Zap The Culture of Fear!

Answer the following questions to determine the level of fear in your organization: Are people in your organization afraid to admit their mistakes? Are they reluctant to open up in meetings but when the boss steps out for a phone call they can’t wait to get their opinions on the table? Is there an extreme… Read more

The Nobler Cause of a Purposeful Organization

“I don’t put plates on tables. I make people happy.” That’s Victor, talking to my wife and me at Taller de Tapas restaurant in Barcelona during our recent trip through Spain. Because he’s right about making people happy, we came back three times and used that tapas restaurant as our benchmark when we moved on… Read more

More Communication Departments Add Measurable Value

Why would a communication department deliberately absent itself from the place where it could add the most value? At one of our recent workshops I told the story of a communication manager who’d championed a project to improve on-time delivery in one of her company’s operations. It was an exceptional example of a communication function… Read more

What Can We Do About “Busyness”?

Action Items to Help You Prioritize Last month I addressed a meeting of communication professionals about the universal “busyness” imbedded in most organizations, and shared my belief that much of this busyness is caused by lack of rigorous priority setting. I work with many who are “trying to do everything” when “everything” shouldn’t sit at… Read more

Chasing Shiny, Bright Objects

One of my early consulting engagements was in Kansas City with a team of smart people from Hallmark. The team was charged with improving business processes that were critical to getting new products to market faster. The work took months off the process. It made the company more nimble, giving it a decided competitive edge…. Read more

Dooming Culture Change to Fail – 5 Common Mistakes

If I didn’t know better I’d be firmly convinced that many leaders get up in the morning and deliberately try to confuse the hell out of their employees. I’ve been guiding business leaders through major and minor change processes for more than 30 years. Some target the whole company; others focus on improving branch operations,… Read more

The Purest Form of Transparency

Why do business leaders talk a good game about being open and transparent, but do a half-assed job of it? Here’s how I see it, based on my working with leaders for 30-plus years.  Most have never seriously thought about openness or transparency, although they say they want to be totally open with their people…. Read more

Level Conscious? You’re Underpowered!

The young man in the Indianapolis Colts ball cap sitting at the end of the table had something he really wanted to say. I’ve facilitated thousands of focus groups over the years. I know the people who are itching to tell their story from the look in their eyes.  On this day, we were talking… Read more

A CEO’s Lost Connections

The CEO of a large company recently expressed frustration to me because he had a sense that his people weren’t connected to his vision and the strategy—“despite having explained it maybe a hundred thousand times,” he said. “We need to connect people,” he said. “People in the field need to understand that if they keep… Read more