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

Touch Screen TVs Don’t Fix Safety

I conducted a communication assessment of an under-performing operation inside a larger company. It has a poor safety record and is missing its quality, service-delivery, productivity and cost goals. Employee retention rates are poor. The assessment revealed no core communication process managed by the leadership. People throughout the operation complained about disconnected, often-conflicting information that… Read more

Mixed Messages Can Undermine Performance

Ron called me after he walked out of a meeting with top supply chain leaders at a large consumer goods manufacturer, where Ron was a senior director of communication. The company had initiated a plan to reduce product damage across its network, especially in its distribution centers (DCs), and the supply chain leaders had heard… Read more

On Meetingship

One of the best leaders I’ve ever worked with also ran the best meetings. His name is Mike and he’s a rock star in a large corporation.   He and his colleague, Mary, invited me to help turn a west coast operation around so the company could decide whether it would keep the operation or sell… Read more

Activities Aren’t Results

Some business people do stuff. Others fix stuff. Case in point. The head of HR at a mid-sized Midwestern company called me a few weeks ago and said she needed to act on the company’s recent employee survey results.  She and her survey team had concluded that the organization needed to address four weak areas… Read more