Build a Business of Turned-On Business People

If you want to build trust and take performance into the stratosphere, open the books. Share information that matters to improving operating and financial results. Celebrate people when they score big successes.  Repeat. Open book management is the purest leadership communication philosophy I’ve seen and worked with. It’s grounded in the notion of creating businesses… Read more

Social Media is Missing the Point

When you don’t know what to measure, you should know you’re in trouble. Many in the social media world might be wise to consider themselves in trouble. Not long ago I interviewed the head of marketing for a $20 billion company. “Our communication people are worried about the wrong things,” he told me. “I explain… Read more

How to Talk Politics Without Friction

I’m despairing the loss of civility in politics. Nine weeks after the U.S. elections the nastiness continues to grow, fueled by politicians in Washington and posts on social media. Is it possible to make political discussions more civil? Can we use our political conversations and posts to help us learn and grow, or at least… 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

Finding ROI in Communications Audits

Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks… The venerable communication audit has been repurposed and now is playing a critical role in how organizations are managing communication to improve results. The communication audit has been around for decades.  It has been used to measure the effectiveness of formal communication channels such as newsletters, wall… 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

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

Connecting Strategy to Strategy for Big Results

Many businesses under-perform because functional department strategies are misaligned with the overarching business strategy. The misalignment diffuses energy and saps productivity. It’s also avoidable. This is a timely subject as I head to New Orleans later this week to conduct a special three-hour workshop June 5th at the World Conference of the International Association of… Read more

The Activity Trap: A Barrier to Customer Excellence

Communication departments have huge opportunities to improve the customer experience but many don’t capitalize on them. Why do they leave money on the table? Communication people tell me they’re mired in an activity trap that they can’t emerge from, yet they fully acknowledge that improving the customer experience would add more value. They believe social… Read more