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

Where Have All the Leadership Role Models Gone?

The recent gutter fights between the President and leaders of Congress have given me plenty of presentation material. While players in Washington were fighting it out like school children (“It’s your fault! No, it’s your fault!”), I was addressing two different audiences on leadership. The Washington spectacle enabled me to say, “Here’s a situation that… 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

Helping CEOs Add Value

The CEO of a Fortune 200 company had regular town hall meetings with his employees for years. When we conducted focus groups with employees to learn what they thought of the meetings, they liked what the CEO said during the town halls but when the meetings were over employees didn’t know what they were supposed… Read more

We Do That

A client recently asked how some companies are able to develop such strong leadership teams.  So, I spent a couple of minutes explaining how companies like IBM, P&G, 3M, PepsiCo, McDonald’s and General Mills clarify their expectations for leaders and then select, assess and develop them based on those expectations. These companies also use the… 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

Communicate Like Air Traffic Control

Why don’t some people let you know when they get your emails, especially when the messages contain important information? Not only is it bad form, but it can set the scene for mistakes. In today’s business environment, there’s way too much at risk NOT to close the communication loop. There’s an overreliance on assumption. “I… Read more

It’s How You Play the Music

The leader of a large organization wanted help shifting his first line leaders’ roles to servant leadership, which means leading others through development, coaching and facilitation. Servant leadership is intended to replace command and control leadership. We’d just finished assessing this leader’s work environment.  People we talked with told us the current leadership doesn’t foster… Read more

What Every CEO Needs To Know About the New Communication Department

Communication departments are transforming themselves. That’s good news. Many communication departments are in the same business they were in 25-30 years ago—informing “audiences,” which conjures images of someone speaking to an audience. A confluence of forces including customer demands, increased competition, technology, regulation, environmental pressures and workforce changes are requiring every department and function to… Read more