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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm……on Avoiding Difficult Conversations

Excerpt from Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work (Chapter Three; “The Dread POETS Society”) “We go back far enough together for me to know just what leadership you’re capable of,” Harold said. “I don’t know how you’ve lost your way. I’m going to tell you this as a friend as […]

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Most Popular September Improvement Points

Improvement Points is a free service providing a key thought or quotation from one of my articles, provided three times per week, directly to your e-mail inbox. Each complimentary Improvement Point links directly into the full article on our web site that spawned it. If you’d like to read more about that day’s Improvement Point, […]

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More Moose Hunting

As generally happens whenever I use the Moose-on-the-Table approach (go to http://www.clemmer.net/excerpts/authentic_comm.shtml for an explanation), it generates lots of feedback and questions. One reader asked, “How would you, or can you, change the leadership style of individuals who have come to believe that this is normal behavior?” Here’s my response: Changing the leadership style of […]

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Moose Hunting: Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Moose

Brainstorm potential Moose issues by asking for ideas on the “dumbest things we do around here,” “biggest barriers to reaching our goals,” “major implementation issues we need to address,” “pet peeves,” “dumb rules and forms,” “things that drive you crazy,” or the like. List each point. Cluster the similar points until you have 5 – […]

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Moose Still on the Loose

I continue to use the analogy of “Moose-on-the-Table” with many management teams to get at issues that are blocking their progress but aren’t being discussed (click here for an excerpt from The Leader’s Digest explaining this concept). I was working with the head of a small professional services organization where prior to the retreat, her […]

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Is That a Moose Standing on the Table?

One of the more popular metaphors I have been using in workshops and management retreats is the notion of Moose-on-the-Table. It’s a playful, fun way to open up deep, authentic conversations about problems or issues that aren’t being addressed. When I work in the U.S., people are sometimes more familiar with the idea of Elephant-in-the-Livingroom. […]

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Keys to Effective Reward and Recognition

A reader from Australia e-mailed me: “to seek your professional opinion on the current situation I am facing as the Reward & Recognition strategy leader for a large organisation and its customer contact call centres. My question to you is, is it best to slowly eliminate ineffective parts of an R & R program or […]

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What Lies Ahead?

Around the start of many New Years, I am often asked to write articles or columns predicting the year ahead. What a useless exercise that is! I have no idea what lies ahead of us. Researchers, such as William Sherden in his outstanding book, The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions, […]

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We Can’t Separate Personal and Professional

On the eve of his retirement from Industry Canada, Brian Johnstone sent me a thoughtful and reflective e-mail. With his permission, I am sharing a portion of it that draws the critical connection between personal and professional success. “Jim, your articles continue to provide focus and inspiration for me. I’m preparing to retire and this […]

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Forming Leadership Habits: Leadership Tips and Techniques

There are about as many views and definitions of what encompasses “leadership” as there are experts in this field. There is one point that most leadership researchers and developers agree on: leaders are made, not born. Leaders are rarely naturals. But the ultimate level of mastery is to make it look natural. The great Italian […]

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Emotional Intelligence Even More Important in Electronic Age

Milli Murray sent me the following e-mail in response to an item on Emotional Intelligence in the August issue of The Leader Letter. She makes an excellent point on how EI is becoming ever more important. It’s clearly a major factor in leadership effectiveness. “I really enjoyed the article on Emotional Intelligence. In an age […]

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Powerful Proof That Leaders Are Made, Not Born

For over thirty years I’ve believed to the core of my being that high performers are made, not born. Otherwise I would have given up long ago! When I was a sales trainer with Culligan Water Conditioning back in the seventies I wrote a fictitious (and facetious) series of birth and death announcements making fun […]

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Hey! That’s Me!

During our family vacation in Prince Edward Island last month, Heather purchased a fridge magnet for me. It couldn’t have been more timely or appropriate this summer given the work we’re doing to finish up and then launch Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work. The magnet had a cartoon with […]

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What’s New? Who Cares? What Really Matters is what Works!

I am often asked what’s new in leadership or organization development. But what’s most important to improvement isn’t what’s new. It’s what works. Ultimately it’s our improvement action that determines our performance results. The effectiveness of that action hinges upon our follow through. Our learning and leadership or personal development is highly dependent on our […]

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for…Leading a Customer-Centered Organization

Here are a few of the hundreds of “leadership action menu ideas” from my Leading a Customer-Centered Organization workshop resource workbook: Train frontline service staff in how to systematically identify root causes of service/quality problems and involve them in a continuous improvement process. Provide a process for frontline service staff to track and systematically analyze […]

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Most Popular August Improvement Points

Improvement Points is a free service providing a key thought or quotation from one of my articles, provided three times per week, directly to your e-mail inbox. Each complimentary Improvement Point links directly into the full article on our web site that spawned it. If you’d like to read more about that day’s Improvement Point, […]

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Teaching Managers How to Have Effective Performance Review Discussions

Last month I ran a short question and my short response to a reader looking for a “’best practice’ in the area of teaching managers how to have effective performance review conversations….not just with poor performers but with all employees.” You can read this item here. After reading this exchange on my blog, a (clearly […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm on…. Participation and Involvement

“No one is apathetic except those in pursuit of someone else’s objectives” Henry Ford, American automobile pioneer “Leadership is not so much the exercise of power as the empowerment of others. Leaders lead by pulling rather than by pushing; by creating achievable, challenging expectations and rewarding progress toward them, rather than by manipulating; by enabling […]

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Broadening the Change Focus

Hi Jim Just to say thanks very much for the very useful insight you give in your regular updates. They are an inspiration. One book I have just completed which you may have already read, but if not I would highly recommend is by John Seddon called “In pursuit of Quality – the case against […]

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Involved and Active Listening is Key to Strong Leadership

In August I posted my top three “Favorite July Improvement Points” Here are two comments left by visitors: “The challenge that I see as one of the ‘masses’ is there is a huge disconnect between what some leaders say and what they actually do. With the healthcare worker shortage now is the time to start […]

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