Your Role in FAKE News

What do YOU, the user, do about fake news? About manipulated and made up information, even slightly biased information, wherever it comes from?! This is a critical question to answer today. Our democracy is under attack and virus fears are weakening our defenses. Meanwhile, renegade propaganda is on the loose and exponentially spreading in social media and cable.  The media and big social platforms are asking themselves what to do about it – how and if to report what comes from one side or the other regardless of the facts. It is a media and Facebook or Twitter challenge, yes. But it is a challenge to us as USERS of information. The old Pogo… Read More

Continue Reading

Why Processes Don’t Work

NUGGET: Processes can add immense value for the enterprise. But it still takes people to make them work.  It matters how you implement and sustain them After many years working with people across industries, countries, and levels I’ve come to what may seem like a blindingly obvious conclusion: people resist processes:  step-by-step procedures, checklists, guidelines, creative problem solving, structured approaches to planning, goal setting, reviews, meetings. This is true even though many processes, when we follow them, noticeably improve output quality, save time and money, and lead to better team interactions.  Think, for example, of the many (interminable) meetings we drudge through – multi-tasking, rambling, leaving unclear about what next. … Read More

Continue Reading

Improving your change Management Success Rate: An Insight from Research

NUGGET: People’s belief in (and your telling them) the value of a change does NOT guarantee that a change will be implemented – in fact, it may make the change harder to implement! Don’t just sell a change, make sure the people affected help customize it for your organization and environment. It’s a pretty widely accepted fact that 60% or so of change projects don’t deliver intended results. There’s lots of room for improvement! What can you do about this? Let’s set aside change programs that shouldn’t have been started in the first place (and there are many of those) and focus on change initiatives that have the potential to… Read More

Continue Reading

More About the Shadow At Work : Distortions in Power Relationships

NUGGET: See over-reaction as a sign that your shadow is trying to take over. We know what we should do, but do we always do it?  For example, “I should pick up my own trash, wear a mask, prepare for the meeting.  But I have a problem with authority in general.  This problem may originate in my relationship with my parents.  And this transfers to all authority: as soon as I realize what YOU want, I am conditioned to do the opposite.  So in spite of what is in the larger and even my own best interest, I will go in another direction.   In the meantime, you begin to treat… Read More

Continue Reading

If You Want Water to Boil, Turn up the Heat! Pat McLagan

NUGGET:  Make sure your investment in change is robust enough to achieve your change goal. In the last post, I talked about one of two major mistakes that condemn changes to the trash heap of failed projects:  failing to say NO to a proposed change that won’t add value.  The second mistake is both big and common: failing to allocate enough resources for success.  Think about this:  a group decides to pursue a new strategy or launch a big change.  The change is complex and will change roles and relationships and require a period of learning, experimenting, even trial and error.  But the resources allocated to the change process are… Read More

Continue Reading

Just say “NO!”

NUGGET: Say “NO” to changes that will not add value We often hear a scary statistic about change:  40, 50, 60, 70% of all changes in organizations are viewed as failures.  They don’t achieve desired goals, they fall apart or are abandoned before they are complete, they overrun costs by orders of magnitude, etc.  These failure statistics come from questionnaires administered by various consulting firms, so I don’t really know what the truth is.  I do believe, however, that we can do a lot better – that immense amounts of energy, money, and other resources are wasted on changes that have gone awry or are poorly implemented. After participating for… Read More

Continue Reading

For Sustainable Change, Lift Up Your Perspective!

NUGGET: Approach changes, problems, and opportunities from a perspective that is larger than what is immediately in front of you. Many changes fail because they were not planned from a broad enough perspective and without enough concern for unintended consequences. It’s always interesting to see how people view the boundaries of a decision or problem.  How big is it?  Some only look at the immediate issue and the individuals immediately involved in it.  Others focus on a work group.  Still others look for causes and solutions at the level of a business unit or the organization itself. In the business environment, some increasingly look for causes and solutions beyond traditional… Read More

Continue Reading

The SHADOW side of the Pyramid Organization

NUGGET:  Be sure that the way you draw your organization corresponds to how you want it to work – and be aware of both the “light” and the “shadow” of the assumptions that underlie your mental model. In leadership programs I often ask people to draw their organization.  Before you read on, imagine how you would draw yours. Your drawing reflects your implicit assumptions about how the organization works. Most people draw a pyramid or a cascading organization chart.  Many organizations today – possibly including yours — are managed as a traditional “pyramid.” The cascading organization chart within the pyramid shows job boundaries and where people fit, maps how communication… Read More

Continue Reading

Let’s Move Beyond Our Love Affair with Charismatic Leadership

NUGGET: Don’t put any leader on a pedestal. If you are a leader, be careful with your use of your power and charisma. A mainstream view of leadership is that the best leaders (people with institutional power) have lots of charisma.  They use it to instill vision, values, and culture and to make sure people are aligned, committed, and acculturated. These charismatic leaders are the heroes, even rock stars, of many leadership books. But is charisma all it’s touted to be?  An interesting, scholarly book on leadership encourages us to wake up from the charisma trance.  I’d like to share some of its insights (note: I hope to serve you,… Read More

Continue Reading

Nelson Mandela: The Responsible Use of Power Lesson Three: Inclusiveness

NUGGET:  In times of change and complexity it is natural to retreat to an us/them stance.  But, as Mandela’s life shows us, it’s often the opposite we need:  a more inclusive view of people and ideas. In times of change, we are tempted to draw hard boundaries to protect what is “me” (the individual) or “us” (my group) from what is “the other(s).”  Given today’s pace of change and complexity, and how we are thrown together in a global melting pot, it is easy to see why there is so much “us/them” conflict.  And because it is so juicy for the media and politicians, it gets amplified and takes on… Read More

Continue Reading