April 2, 2018

It’s All in the Definition

In working with leaders, teams and cultures, we often find the need to define certain terms. This ensures that everyone is clear on what’s being discussed or decided. Here are some of our primary definitions: Leadership: The skill of influencing individuals and teams to enthusiastically accomplish common goals, previously thought impossible, with character that inspires excellence. Team: A group of people that enjoy being mutually accountable achieving common goals, impossible to achieve individually, with diversity of skills and similar values. […]
April 2, 2018

Communication and Clarity

Productive communication is critical in every organization. Some of the essential aspects of communication include: listening, building trust in relationships, being honest in every interaction, and dealing with conflict effectively. Great team communication must be engaging, motivating and authentic. It must help the team to see the path and the destination. The larger the organization, the geometrically more complex communication becomes. With one-on-one communication, we can watch body language, hear tone of voice and create an immediate feedback loop. With […]
April 2, 2018

Key Characteristics of Powerful Leaders

Top leaders need to be especially good at what they do. The power they have available to them accentuates both their strengths and their weaknesses. Leaders are also not subject to the ordinary checks and balances like other employees.  Additionally, people will magnify the characteristics of the top leader, both good and bad, by mimicking their behavior without even knowing it and use the leader’s behavior as the excuse/justification for what they do. While there are many characteristics of great […]
April 2, 2018
Coachfootballplayer

Does Your Team Have Perseverance?

At the beginning of relationships, with new teams, and with new projects in business, there is often a lot of logical discussion regarding the best idea and how to implement it. We discuss both the “what” and the “how”. When others are involved in the decision (e.g., for an acquisition, funding a project, a joint venture, a new important hire), people consider logic and debate over what should happen, who should be involved, how it impacts the overall strategy, does […]
April 2, 2018

Unique Ground Rules for Effective Meetings

Handling meetings effectively today means that you spend only as much time as is necessary on the agenda, making decisions, and then adjourning. The best result from a meeting is full engagement, enhanced creativity and commitment to action from the team. Here are five unique rules we use among the other basic ones (e.g., issuing and closely following an agenda, providing data prior to the meeting) to ensure you get the most from your time. ELMO: this is not the […]
March 28, 2018

Surviving Success and Watching Failure

Have you ever seen a problem coming and not done anything to fix it? Was it someone failing at a project? Perhaps someone was ruining a relationship? A project where the team was not resolving the main issues? Someone was in great pain? Too often we see cultures in organizations where everyone stays in their own “box” very tightly. When they see an issue or problem coming, they do not say anything. (This is the “it’s not my job” or “not my […]
March 2, 2016
empowering employees to speak up
Empowering Employees to Speak Up: Why Raleigh’s Red Hat Meritocracy Is Effective
It should have been an easy meeting. Management at all levels agreed on the path for the new initiative. It wasn’t really a time for discussion; it was a time to explain plans and to set goals. And then, a lowly associate asked to speak. Point by point, goal by goal, the associate tore into the agreed-upon solutions. Management was taking the wrong direction. The new program would fail without key changes. He could see the flaws in their plan, […]
February 29, 2016
culture of sincere appreciation
How to Make Your Company More Innovative: What Proctor & Gamble Teaches Us About Company Culture
Your company has a problem. You used to be small and innovative, but lately you’ve gotten too big. It used to be easy to implement big and exciting new changes to products and processes, but now it seems difficult. Projects balloon out of control, and seem to serve the company rather than the customers. How can you keep growing, but recapture the spirit of innovation that you’ve lost? Is it possible to innovate at all levels? It’s easy to despair […]
February 26, 2016
hiring for team fit
Choosing Project Team Members: The Five Employees You Need on Every Team
Kaitlyn’s company had a big contract coming up and she wanted to put the perfect team together to finish the job. As a very involved CEO, her first step seemed obvious. She went straight to the resumes. She knew she needed a coder, a designer, a technical writer, a customer support person, and a manager. She’d just choose the best person for each job, and then she’d have her dream team, right? Wrong. As she compiled her list, Robert, her […]
February 12, 2016
Use the Kolbe Index to Find the Best Work Styles for Your Millennial Employees
  Millennials make up a big portion of our workforce. The most recent Pew Research survey states that they make up the largest portion of our workforce. This new breed of worker has created a new breed of leader, and many of these leaders are changing up their styles in order to work with Millennials and give them the leadership they need. Despite all that, about 60% of Millennials will leave a new job within three years. So why isn’t […]