Gagen Blog

Cool Story… Really

Stories are powerful. Many of us have a favorite story; one that engages our emotions and intellect through expert timing and language, and leaves us simultaneously fulfilled and wanting more. Neuroscience tells us that people respond to a narrative more than other communication types. Paul Zak, founding director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and…

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The Six Levers That Shape Employee Experience: Behavior

Behavior change doesn’t seem that complicated. People are naturally willing to transform to make their own lives better, right? Wrong. Humans are creatures of habit and each person has their own way of doing things. In a workplace setting, minor individual actions can influence others to behave similarly; thus, each minor action by an individual…

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Inside health care: Agile and empathetic cultures innovate better, faster

Over my 25+ years of enabling enterprises to effectively transform, some of the most successful change initiatives I’ve witnessed are led by executives with agile mindsets and behaviors. How executives think, feel and act is paramount. That’s why it’s a concern that a lack of confidence is a top reason why executives are unprepared to…

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Maril MacDonald Inducted into Page Hall of Fame

This speech was given on September 16, 2019 by Maril Gagen MacDonald as she was inducted into the 2019 Arthur W. Page Hall of Fame in Boston, Massachusetts.  Good evening. Thanks, for that great introduction, Aedhmar!  And Bob – congratulations on your Distinguished Service Award.  It’s a little daunting to follow the two of you…

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Culture: Master the human element of employee experience

The current emphasis among business leaders on shifting corporate culture isn’t merely about culture for its own sake. Rather, these leaders recognize that culture defines the employee experience (EX) on the job. Culture helps employees connect with the organization’s greater goals and feel a sense of identity and meaning in their work. In short, it determines their level of engagement and, ultimately, their success.

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Seven steps to effectively drive culture from the CCO position

Part 3 of 3: In this third entry, we strive to introduce several important activities CCOs and their teams can undertake to help drive culture change. While no two culture change efforts are alike, and every company’s current efforts exist at different levels of maturity, these recommendations aim to provide activities that are universally relevant. Whether your organization is undergoing a massive culture transformation or simply nurturing a gentle evolution, these are activities that will benefit your performance.

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How the CCO drives culture

Part 2 of 3: To most effectively shape cultures and drive culture change going forward, CCOs need to expand on their abilities as connectors. Our true power in shaping culture will rest as much in our ability to assemble coalitions and bring emotional intelligence, intuition and investigatory skills to cross-functional partnerships as it will in our ability to craft messages or develop visual and video collateral. We explore several principles and skills required for CCOs to shape, lead and drive culture change.

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Culture: An ascending focus for the CCO

Part 1 of 3: It’s amazing how much management philosophy can change over just the course of a generation. With the exception of a few notable companies, 20 years ago, corporate culture was an afterthought. While most executives focused on priorities such as strategy, finances and operations, culture was a secondary concern relegated to HR (if anyone tended to it at all). It languished or grew in unruly ways. Either way, performance suffered and few understood why. My, how things have changed! Today, culture ranks as a top concern for CEOs and other corporate executives, and is increasingly seen as the pendulum on which results swing.

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Harnessing “new power”: How communicators can serve as connectors to drive business transformation

Many of us began our careers during a time when executives viewed corporate communication’s responsibility as “controlling the message”: writing memos, drafting press releases and presentations, pitching and responding to journalists, and planning events. These activities were all necessary and important, and while we knew we were providing value beyond these deliverables, our ability to do them quickly, and at a high level of quality, made us valuable. This value gave us power. But power is changing.

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Nine business transformation stats you can’t afford to ignore in 2019

We’re all taking note of the fundamental changes occurring in technology, geopolitics and culture that are driving significant change for corporations today—how we collaborate, how we communicate, and even how our organizations are structured. In this article, we explore the state of business transformation through nine compelling stats.

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