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In the topic 'Fostering Openness & Transparency'


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Silence Kills: Are You Fostering Cowardly Communication?

I just came across a Corporate Executive Board (CEB) study showing the incredible penalties and pay-offs of good and bad communication practices. A survey of 300,000 employees shows that open and honest communication pays huge dividends to companies with transparent cultures. A CEB poll found that nearly half of executive teams don’t get critical information […]

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Team Building: Healthy Debates versus Dysfunctional Arguments

Strong management teams fiercely debate options, challenge each other’s thinking, and find the optimum approaches hidden in the grey area between both sides of tough issues. That takes trust, emotional intelligence, and courage. I am currently coaching a couple of lower performing executive groups struggling to “up their game” and become strong leadership teams. One […]

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Avoid These Traps and LOL for Peak Performance

I recently came across this bit of wisdom from an unknown author, “Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.”  Way too many managers confuse intentions, plans, and declarations with actions. Managers must LOL — lead out loud […]

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Thoughts that make you go Hmmm on…Courageous Conversations

My last blog post highlighted the big problem of a culture of fear within many teams and organizations. In the middle of preparing today’s post, I’m doing some fall clean up in my garden while listening to a radio panel discussion on the huge problem of medical errors. Fear of speaking up or admitting mistakes […]

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A Culture of Courageous Conversations – Speaking Up and Listening – Overcomes the Price of Fear

A recent survey of more than 400,000 employees across various industries by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) showed that “nearly half of executive teams lack the information they need to manage effectively because employees withhold vital input out of fear that doing otherwise will reflect poorly on them. This restricted information flow can cripple a […]

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I-Lands in the Stream: Lack of Awareness Creates a Moose Mess

A print journalist asked me if there was any one incident that led me to write Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work. It was a great question that caused me to step back and reflect on how my experiences came together to weave the book’s storyline and core themes. Moose […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm…on Breaking Through the Bull

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” – Gandhi “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off. Good leadership involves responsibility to the welfare of the group, which means that some people will get angry at your actions and decisions. It’s inevitable, if you’re honorable. Trying to get everyone to like you is a […]

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Alcohol and Drug Addiction is a Huge Moose

Peter Dunfield, Senior Advisor, Safety Health and Environment at Syncrude in Fort McMurray, Alberta sent this photo of a thank you memento he was given after his presentation a few years ago to The Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA). Peter had asked for my permission to use one of my moose-on-the-table slides to raise […]

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Barrick Gold Hunts Moose Worldwide

One of the sections in the Courageous Leadership for Health and Safety training program we designed Barrick Gold (see July 2006 and December 2006 issues for more details) revolves around initiating courageous conversations using our moose quiz and moose hunting tips from The Leader’s Digest: Practical Application Planner. Recently their Health and Safety Director, Bruce […]

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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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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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Too Many Trips to the Zoo

I just finished delivering a highly customized two day Leading @ the Speed of Change workshop with a delightful Client at a ranch resort in the foothills of Alberta’s beautiful Rocky mountains. This was a group of 21 managers and supervisors for a mid sized family business. They were highly participative and keen to improve […]

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Verbal Communications and Meeting Effectiveness

Within a few minutes of my article excerpt below going out through our Improvement Points service, I received Larry Beckon’s e-mail. April 18 – Improvement Point “There are many ways we can continually improve our verbal communication skills. These might include joining Toastmasters, taking a public speaking course, getting personal video based speaking feedback, personal […]

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