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In the topic 'Organization Development'


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How Your Leadership Team Can Slow Down to Speed Up

An old fable tells of a farmer with a wagon brimming full of cabbage heading to a new market. He stops for directions and asks, “How far is it to the market?” The man replies, “It’s about an hour if you go slowly. But if you rush, it will take all day.” It was a […]

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How to Boost Strategic Retreat Effectiveness

Getting your leadership team away from daily operations for a few days of reflection and planning is incredibly effective. I am clearly biased since I’ve facilitated so many retreats. When offsite retreats are well designed and facilitated (a bit more bias), the return on investment is exponential. Planning a retreat starts with clarifying 3 or […]

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How Highly Strategic Leadership Teams Rock

The metaphor of putting rocks, pebbles, and sand in a jar has been used for decades to illustrate the time management principle of prioritization. If we start with sand, then marbles, and finally rocks, we likely won’t get many rocks in the jar. And the jar will have gaps and empty spaces. However, if we […]

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4 Strategic Planning Traps and How to Avoid Them

I recently had a call with a CEO about facilitating a strategic planning retreat this fall with 15 of their top leaders. That will be a refreshing change — we’re all fully vaccinated and ready to get together in person again. The CEO sent me their draft agenda for the session. Looking at the fairly […]

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Reshaping the Leadership and Culture Development Puzzle

In his 19th Century Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, Ebenezer Cobham Brewer writes, “Euclid, having opened a school of mathematics at Alexandria, was asked by King Ptolemy whether he could explain his art to him in a more compendious manner. ‘Sire,’ said the geometrician, ‘there is no royal road to learning.'” The timeless quest for […]

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6 Key Takeaways from LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report

LinkedIn Learning’s 4th Annual 2020 Workplace Learning Report reinforces key trends in boosting leadership and organization effectiveness. This report compiles survey responses from 1,675 Learning and Development professionals, 2,000 learners, and 2,932 managers in North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. The survey data looks like it was compiled before the pandemic turned our world upside down, […]

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Culture Compass: A Six-Point Navigational Framework

When we’re mapping a trip to an unfamiliar destination, it’s extremely helpful to be able to zoom out to see the big picture. We can then zoom in for turn by turn details. A big reason up to 70% of change efforts fail is lack of zoomed out planning. Leadership training, succession planning, service/quality improvement, […]

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Practical Ways Leaders Can Model Culture Change

A department, division, or organization’s culture ripples out from its leadership team. A team that wants to change “them” needs to start with a deep look in the mirror to change “us.” Organizational behavior reflects leadership team behavior. This is much like an old parenting adage, “children are natural mimics; they act like their parents […]

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Leadership, Engagement, Culture, and Learning Top Global Trends Survey

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends 2016 identified the top ten organizational issues through surveys and interviews with more than 7,000 business and HR leaders from 130 countries. Other than using the dehumanizing phrase “human capital” (treating people as breathing assets with skin, things, or “head count“), this report provides strong research on what’s needed to build […]

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Practical Resources for Leadership Team Retreats, Meetings, or Conferences

Where’s summer gone already? July and August seem to move at a much higher speed than the rest of the year. I hope you’ve had some downtime to rest and recharge before heading into a busy fall. As I wrote in “Does Your Leadership Team Need Strategic Focus?“, fall is a popular time for leadership […]

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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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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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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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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm on… Agile, Learning Organizations

“The learning organization can mean two things, it can mean an organization which learns and/or an organization which encourages learning in its people. It should mean both.” – Charles Handy, “The Age of Unreason“, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, pp 225 “Feedback is the lifeblood of the organization — the exchange of information that lets […]

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Fit the Pieces Together For Integrated Team and Organization Development

I’ve used this slide for some time to show a big reason for the 50 – 70% failure rate of organization change and improvement efforts. It shows that many of these common change and improvement initiatives are disconnected and don’t fit together to create a cohesive picture. “Fad surfing in the C Suite” wastes scarce […]

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10 Critical Factors Impacting a Safety Culture

Most safety problems have deadly or life altering consequences. That’s especially true in healthcare organizations. Medical errors, quality of care, and infection rates are clear examples. In a recent study published by the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Martin Makary, professor of surgery and health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, […]

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Executive Team Building and Culture Development Webinar – March 9

We’ve recorded a webinar on Executive Team Building and Culture Development  that you can access in our archive now. Here’s what we cover: Strategic Organization/Culture Development: Building a common understanding/framework for leading change Leadership is an action, not a position: Developing a culture with leaders at all levels Balancing “hard” management systems/processes with “soft” leadership/people […]

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A Culture Change Compass for Assessment and Planning

One of the “7 Reasons Change and Development Programs Fail” is a partial and piecemeal approach to implementing programs like engagement, customer service, succession planning, safety, performance management, talent management, lean/six sigma, and IT. Our “compass model” has evolved from culture development work with dozens of organizations. It’s often used during Leadership Team Retreats for […]

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Clear Leadership Team Retreat Objectives and Outcomes Are Vital to Success

My last blog, “7 Reasons Change and Development Programs Fail“, concluded that a senior leadership team retreat lays the foundation for successful change and development initiatives. This is often the intact senior leadership team heading up a department, division, or the entire organization. Depending on the retreat objectives and length, one or sometimes two, levels […]

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