Pick a Pilot and Win

When you need to produce results fast, minimize risk of failure, perfect a concept and create demand for more, then pick a pilot, improve results and replicate. Historically, change efforts were massive, enterprise-wide affairs. Those still have their place. But increasingly, companies are adopting surgical approaches to change. They’re focusing on improving pieces of their… Read more

First Line Leadership: High Quality Equals High Performance

Employee engagement and operating performance are directly tied to the relationship between first line leaders and their employees. Yet many organizations do a lousy job of selecting and developing first line leaders, whose employees can take organizations to unheard of heights. Why the lousy job? It takes time, energy, money and superior execution to produce… Read more

Results Change When Work Changes

In a recent Leadership Report, I said “Results don’t change unless work changes.” If your business strategy isn’t explained in a way that connects people and their work to it, don’t expect much to change. Business strategy formulation is typically about a series of long, secretive, offsite top management meetings followed by all employee meetings… Read more

Stupid Rules

One of the best leaders I’ve worked with is Dave Rabuano who helped turn around Owens Corning’s flagship plant in Newark, Ohio.  Dave is a people guy, but he’s no softie. He gets big results. He began his turn-around listening to the operation’s 1,200-plus employees. He wanted to know what prevented them from being the… Read more

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

Does Your Communication Department Create Output or Outcomes?

One of our clients wants to enter 2015 drivel-free. That’s right.  Drivel-free, as in free of babble, gibberish, or blather. This corporate communication department is on a march to shift from an expensive cost center that “puts out stuff” to one that creates value by fixing operational problems caused by poor communication. Leaders are increasingly… 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

What Generational Differences?

I’ve had my fill of articles, studies and research about generational differences and the huge impact they will or are having on how we lead businesses today. I think it’s a bunch of bunk. Here’s why. I’m a baby-boomer and was influenced in one way or another by all the stuff that went on as… 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

Learning the Value of “No”

I’m currently advising a large company that typifies almost every company I know, in one respect.  Everyone is busier than hell. Last week a 30-something woman framed it perfectly, “We spend most of our days in back-to-back and sometimes double and triple-booked meetings. Then we go home at night or on weekends and try to… Read more