The Importance of Trust . . . It’s Not What You Think

A few weeks ago I was talking with a project manager who wanted an assessment of his team’s capability.  The project was moving along without significant problems, but was approaching an intense period with several critical milestones.  The project manager felt unsettled because his team was not providing the analysis and insight he expected. “I don’t think … More The Importance of Trust . . . It’s Not What You Think

Stop Hiding Behind Jargon

One of the surest signs that change leaders don’t know what they are doing is the excessive use of jargon.  It’s easy to spot.  Just listen for words like strategic, alignment, partnering, values, sustained, vision, execution, branding, methodology, governance, scalable, global, integrated, empowerment, enablement, or any other intelligent-sounding, yet empty clichés that assume speakers have … More Stop Hiding Behind Jargon

Read the Instructions

“When all else fails, read the instructions.” That simple, seven-word warning ought to appear on the instruction manual for everything that comes unassembled.  It should appear in bold face, large font letters on every purchase from Ikea, every home theater system, every backyard play set, and every brightly-colored, multi-part plastic child’s toy packaged in an … More Read the Instructions

Everybody’s Changing

Every time I hear Tom Chaplin’s delicate and vulnerable delivery of Tim Rice-Oxley’s lyrics, I imagine an executive choosing this song as the script for their change announcement.   The balance between an urgent necessity and a confusing transition strikes a note of truth that if only spoken more frequently would show an incredible regard … More Everybody’s Changing

Listening, Health and Employee Engagement

As Ed Roland and Collective Soul express so well, great results happen when you begin to listen. In the late 1980’s, the economy in Japan was strong, and everyone was making money, trading stocks, investing in real estate, and busy buying assets throughout the world.  Behind all the luxury and pleasures, however, lay the realities … More Listening, Health and Employee Engagement

Beyond How To’s

How to love.  How to live.  How to fix anything.  How to lose weight.  How to stop worrying.  How to find your passion.  How to train your dog, bird, cat or dragon.  How to make money.  How to get into college.  How to stay in college.  How to interview.  How to get a job.  How … More Beyond How To’s

Despots, Group Think and the Ugly Side of Institutional Optimism

In my personal life, I am an optimist.  I believe fully in the power of positive thinking and the value of spreading good cheer wherever I go, if only because it makes life more fun and enjoyable. But when it comes to managing change, I believe in realism.  A key component of the Architecture of … More Despots, Group Think and the Ugly Side of Institutional Optimism

Motivation Is Not About the Money

The economic crisis has called into question the pay practices of some of the nation’s largest financial services companies.  In particular, the Federal Reserve and other regulatory organizations have found that many of the bonus and incentive programs led executives to make decisions that not only contributed to the worst financial crisis since the Great … More Motivation Is Not About the Money