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Showing posts from August, 2016

Feeling Fatigue? Reload Your Accumulator

Are you running on empty? It is probably time to reload your accumulator. Our good friend from Germany, Wolfgang, once recommended that we take a vacation. He wrote: "...you need some time to relax and to reload your accumulator, and I know from my own experience that it is far the best to do it away from home." Never having heard the phrase "reload your accumulator" before, I plugged it into an online translator and converted it to German: deinen Akkumulator neu laden. Question to my German readers: Does that phrase make sense to you? As the Summer passed, Wolfgang's recommendation went with us. At each place we visited, we would recall his admonition to "reload your accumulator" and we would do our best to live up to it. Did we reload our accumulator successfully? Yes, I think we did. We got away from home. We went to new places. We enjoyed nature. And we relaxed with friends. For you who are tired, stressed out, and experiencing change fatigue, pe…

Planning to Change? Simply BEGIN

Thinking about making a change of some sort...perhaps a personal change? Or maybe an organizational change?
The secret is...to simplyBEGIN.
Break it down- Many say that "change is hard." It is. But change is also huge. Or at least it seems so before you start. Change often seems overwhelming. That's why we often fail even before we get going.
So the B in BEGIN stands for "Break it down." Chop it into chunks. Lay out the steps in the roadmap that will get you to the goal.
Energize yourself and others- Another reason we often fail at change is inertia. "An object at rest will remain so unless acted upon." So the E in BEGIN is Energy! You've got to energize yourself and others.
What can help you energize? Perhaps a sense of urgency. Perhaps a sense of competition nipping at your heels.
What about your vision? What is the change about? Why are you making the change? What will the result of the change be? 
Get going- Southwest Airlines' founder Herb Kell…

Does This Make Any Sense to You?

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A frazzled cowboy once said, "I'm so busy, I don't know if I found a rope or lost my horse." Clearly that dazed and confused cowboy is trying to make sense out his situation. How often, in your life, can you relate to that? Organizational psychologist Karl Weick wrote some very interesting stuff about human behavior and organization. In one piece, he wrote about a team of smoke-jumpers who were dropped by parachute into a major forest fire. Though highly trained, some things happened that they were unprepared for. As a result, they became disorganized and sadly most of them died. What happened? Weick wondered if there was a failure of sensemaking. Sensemaking is the process by which people give meaning to what they are experiencing. Weick's concept of  "sensemaking" refers to the mental process of interpreting and constructing the reality we find ourselves in. So defined, we are sensemaking pretty much all the time as we go about our daily lives. Most of…

Come to the TABLE for Culture Change

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I once learned, from consultant Kenny Moore, that the meaning of the word company is from Latin:  com (with) + pane (bread).  He wrote: "At its core, company is about meaning, purpose and mutual support. Many of today’s businesses had their origins around like-minded individuals coming together to support and nurture each other in starting a labor of love." That gave me one of those "Whoa!" moments. How many companies have an awareness of this? How many have lost this sense of company...and lost their way as a result? So people who work together in a company can be thought of as people breaking bread together, sharing a common meal. Pretty strange thought, eh? Maybe even striking? Moore points out a connection to employee engagement: "It is when people feel a sense of belonging and purpose that they more willingly contribute not only their hands but also their heads and hearts to bring about business success." What are the implications for leaders? Moore…

Your Culture Is the Key to Your Success

Experts in mergers and acquisitions see this all the time:  Culture makes all the difference. Get the culture right, they say, and you have the key to success. But what is it exactly that they are pointing to when they say "culture?" Simply put, culture is the way we do things around here. Some experts in corporate culture dislike that simplistic definition, but it works for me. Sometimes simple is the best. There is nothing quite so practical as a good theory. So let's look at the "way we do things around here." It could be your biggest blind spot. Do you even know? And what things make the difference? In looking at your corporate culture, some of the things that make the most difference include... How do we treat each other?  Do we treat one another with kindness and respect? Do we look out for one another? Do we intentionally try to bring out the best in each other? Are we always looking for better ways to unleash people so they can use their talents? Are we r…

The COST of Employee Engagement

Even though many organizations continue to demonstrate clearly that they regard their people as disposable, I still buy into the saying that "people are an organization's most important asset." Why? Look at the research emerging over the past decades around the Employee Engagement Equation: The more engaged your workforce, the more productive and profitable your company. What many had believed for so long is now evidence based. Trouble is, do business leaders know it? Do they get it? The challenge before HR and OD practitioners is to do a good job of convincing our clients in the C-suites that investments in people will grow the business. Start by asking, What are the reasons why CEOs don't seem to care about employee engagement? One of the blockages that some CEOs have is that "they are funny that way." Meaning, they are wired to focus on things like profit, loss, and stock price. The human stuff does not compute for these CEOs. It's not that they are …