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Webinar: Using Leadership Levers to Build Critical Strengths

Archimedes was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineer. He was the first to apply mathematics to physical phenomena. His understanding of the lever provided a foundation for pulley systems, engineering, and a variety of machines. He famously illustrated leverage by stating “give me a place to stand on, and I will move the earth.” Many […]

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Are You a Culprit in The Great Training Robbery?

Is your organization using a “spray and pray” approach to training and development? What kind of return are you getting on your investment? Michael Beer is Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus at Harvard Business School. He and his colleagues are working on a paper focused on “The Great Training Robbery.” They’re finding that some […]

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Feedforward Rather Than Feedback to Fix Our Broken Performance Management Systems

Research by Marie-Hélène Budworth, assistant professor of Human Resource Management at York University, shows that managers giving feedback to staff changed their performance 1/3 of the time, had no effect another 1/3 of the time, and actually reduced performance 1/3 of the time. What if a medical treatment was only effective 30% of the time […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm from… “Firms of Endearment”

(see my review of Firms of Endearment ) “The search for meaning is changing expectations in the marketplace and in the workplace. Indeed, we believe it is changing the very soul of capitalism.” “Consider the words affection, love, joy, authenticity, empathy, compassion, soulfulness, and other terms of endearment. Until recently, such words had no place in […]

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Review of “Firms of Endearment”

If the reason for a company’s existence is just profit, they won’t be very profitable. But if a company isn’t profitable, it won’t exist long enough to serve any other purpose. That’s what we call the purpose-profit paradox. Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose draws from an extensive research […]

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The Key to Organizational Agility is Leadership Speed

Do you feel like you’re expected to move faster and do more? Are you often frustrated that your organization moves too slow and gets stalled? If your organization were to move faster, would it substantially influence your success? These questions were recently asked in a Zenger Folkman survey on agility and leadership speed. Agreement with […]

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Double Development Impact with Manager Support

Nearly 200 years ago farmers in Scotland began dipping or bathing their sheep in a solution of insecticide and fungicide to protect them against parasites, ticks, and lice. Today many organizations practice a form of “development dipping.” Leaders are dunked in a development workshop or learning activity in the hope that something sticks. When dipped […]

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Building Strengths is Authentic, Increases Happiness, and Leverages Leadership Skills

As I reflect on attending the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference and Zenger Folkman’s Leadership Summit over the past two months, Jonathon’s Haidt’s advice from The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt rings true; “Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses… if it is a weakness you choose to work on, […]

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Discovering and Developing Hidden Reservoirs of Talent

How important are these six skills to leadership effectiveness? Which ones are most effective and should be developed? Innovation: encouraging new ideas and solutions through creative approaches Relationships: developing strong relationships built on trust, respect, and consideration Acumen: acquiring knowledge and skills to be at the cutting edge of business practices Inspiration: motivating others to […]

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Steps to Strengthening Authentic Leadership

In their book, Learning to Lead, Warren Bennis and Joan Goldsmith write, “To be authentic is literally to be your own author (the words derive from the same Greek root), to discover your native energies and desires, and then find your own way of acting on them. When you have done that, you are not […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm from…”The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha

“This instinctive need for what we don’t yet have creates in us a persistent state of dissatisfaction. Without it, our ancestors would always be only one failed hunting session away from starvation…unhappiness is nature’s way of keeping people on their toes. It’s a crude system, but it has worked for thousands of years.” “Studies show […]

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Review of “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha

With the rapid growth of Positive Psychology there’s been an explosion in books on happiness. Amazon lists 100,000 books on the topic! I lean heavily toward personal, leadership, or organization development books that are evidence-based. Neil does cite some research and many of his approaches align well with the emerging science of well-being. What sets […]

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Webinar: Herd Immunity and Leadership Development

How many of these common problems with leadership development apply to your organization: Not tied to organizational strategies. Separating reflection and insight from real work. Development requires behavior change but uses unproven methods Lack of managerial involvement. Lack of measurement. Lack of follow-up and sustainment. Focused on the individual, not on leadership team and changing […]

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Who Decides What’s a Strength?

As we heard at last month’s Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference, strengths-based approaches are rapidly spreading across fields of personal growth/development, education, leadership, organization effectiveness, community building, coaching, counseling, and others. In our field of leadership/organization development we’re hearing more talk about strengths-based tools and techniques. But we’re often not talking about the same thing […]

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Business Can Be a Creative Force for Positive Changes in Our World

Last month I participated in the 3rd Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Having attended the first Canadian conference at the University of Toronto in 2012, and avidly following all the research, articles, and books in this burgeoning new field I found the conference lived up to their theme “Exhilarate 2016 – Learn […]

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Does Your Leadership Team Need Strategic Focus?

Summer is a great time for some much needed R & R. In our hectic 24/7, crazy busy world it’s even more vital we carve out time for recharging and rejuvenating. Leadership teams also need time away from daily operations and everyday distractions to work together in planning and strategy, reflection and renewal, team building, […]

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Steps to Fostering Courageous Conversations to Reduce the Moose

In the past two weeks I’ve facilitated a couple of variations of leadership team retreats featuring “moose hunting” exercises. Whether they’re called elephants-in-the-room, 800 pound gorillas, or moose/camel/kangaroo-on-the-table (we’ve used various creatures in different parts of the world), the idea is the same; identify key issues without names attached and figure out how to deal […]

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Do These Attributes Describe Coaching in Your Organization?

Many managers see people as they are, and treat them according to what they see. Outstanding coaches, however, see people as they could be, and work to grow that potential. If you buy a little goldfish and keep it in a small bowl it will remain no bigger than a few inches long. Move that […]

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How to Vision Your Ideal Team or Culture

As outlined in my last blog, step two of “8 Vital Steps for Executive Teamwork and Organization Development” is visioning your ideal culture (or team). For years I’ve used variations of this critical step for team building, culture development, conflict resolution, strategic planning, etc., at Leadership Team Retreats. Many leaders confuse goal setting and visioning. […]

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8 Vital Steps for Executive Teamwork and Organization Development

We’d just finished facilitating a two-day offsite retreat with an international resources company when I came back to my office to find the June issue of Harvard Business Review with a feature article on “The Secrets of Great Teamwork.” The authors — two management and organization behavior professors at Wharton and INSEAD — were reporting […]

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