Root Cause Analysis Can Make Problems Go Away Forever

In my last Leadership Report, I wrote about a company whose managers told me they planned to address performance problems I had helped them identify by using single-serve tactics rather than attacking root causes. Another corporate leader suggested last week that problems his team was having might go away if he provided better training. I… Read more

Working Backwards from Results to Activity

Maria Constantinescu, president of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) in Montreal and I recorded a video interview this week that was a lot of fun and we hope will be valuable to communication practitioners across Canada and perhaps the US. We spoke about the shift taking place in the communication discipline–a move from… 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

Leaders: Are You Harboring Bullies?

My client held back tears as she explained to me how a powerful woman in the so-called C-Suite humiliated her in front of her employees. “Jim, you wouldn’t believe how she challenged everything I said–even common sense–and facts that she knew were true but wouldn’t admit it,” my client told me. “It was awful, just… Read more

Four Leadership Skills That Support Success

Ask ten experts on leadership which skills are most needed for leadership success and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. In an effort to clarify this murky topic, an exhaustive McKinsey & Co. study suggests that a small subset of leadership skills does indeed closely correlate with success, especially among frontline leaders. The study involved… Read more

Ban Town Halls That Don’t Add Value?

Rick is a superior CEO of a big company. He’s articulate, values communication with his employees, customers and the communities in which his company has operations. Despite his passion for communicating with employees, however, he wasn’t connecting with them.  He asked me to find out why and help him reconnect. Tony from engineering gave me… Read more

For Change that Sticks, Replicate the System

My previous issue of The Leadership Report discussed how small wins can improve already good performance and help you transform your business. The day after it was published, a reader said he was “interested in knowing how small wins can lead to a more systemic, holistic shift in embedding employee engagement as a routine day-to-day… Read more

Starting Small Proves Winning is Doable

One of the best ways to launch a system-wide overhaul is with small wins, accompanied by a healthy dose of bureaucracy busting. Attacking a small part of your organization first can get results fast and prove that taking the business to the next level is doable. Starting small enables you to go after the easy… Read more

A Story about Leaders, People and a Huge Win!

Regular Leadership Report readers know I’m more than a little obsessed with improving the numbers. I’m inherently an operations guy who likes to help people improve what they do–and make the improvements stick. That said, I just got some of the best news I’ve received in more than 30 years of consulting. A senior leader… Read more

The Right Communication Measurement is a CEO’s Best Friend

Communication. That soft, touchy-feely stuff. You can’t really measure it, right?    Wrong! We use many ways to measure organizational effectiveness, but if there’s one best tool to measure communication inside an organization, it’s the value to cost assessment (V2CA). More than one CEO has likened it to portfolio management–managing a portfolio of communication activities just… Read more