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In the topic 'Team Building'


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Making Teams Work: What’s Your Type and Decision Vision?

In Working with Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman reports on a study by the Center for Creative Leadership of top American and European leaders whose careers derailed, “the inability to build and lead a team was one of the most common reasons for failure.” He goes on to quote a highly successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist, […]

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How to Ensure Screen Time isn’t Scream Time

  A growing number of articles and studies feature debates, research, and advice on returning to the office, working from home, and many hybrids. City cores across North American report office occupancy rates far below pre-pandemic levels. Studies such as those featured in Time magazine show empty office tower escalators with the headline Return-to-Office Full […]

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Higher Hiring: Are You Trying to Teach Frogs to Fly?

Once upon a time, a manager had a frog named Fred working on his team. After returning from a strategic planning retreat, he passionately exclaimed to Fred, “We’re going to open an air courier division! I’m going to teach you to fly!” Fred responded, “I can’t fly. I am a frog, not a bird.” Disappointed […]

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Ripple Effect: Seven Keys to Team and Culture Development

When our kids were young, I was often reminded of the adage, “children act like their parents — despite all attempts to teach them good manners.” When one of our kids did something I wasn’t especially pleased with, I found myself asking, “where did you learn that?” When I stood back, and I reflected on […]

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Dysfunctional Arguments, Healthy Debates, or Smothering Silence?

Doug, the division leader, was angry and frustrated. “I’d like to start by understanding why our current results are so badly below forecast,” Doug said, his moustache quivering slightly. “We’re not even close to hitting our numbers.” Crickets. Chuck studied his shoes. Everyone else became very interested in their notes, coffee mugs, or the water […]

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Leadership Team Dynamics: Culture Change Begins Here

  We did a series of focus groups, interviews, and surveys within a division of a large company to help Chris, the division manager, determine why their culture wasn’t performing at the level he wanted. We found that the shortfalls in the division’s levels of engagement, service, and productivity reflected the leadership team’s effectiveness. Their […]

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For Better or Worse: Meetings Are a Hologram of Organizational Culture

Five decades of research shows the huge impact of organizational culture on outcomes like Return on Investment, stock prices, service/quality levels, productivity, sales, profitability, cost-effectiveness, and similar results. Organizational culture is also a key factor in levels of employee engagement, extra effort, innovation, morale, and teamwork. “Magnet cultures” attract and retain the best people. Or […]

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We’ve GOT to Stop Meeting Like This

Shopify’s recent announcement about canceling, banning, and restricting meetings is the wrong solution to a huge problem. It’s throwing a deflated pool toy to someone who’s drowning. Meetings can energize or enervate. When meetings are effectively run, they create that elusive synergy to dramatically boost a team’s effectiveness. Research clearly shows that when run effectively, […]

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Leadership Team Dynamics and Culture Development are Entwined

I recently had a call from “Judy,” an HR VP, to discuss team building. She said their executive team effectiveness is slipping. Team issues and challenges are overlooked, factions are forming, and trust issues are developing. As we discussed (online) executive retreat options, she wondered if using a four-quadrant personality type training program might be […]

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Is Your Team Coughing Up a Culture Hairball?

Recently, I reposted an article on cultural assumptions often being wrong because leaders don’t understand how their current culture is perceived. A reader posted a comment asking if it’s realistic to expect to change the culture of large organizations, especially “mature ones with profound legacies and cultural liabilities.” He then suggested, “it might be better […]

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Scream Team or Dream Team? A 10 Point Team Check Up

An organization’s culture ripples out from the team leading it. The behaviors of the leadership team are THE single biggest influence on what’s expected/rewarded and discouraged or unacceptable for everyone else. Despite what’s proclaimed in vision, mission, or core values, these set the organization’s true cultural norms. Team meetings reflect the team’s effectiveness. Too many […]

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How to Ensure Your Meetings Aren’t Virtually Useless

You likely thought too many meetings were time-wasters before this pandemic. Now your “meeting fun” has likely moved online to a higher time-sucking level! Steven Rogelberg, professor and author of the book, The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance, reports that 8 out of the average 23 hours a […]

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End Meeting Madness: Decide How to Decide

In a senior leadership team retreat last week, decision-making and meeting effectiveness emerged as a barrier during our moose hunting exercise. Meetings are more important than ever in our complex and interconnected world. Research clearly shows that when run effectively, groups make better decisions than individuals do. Effective meetings involve and engage participants in problem-solving […]

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Do Your Meetings Suck? How do You Know?

Raise your hand if you’re an above average driver. According to the American Automobile Association, 73% of drivers feel they’re better than average — a statistical impossibility. How’s your meeting leadership? You likely feel that many meetings you attend suck. That’s because…many do. Too often meetings suck time and energy out of everyone. And most […]

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A Retreat Can Help Your Leadership Team Advance

Does a retreat help a leadership team advance? Or does a retreat mean falling behind as work piles up back at the office? We worked with a CEO to plan and run an offsite leadership and culture development session. He refused to call it a retreat. He insisted everyone refer to the session as an […]

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Succession Planning: From Piecemeal Programs to Integrated Strategy

Studies show a growing sense of urgency for succession planning. One survey found 92% of respondents felt it was risky not to have a succession plan for key employees but only 25% of companies feel they’ve identified adequate successor candidates and less than half have a process for developing candidates. Other research shows 70% of […]

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Google’s Research Identifies 5 Dynamics of Their Top Teams

What makes a team great? Why do some teams flourish and others flounder? Google’s People Operations (what they call HR) conducted a two-year study to find out. They conducted over 200 interviews looking at more than 250 attributes on over 180 active Google teams. Google analyst, Julia Rozovsky, reports that “who is on a team […]

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Ten Essential Vitamins to Avoid Meeting Indigestion

Last week we discussed research on the big problem with Binge Meeting Disorder and how ineffective meeting leaders create this major waste of time and energy. When leaders sharpen their meeting leadership skills and practice good meeting hygiene, team collaboration, psychological safety to speak up, team results, engagement, and energy levels soar. Many pre-post studies […]

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Are You Suffering from Binge Meeting Disorder ?

Is your organization meeting itself to death? Do you often feel like you are in the midst of a meeting frenzy? Do you sometimes want to poke yourself with a sharp object to keep from screaming when a meeting drags on and on? How do your meeting participants feel? Meeting research shows that executive time […]

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How to Boost Leadership Team (and Culture) Performance

Many organizations are struggling with low or mediocre levels of employee engagement, customer service, quality, safety, productivity, and innovation. This reflects uninspiring cultures of mediocrity created by harried leaders madly scrambling to keep up. An organization’s culture ripples out from the senior leadership team leading it. In “Is Your Leadership Team Slipping into These Traps?” […]

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