, your peers, and your subordinates. These colleagues are the people who will help define you, and your projects’ success.
Everyone who has a job is a presenter. If you are a speech writer, you present your ideas. If you are a tree planter, you present your concerns about the soil. If you are a preschool teacher, you present your suggestions to colleagues and your thoughts about each child to their parents. If you are a doctor, you share your recommendations for better health to your patients.
Everyone is a presenter. Begin thinking of yourself as a presenter and your effectiveness will soar.
What informal presentations do you have within your organization?
If we know culture is the most important part of any successful business, what is your organization doing to create a positive and healthy culture?
How much is your company spending on creating the culture they want? What are they spending in time? In money? In thought? In discussion?
Saying that culture is important without purposefully investing in it is like saying exercise/meditation/food is important without having an exercise plan, a meditation practice, or a sensible diet in place.
“’Culture eats strategy for breakfast’, a phrase originated by Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields, President at Ford, is an absolute reality! Any company disconnecting the two are putting their success at risk. . . . Organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so don’t leave it unattended.”(source: https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/culture/organisational-culture-eats-strategy-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner/)
If your company isn’t creating the culture it aspires to, the culture will create itself, and it’s likely not to be too healthy.
What is your organization doing to improve its culture?
No, I’m not 45. I am older. That’s what the woman in the meeting said out loud to her colleagues.
There are a myriad of ways this is expressed:
“This is the way I have always been, I’m not going to change now.”
“My mother/father was this way, what do you expect?”
“I’m an old dog, I can’t learn new tricks!”
“I’m Italian/German/Jewish/Catholic/Southern…this is just the way we are.”
“I’m a millennial/Gen-Xer, this is how we do things.”
“I’m just a dumb jock, what do you expect?”
When I was in college, my mentor said to me, “At what point will you accept responsibility for your own actions rather than blaming them on your background/parents/education?”
What a powerful question. Have you stopped?