It felt like we were finally coming out of a fog. With stay at home orders lifting, social distance restrictions easing up, and the market continuing to rebound, a few weeks ago it seemed as if we were on a path to a new normal. Till we weren’t.

On May 25th, four Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46 year old black man. He was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy cigarettes. 17 minutes later he was unconscious. Shortly thereafter he was declared dead. The videos began to circulate and the protests started. The protests turned into riots and overnight our country was on fire. The pain of the unheard crying out for justice.

We have not made an official statement and I’m not sure that we will. For now, here are five questions pointed towards our beliefs, not our opinions, that I can answer with confidence on behalf of our organization: Do we believe that institutional racism is alive and rampant and needs to be taken apart piece by piece? Yes, we do. Do we believe that violence and racism are tragically woven into the fabric of our country? Yes, we do. Do we believe that the perpetrators of this injustice, and many others, should be held accountable for their actions to fullest extent the law allows? Yes, we do. Do we grieve alongside our brothers and sisters whose pain we cannot fully comprehend? Yes, we do. Do we believe things can and will get better? Yes, we do. These are things we believe, not things we think. I believe that distinction is important.

by Matt Thomas

Last week we laid out four types of healthy organizational cultures. This week we’re going to hit on the other side of the spectrum, the four types of toxic cultures. In our contracts, we reserve the right to cancel an engagement in the first 30 days. The reason this clause exists is that on occasion while executing a culture assessment we surface significant dysfunction or toxicity that we believe we will not be able to overcome. In short, it is impossible for us to recruit with integrity if the organization we are recruiting for is ultimately a toxic environment. If we aren’t excited about the opportunity, then we can’t sell it. It is that simple. 

In some of our strategy and leadership engagements we have been brought in to identify the source of the toxicity and help the client lay out a path towards health. While toxicity can exist at every level of an organization it is no surprise that it is most detrimental at the leadership level. It is impossible for an organization to be a healthy vibrant place to work if the leadership is dysfunctional. Here are four types of toxic cultures: