Posts tagged with the category Improving Performance
Making Time for Dialogue
I am teaching a course on generative and strategic dialogue this term and, through the amazing dialogue with my students, I am reminded of the importance and challenge of this communicative practice. Dialogue asks us to become more aware and intentional about how we listen, think, and speak. In his 1999 book, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking...
Organizational Culture and Its Effects on Creativity
Culture links people together. It does so, according to organizational theorist Edgar H. Schein, by allowing people to band together as a group and develop a unique set of beliefs and practices that are absorbed and accepted by all of its members. In time, the group’s beliefs and practices, which consist of shared assumptions, perceptions,...
The Challenges of a Budding Organizational Consultant
As a newcomer in the field of organizational consulting, I have the advantage of being either the naively arrogant child who declares the emperor has no clothes! or the person who comes from a foreign land and is forced to quickly confront the differences in the visible and communicated culture. When I decided to change careers in my early 40s, I...
How to Make Communication Technology Work for Positive Social Change
We live and work in the information age, an era of global knowledge sharing and social networking enabled by a variety of information, communication, and collaboration technologies (or ICCT). What do we do about it? The rescue of the Chilean coal miners is a fine example of how modern digital technology aided people from around the world to be...
Ironic Outcomes: How to Get the Opposite of What You Want
About three years ago, I had a coaching conversation with a human resources manager for a retail company. The manager confided in me that conflict she was experiencing made her uncomfortable. She described the lengths to which she would go to avoid raising challenging issues or delivering candid feedback. By way of example, she described a damaged...
Systems of Nothingness
January in New England makes it hard to visualize the muddy turf of a baseball field after a spring thaw. But, after speaking with a group of parents recently, spring training for children's baseball starts as early as December up here with batting practice and other weekly regiments. Teaching children the proper sporting techniques in the pre...
You Can Only Steer a Ship with a Dashboard
An organization is of a large group of individuals who are together for the sake of achieving a task. There are many moving pieces and many ways to see the essential task. The real challenge is figuring out how each individual can know where to put their time and energy to create the optimal synergy to achieve the organization’s results....
Seven Spiritual Perspectives on Personal Leadership
"Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; the way you play it is free will." — Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, 1st Prime Minister of India (1889-1964) How do you deal with change? How comfortable are you with what is on your plate? Are you creating or are you resisting? The quality of your ...
The Map of Meaning
How would you describe finding meaning in the work you do? Would you say that work is most meaningful when you are developing yourself? Would you say that that you find the most meaning when you are expressing your full potential? How about when you feel connected with others? Does doing service give you the most meaning? How about all of...
Incredibly Loud & Dangerously Unclose… to Being Human?
Just before New Year’s Eve, I dashed to Maine to watch the private premier of the film Incredibly Loud and Dangerously Close. The film’s scheduled for national release on January 20th, but I got my exclusive sneak peak courtesy of my friend, Alex Libby, who helped director, Stephen Daldry, do research for the film by speaking with...
Family Code of Conduct: Getting Everyone Together to Listen, Learn, and Grow
A family is a delicate edifice with a natural tendency to fragment, split, and move in different directions over generations. New people enter as spouses and children with their own interests, preferences and life styles. But when a family shares ownership, oversight, and dependence on shared investments, they challenge this tide. Such connected...
...But What's Really Being Said?
I have three teenage daughters. Needless to say, we pay for the unlimited text-messaging feature on our family mobile phone contract. I used to worry about the impact of sending abbreviated bursts of words and symbols on the future of communication, but I’ve been won over by how responsive my daughters are when I send them a text message....
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