Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance
From Being Right to Doing the Right Thing: My First Lesson in Designing Organizations to Fulfill Our Intentions
In the presidential campaign, I have been struck by how much the dialogue is about what people are “for” and how little we talk about how to do what we want. As if being “for” the right things led to a clear path to success. Indeed, our president is faulted for proposing the right ideas and making promises, but not being...
Embracing Hope in Uncertain Times
There is a saying, “Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right now, then it is not yet the end.” This mantra is proclaimed throughout the movie, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as six British retirees grapple with getting older and lives that did not turn out as they had hoped. Each find themselves at a...
Trying Experiments: Design Thinking Meets Flawless Execution
"I have not failed. I have merely found ten thousand ways that won’t work." ~ Thomas Edison I spent an inspiring day in Palo Alto last month at the design firm, IDEO. I am a member of a community of consultants and educators who use a simulation designed by the Canadian company, Experience Point, in collaboration with IDEO to teach...
Flowing Through Change
I have been engaged in a significant structural change at Saybrook over the last few weeks that has caused me to reflect on how I move through change. In speaking with a colleague yesterday who resides outside of the organizational system that is Saybrook, I was able to gain some clarity that might be of use to others. I truly believe that we are...
Leading Public Organizations Creatively
The belief that government must continue to be structured and must function in 2012 as it has in the past is a myth. There is much that public sector leaders can do to change their organizational culture, improve the quality of services they deliver, and become more efficient stewards of the public’s money. I would argue that one of the...
11 Weeks as an Action Researcher
We had been following the blue Mercedes for almost 10 minutes up and down the streets of an upscale Miami neighborhood on that hot July morning before its driver, a middle-aged man accused of swindling private investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, slammed on the brakes bringing his car to a screeching halt. He jumped out of the...
Two of my daughters play volleyball. It’s a significantly more complicated version of the game I remember playing in gym class. It still involves six players on each side, but once the ball is served, the players move around the court in choreographed sprints that look fairly chaotic to the untrained eye. I seem to remember standing in my...
Leadership Development: What’s It Worth?
I’ll be travelling to Chicago next week to meet with a prospective insurance industry client. I’m joining Lisa, a sales director who has been talking with the potential client about our training programs and consulting services. The head of the company’s talent development function is interested in creating a centralized approach...
Paying Attention Develops the Brain’s Plasticity
Everything I read points to the need for attention for our brains to develop new neurons and synapses, and I've been wondering about awareness and attention. Mindfulness practice is an awareness and attention practice where we build our capacity to pay attention by stopping our activity and focusing on our direct and immediate experience. We...
The "Great Recession": An Organizational Narrative in a Time of Scarcity
For the organizations that survived the 2008 to 2009 recession, growth now seems to be the dominant theme. Is this a sign that we are past the scarcity introduced by the recession or is it just a form of coping with economic limitations? Most organizations in the U.S. experienced a revenue shrinkage that ranged between 15 percent and 40...
Why Do You Ask?
So much of how we make sense of the world starts with the questions we choose to ask. At the same time, the questions we choose to ask are shaped by the way we make sense of the world. Which came first, the question or the answer? A great example of how one can trace the source of our questions to our frames of reference can be found in Edwin A....
Creating Space: A Critical Aspect of Sustainability
I was recently asked what I was currently working on to support sustainable life on the planet. Over the years, I have been doing my part by recycling, reducing my consumption, reducing carbon usage, and bringing sustainability conversations into my university and other groups in which I participate; however, when I reflected on this question,...
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