Strengthen The Muscle

Last month we talked about resilience - what it is and where it comes from. Because that newsletter prompted more comments and feedback than we have ever had to any newsletter, we decided to explore the topic a bit more. So now let’s proceed with resilience redux…

Coaching Leadership

Just Another Buzzword?

We are all familiar with the scenario. One author coins or uses a term, it gets picked up by someone else, both are quoted in a third source and so on. Pretty soon, it is on the pages of Harvard Business Review and now it is the latest bona fide management craze. Lately, there has been quite a crop of articles on resilient individuals, resilient organizations, resilience as the new skill no manager can do without, revenue resilience, etc. So I decided to do some research (OK…more like poking around) and see who is actually talking about what, based on what evidence.

Leadership

Storytelling

Trying to save others from the discomfort we’ve experienced is a worthy impulse. When the pain we are trying to help them avoid is embarrassment, physical harm, disappointment or a lot of wasted effort, we mean well. However, too often we communicate the message in a way that is difficult to hear.

Coaching Leadership

Now What?

Kevin, the COO of a medium-sized Oregon food company and a long time client of ours, called recently sounding frazzled.

Given that Kevin is usually so affable, his tone of voice immediately signaled that something was up. A few days later we met him at our favorite coffee shop where he explained that he simply had “no bandwidth,” as he put it, to respond to his board’s request for a new 3-5 year strategic plan reflecting current market conditions.

“I know my board members feel anxious about the market, we all do. But how can I confidently predict how things might change...

Teams and Leaders: Know Thyselves

Why do we use assessment tools?

"The bottom line is that personality matters to individuals because self-understanding allows a person to be strategic about his/her career choices and career development. Personality matters to employers because knowledge about a job applicant's personality allows them to be strategic about the hiring process."
Dr. Robert Hogan

Assessments help your organization increase productivity and maximize performance by hiring the right people, evaluating leadership potential, and developing the talents of key individuals in the specific areas that really matter for success.

Assessments help individual leaders like you understand limitations and strengths and how understanding can bring strategic awareness to...


Teams Leadership

Building in the Jungle of Complexity

In today’s faster paced and technologically advanced world, organizations have become emergent, complex systems. If they ever seemed simple, none of us can think of them as static or simple these days. Things change. Fast. Organizations, and individuals within them, must respond. But how? Our old ideas about change no longer apply. In a fantasy future, a leader like Jean-Luc Picard (Captain, Starship Enterprise) could say, “Make it so!” and walk away. In our real future, things aren’t so easily accomplished in a single step.


We used to view organizational change management as a linear, predictable process to be managed...

Work-Life Balance: What Does It Mean to You?

In December 2011, cbsnews.com published an article by Dave Logan, Ph.D., author of Tribal Leadership, suggesting that “work-life balance “ is a crock, an idea whose time has come and gone. Although I too have felt that this is an unrealistic ideal, I’m not so sure that I could clearly articulate what I do believe about this idea. I decided to take a look at some other current commentators writing about work and life balance. Here’s a sample of what I found:

David Greuse at Convergence Design, noted that “…we reject the notion of work-life balance, although...

Teamwork Required

Our experience thus far has been that while self-organizing teams may enable the organization to operate from day to day without active management, a more integrated organization and more productive teams make the value-add of managers highly transparent and place a premium on specific leadership skills.

From Adam Light, Chris Vike and Diana Larsen. "Teamwork Required: Managing Agile Application Delivery in a Matrix Organization", Cutter Agile Product & Project Management Executive Update, Vol. 12, No. 19. October 2011.

For a free download of the article pdf, register at the Cutter site. You can also order reprints from Cutter to use...

Agile 2010 & the Flood

When the rains came down and the flood waters rose in Nashville TN one month ago, it became clear the Agile Alliance would have to “respond to change” rather than “following the plan” for our annual Agile 2010 conference—with the conference scheduled to open in only 14 weeks.