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Strategy Team

November 13, 2019
Strategy Team

Who’s On The Team? Recently, I was having a conversation with a colleague about hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). We were discussing the attributes of such a hire. After my usual statement that what was critical was to hire a person who shared the corporate values, I added that they needed to be a […]

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An Envelope of Trust

November 6, 2019
An Envelope of Trust

Being Heard: For many of us, the employees we hire are often referred to as “knowledge workers.” The most common definition of that term I’ve come across is, “Knowledge workers are workers whose main capital is knowledge.” In other words, we hire knowledge workers and pay them to think. We hope that they are smarter […]

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Coach Only the Coachable

October 30, 2019
Coach Only the Coachable

Smartest Person in the Room: Carol Dweck discusses “Fixed Mindset” versus “Growth Mindset” in her book Mindset: the new psychology of success. I find her definitions and description of the people who have one or the other mindset to be very useful in my professional and personal life. As usual, things with human beings are […]

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No Gap

October 23, 2019
No Gap

Radical Truthfulness: Allowing employees to speak openly about what they are thinking about the performance of managers, colleagues and employees, ideas, projects, and policies is both scary and challenging. It is also critical to making sure that the best ideas win rather than a compromise or consensus idea. We hire people, especially knowledge-workers, to think, […]

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Big Brains

October 16, 2019
Big Brains

If We’re So Smart: Lately, there have been many articles on most media platforms about how we humans are purposely manipulated by other humans. On the surface, that seems a bit crazy. After all, we are the most intelligent species on earth, right? Yet, we see suckers being born every day. The Silly Season Let’s […]

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Heads Held High

October 9, 2019
Heads Held High

Saving Face: During my time working with colleagues at a Japanese owned company, I learned how important it was to make sure people left any kind of public or group encounter with their pride intact. I’m pretty sure I knew that was appropriate before joining the company, but it was emphasized within that culture. At […]

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Shaming

September 18, 2019
Shaming

Question: I had an interesting question from a student in a recent guest lecture I gave at a local university. To paraphrase, the student asked, “Why do we say it’s best to criticize in private? I played competitive sports. The coach criticized us in public all the time. The shame caused us to redouble our […]

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Generosity of Resources

September 11, 2019
Generosity of Resources

Time, Connections, Knowledge: Leaders and managers are tasked with developing other leaders in the organization. Therefore, they must, of necessity, share the resources they have with their fellow employees. That is no easy task, if only because the press of day-to-day business tends to keep us all focused on tactical transactions. Time Perhaps the most […]

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Strategy Under Siege

September 4, 2019
Strategy Under Siege

Culture Challenge: Peter Drucker famously noted that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” My experience is that Drucker is correct. One of the more straightforward ways I’ve observed that phenomenon is when a large change initiative is launched by management. For example, installing a new, complex, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. While leadership and employees may […]

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A First Step

August 28, 2019
A First Step

Business Roundtable: According to the reporting I’ve seen, the Business Roundtable has declared that they are changing the focus of their business from maximizing shareholders’ returns to improving the experience of all stakeholders. Stakeholders are made up of individuals or groups that have an interest in the success and progression of a company. External stakeholders […]

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