It’s one thing to listen to a speaker. It’s another thing to do something about what you learned when you return to the office—assuming the speaker said something worth doing. Last week I delivered three presentations to communication professionals attending a world conference in Washington, D.C. One was a three-hour workshop focused on reinventing the… 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
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
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
The Business Case for Social Media?
While there are certainly isolated examples where elements of social media have improved information exchange and produced good business outcomes, it’s a huge stretch to say they’ve had a major impact on revenues, product or service quality, costs, cycle time or productivity, which are the measures used in determining a business case.