Is Your Organization Ready to Run the Obstacle Course of Change?

How often have you tried to implement changes in your organization, and run into the cement wall of resistance, or the mud puddle of confusion, or the high hurdles of political agendas?  Implementing significant changes can feel like running an obstacle course, or worse yet, running it blind.

We tend to think of the forces working against change as capricious spirits that can neither be understood nor tamed.  But the truth is that these forces are predictable.  Continue reading

The Five Leadership Signals to Send in Times of Change

A client firm learned of a major regulatory change, one that would significantly change how their products could be positioned. It was not a welcome change. The CEO, in his speech at a major sales conference, expressed his frustration with the regulation and promised to be active in seeking changes through lobbying efforts. He then funded a project and instructed the project team to be fully ready to comply with the regulation by its introduction date. Throughout the implementation, there were problems with acceptance and adoption of the change. Everyone was denying that the change would really take place. After all, the CEO didn’t support it and even said he was working to reverse it. Continue reading

When a Diversity Policy Is Not a Diversity Strategy

Diversity and sustainability – two trendy ideas for the early 21st century. Companies have developed lofty policies for both, and even place them in annual reports and on their websites. And they do mean to stand by those policies. The question is, are they holistically viewed strategies for the organization? And what’s the difference? Continue reading

How Is Your Listening Juice?

Grab a pencil and list the names of people that you consider excellent listeners.

  • How many names appear on your list?
  • Does your own name belong on your list?
  • When is the last time you offered your full listening attention?
  • When is the last time someone fully and patiently listened to you?

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Not “Just the Facts, Ma’am”: The Creative Power of Listening

There’s an instructive dichotomy between how western and eastern cultures view listening.  In the west, we place responsibility on the speaker for getting the message right; for being clear.  But in countries like China and Japan, it is the listener who shoulders the responsibility for engaging the messages conveyed ‘between the lines’ to arrive at the speaker’s real meaning.  The listener is expected to create meaning from what is said – and not said.  While neither cultural norm is better than the other, what is instructive is that there is another way to look at listening: as an active exploration for meaning. Continue reading