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

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

Want a Dose of Reality? Go to the Floor!

When something doesn’t feel right, or when things aren’t adding up, go to gemba, Japanese for the real place–where the work gets done. Go to the sales floor, office floor, showroom floor, surgical floor, warehouse floor, plant floor, truck floor. That’s where you’ll find the problems, what’s causing them and what to do about it…. 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

Crazy Busy & Knowing When to Say No

“I’m crazy busy!” That’s what we all say we are these days. But when is “crazy busy” a waste of time? Well, how often do you manage your time according to the value it adds to your business? An organization’s role is to create value for its customers and continuously improve the process, so more… Read more

Leaders: Ask What’s Important

Are you asking questions that communicate that you want new ideas to help customers and the company? In my book The Leadership Solution, I discussed how leaders can use questions to signal their priorities. If you want to improve speed to market, ask about speed to market issues. If you want to focus on customers,… Read more

What Counts is What You Count

Leaders can talk all they want about the need for people to work together, but if the numbers tell those people to work in silos they will.  The “do communication” will trump the “say communication” nearly every time. What counts is what you count. Among the CEO’s I work with, getting people to work together… Read more

Calculating Engagement ROI

Engaged people outperform unengaged people, all things being equal.  And some engaged people can produce greater returns than others. For this reason, savvy business leaders target their engagement efforts where they’ll get the biggest returns and the most leverage. You can do this, too. What do they do that you can do? For those who missed… Read more

Harvard Business Review: A good tool to have

I found this current  Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Are You Ready to Rebound” instructive. It focuses on identifying new opportunities to improve business execution through: Strong operational hydraulics Rewards for performance, not mediocrity Core values with teeth The right conversations Adventurous leaders in key positions Constant pressure versus heroic efforts It uses a straightforward and… Read more

Change Management Crash Course

I just returned from the West Coast where I conceived and delivered a new crash course workshop on change management. It started with a call from Jose, a business leader in Southern California  who’d learned of our work integrating the cultural and technical aspects of lean transformations. He wanted help launching lean six sigma with… Read more