Showing posts from August, 2010

The Start-Stop-Continue Method

Somewhere long ago in my journey as an Organization Development Guy, I learned an old but evergreen model for initiating productive change, The Start-Stop-Continue Method, that tells us that "doing differently" can take different forms.

It's a practicaltool for leaders, teams, and coaches, easy to grasp, and easy to implement. It asks three empowering questions:

1. What's not working? These are behaviors that we can STOP doing.

2. What might work better for us? What new ideas should we try? These are behaviors that we can START doing.

3. What is working well now, that we should keep on doing? These are behaviors to CONTINUE doing.

Here is one application, focused on helping a leader to improve employee engagement:

- Start: What can You Start doing that would increase employee engagement?

- Stop: What should You Stop doing that would increase engagement?

- Continue: What should You Continue doing that is supporting engagement?

Here's a website where you can find a workshee…

How to Improve Engagement? Just Do It

The gist of this posting, that Employee Engagement Is What You Do, came to me the other day when I found Tim Kastelle's blog entry about strategy called "Strategy is What You Do."Kastelle says:

"...your strategy is not what you say, your strategy is what you do. Strategy is the set of choices you make about what business you are in, and how you’ll win."

As I read this wise posting, I heard myself thinking, Yes! And that goes for Employee Engagement as well. Engaging others is a choice to act in certain ways.

Having explored this topic for the past several years, I know there is controversy about the definitions of employee engagement. Trouble is, if you are a business leader, and you are waiting for consensus on a definition, that day may never arrive.

A better path, in my view, is to start engaging people. Here is a fast start game-plan for getting the engagement engine going in your organization.

- Start with your hiring process. Are you finding the best people to…


I learned about the Hebrew word "teshuva" a couple years ago. It means return and repentance. Here's the story of how I learned it.

In 2008, some friends from Germany were planning to visit us in the States for a joint 25th wedding anniversary getaway to Virginia.

A few weeks before, our friends reached out to us with a special request. Could we add Baltimore to our itinerary as we drove from New Jersey to Washington D.C. and Virginia?

The answer was Yes, of course, since Baltimore is on the way to D.C. No problem, we said. Why?

They said, We want to look up a person who once lived in a nearby town in Germany. She left when she was a child. She is Jewish. Her family fled the Nazis in the late 1930's. We want to tell her that her synagogue has been restored and that she is invited to come back for the dedication ceremony.

How wonderful! we thought. We sprang into action. My wife called her cousin, Fr. Bill, a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Baltimore, and he immediately…

Time Is Life

The Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset once said: “Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.”

For me, there is no better opening thought for a Time Management seminar. “What are you going to do?” is the central question. At home. At work. In life. You have 168 hours in a week. What are you going to do with them?

With Ortega y Gasset in mind, here are a few of the things to think about that will help you manage time, improve your productivity, achieve success, and make the world a better place.

- What are you going to do today? – A central concept in time management is the Daily To Do List. The key is to sort out the trivia and nonsense (the “C” items in the ABC Priority System) from the few critically important “most do” things (via the 80/20 Rule). Ask yourself frequently: What do I have to get done today? Tomorrow? This week? The way to zero in on the “A” items is to identify and stay focused on your Goals and Values.

- What are you going to do next? - …