How Three Rules Support One Association’s Culture
It can't be overstated: Empathy is correlated to workplace retention
Damian Kavanagh, CAE, is the head of a small-staff association—7.5 full-time employees—and like most small-staff leaders, he recognizes that group cohesion is particularly critical. As the CEO of MISBO, an association of independent-school leaders, he convened his staff three years ago to answer “two pretty simple questions: What are the characteristics of people you like to work with? And what are the characteristics of people you struggle with?”
I’d argue that those aren’t, in fact, simple questions, but they’re excellent ones to explore when an organization is trying to establish a healthy culture. We know that remote work during COVID-19 hasn’t made culture any less essential and that successful leaders establish norms of conduct that work both in person and online.
MISBO’s two-question process helped it establish those norms. But it also found a way to make them memorable on an everyday basis by distilling them into “three rules that guide everything we do,” Kavanagh said.
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