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 […]
November 22, 2017
The Talent Drought
Written by: The Challenge In the past, as employers we could look for employees that had certain types of training.  When they came aboard, they could move quickly.  Today, most employees we hire do not have the training or experience.  If they have the experience, we have to unwind some of it since we may do it differently.  Some organizations get so desperate that they simply need bodies and hands to be able to even be able to handle work […]
April 15, 2016
wooing key employees
Change Management Process for New Managers
When my friend John moved downstate to take a new position, he was nervous. He was coming into a totally unfamiliar organization as a manager. Most of the people he would be managing were 20-30 years older than he was. There was an established culture with prevailing relationships and time-honored routines, yet part of his job was to shake things up. He and I both worried about his ability to tackle these challenges. How could he, a much younger manager, […]
April 11, 2016
culture of safety in manufacturing
Workplace Safety Topics for Skeptical Managers
When my brother-in-law started applying for jobs in our home town, everyone had advice and recommendations. “I know someone at the car factory!” “Don’t forget the cabinet company!” “The rolled aluminum plant is always hiring.” There was one piece of advice that he heard over and over. “Don’t work at the foundry. We’ve heard it’s risky over there and we don’t want you getting hurt.” The foundry paid well and had great benefits, but its safety record was lacking. Managers […]
April 8, 2016
preserving company culture
Preserving Your Organizational Culture During Company Growth
I’d been a dedicated customer of a local food company from the day they opened. Lily had started out as a small-scale gardener and baker, selling her vegetables and sweetbreads at area farmers’ markets. That’s where I discovered her, and I made her table a regular stop on my Saturday morning rounds. As demand grew, she hired a few friends to help her expand her garden and bakery. After a few years, she had requests from local restaurants, a regular […]
March 23, 2016
Create and Cultivate Great Culture to Secure High Performance
Company culture seems to be a widely circulated term, but one that few people clearly understand. Culture is the ‘good stuff” in an organization that makes individuals work harder, more enthusiastically, with honest direct communication, which translates into peak performance. It may be defined as: a company’s values, practices, beliefs, language or simply the way of thinking that exists in an organization.   If you want to be a truly successful and innovative company, culture must be a daily focus in […]
February 5, 2016
make your company more innovative
New Kid on the Block: How to Create a Positive Company Culture During Management Transitions
Sarah was enthusiastic as she started her first management role. When first offered the job, Sarah was warned regarding her new reports. They’d had a rough time with the previous manager and many were now despondent, disengaged, and actively looking towards the exits.   Being young and inexperienced, Sarah brushed off these concerns. Surely the departmental culture couldn’t be that bad! Sarah was sure that once the staff met her, they’d understand that it was a new beginning in the […]