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

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

We’ve Made It Clear! No, You Haven’t!

Listen for it. They’re all saying it. Our rancorous politicians try to persuade us and each other that they’ve made perfectly clear what they haven’t. By saying, “We’ve made it clear,” they expect us to believe it. But we humble citizens know whether they’ve made something clear or not.  We’re pretty good at understanding reality…. 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

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

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

New Best Practice Video

Six years ago, the vice president of communication for ConAgra Foods and one of her bright, young communication team members asked me to help them take a bold step out of their traditional role. They wanted to shift their work from distributing news and information to improving real business results. Specifically, they wanted to help… Read more

Top Two Reasons Leaders Don’t Work As a Team

We recently surveyed CEOs about their top concerns and learned that many worry their own leaders aren’t all on the same page, despite assurances to the contrary. When leaders aren’t in sync on company direction or priorities, they’re apt to: Send mixed messages that confuse people Create silos and turf battles that are debilitating and… Read more

Do You Have a Say/Do Gap? Are You Sure?

“Your actions speak so loudly I can hardly hear what you’re saying.” That’s what one young woman told her supervisor. “You’re confusing me,” she told him. “One minute you’re discussing the importance of improving our team’s work quality,” she said. “But almost in the same breath you’re telling me there isn’t any money to train… 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