I Can’t Hear You, Your Actions Are Too Loud!

“What most influences your work decisions every day?” I asked a group of scientists in Minneapolis.  “The boss,” one answered. “What they say—especially what they do.” Everything a leader says and does is scrutinized for meaning, because it assumes importance as a form of communication, often far beyond even what the leader imagines. And we… Read more

Leading in Tumultuous Times

Managing through tumultuous times is often the equivalent of a high-wire balancing act.  The disruption is a source of anxiety and uncertainty for people inside the organization. If linking people to strategy represents a major challenge in normal times, creating linkage during a downsizing, merger or reorganization raises the challenge exponentially. In tumultuous times, communication… Read more

Measure What Matters

What gets measured gets done. Even though we’ve heard that a gazillion times, many organizations are still managing the wrong measures. Consequently, they’re getting the wrong results. Too many leaders today don’t give enough thought to what they’re measuring. The leader of a large U.S operation once suggested  that training should be measured by how… Read more

How to Develop Leaders That Boost Results

Welcome to our car wash, otherwise known as leadership development training. We’re going to hose you down and dry you off over the course of the day. Topics we’re covering during this training include critical thinking, achieving success through people, coaching from a distance, collaboration skills, team creativity, coaching as a virtual team, non-verbal communication,… Read more

Ask Me Anything

I often get great questions from people via email, social media, at conferences and in client meetings. Recently, I received a question from Chris D. who asked about ways to manage two groups of people who need to work together—those who are young, eager and willing to work within a new organization and culture and… Read more

Mixing a Powerful Results Cocktail

There’s a tremendous amount of stress today on organizations to communicate well. The pace of change continues to escalate, putting pressure on people and teams to move the right information quickly, accurately, clearly and in multiple directions. Earlier this year, I discussed how we addressed a client’s poor performance using two different solutions. One was… Read more

Shake it up, Baby!

“Well, shake it up, baby” – the opening line of an early Beatles song (Twist and Shout) – is often what leaders need to do to initiate large scale change. Disruptive innovation isn’t a new phenomenon in the business world. Clayton Christensen, Harvard professor and author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, popularized disruptive innovation as a… Read more

Business Strategy Drives Communication Strategy

Communication measures must be aligned with an organization’s measures. Why should the two entities work at what could be cross purposes? Communication should be managed to improve results that the company, its customers and ultimately shareholders care about? And, it needs to do so with an acceptable return on investment, meaning the cost to create… Read more

Vision First!

Kristen and Jason sit at a table with a divider between them.  Each has a box containing a 500-piece puzzle.  Kristen has the box with its original top, which pictures the completed puzzle.  Jason’s box has no top, with only the puzzle pieces in the bottom half. They are invited to begin assembling their puzzle,… Read more

First Enron; Now Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo and its CEO John Stumpf have no doubt had better weeks than last week. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined Wells $185 million for opening deposit accounts and transferring funds without customers’ approval. This came five years after Wells paid $85 million in fines for selling higher interest rate mortgages to customers who… Read more