Getting Everyone Aligned to the Right Ends

Last post I wrote about the common disconnect between individual jobs and organizational goals:  The Trap of False Ends  Making th...   [more >]

The Trap of False Ends

The first few weeks of a new consultation are tense. Information dumps are common: verbal, electronic and paper, sometimes redundant, sometimes contradictory, sometimes with telling gaps or...   [more >]

Experience is NOT Knowledge or Skill

A common consulting error is to assume that people long in their positions know what they are doing and do it well. We assume that through experience people learn the necessary knowledge, skills ...   [more >]

Forget About the Low-Hanging Fruit

A reliable cliché in organizational change is the advice to "go after the low hanging fruit". This suggestion indicates seriously deficient knowledge about both horticultural and...   [more >]

Do You Have a Through Line?

Management skill involves providing clarity of direction for all staff. That direction must be concrete, signposted and consistent. Hard to do if you aren't clear yourself about the concept,...   [more >]

Be careful about what you know for sure

One of the principle reasons to hire a consultant is to hear what you don't want to hear. Good consultants never accept at face value any opinion regardless of how forcefully stated or passiona...   [more >]

It's the Leaders, Stupid!

  Over the past couple weeks in this "Why is Strategy So Rare" series I have catalogued some of the excuses I have come across in working with organizations of all sizes all acro...   [more >]

The bow-tie metaphor for knowing your job

  This series has been about knowing your job as a board member or as a senior staff member, then doing that job well. I emphasized the problems caused for organizational performance when t...   [more >]

Does Your Calendar Match Your Priorities?

You have only so much time; only so much energy and only so much optimal attention. Are you actively matching up that time, energy and attention with your urgent priorities? If not: take co...   [more >]

Supporting Internally Initiated Change

Tony Hsieh, the 32 year old CEO of Zappos, has abolished all organizational hierarchy. No bosses, no supervisors, no top down edicts. Each employee is expected to innovate within their own work ...   [more >]

The Hidden Costs of the 'in' Brand

    In addition to the foregone costs involved in the decision to go with the "in" brand and pay the luxury premium required, there are other downsides to consider. Current "in" brands ...   [more >]

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

    There is definitely gold being made by the current "in" brands for health care change management. Last year the registered non-profit IHI (the Institute for Healthcare Improv...   [more >]

Is CBE a 'bubble'?

  Competency-based education (CBE) looks like a "bubble" and bubbles always burst. Pundits are regularly warning us about "bubbles" in the stock market and rea...   [more >]

Essence of Management

New CEOs need to get their focal distance right: not too focused on implementation (that is staff work) and not too policy-only (this is board work). Experienced CEOs should reflect periodically on ...   [more >]

Tyranny of the few

Boards develop tyrants due to poor board management. One of the many reasons for having manageable-sized boards (15 to 20 members) is to increase the odds that they are managed. Boards need to be...   [more >]

Recent Posts

Specificity Click-bait
June 15, 2017

    3 Things Great Leaders Never Do. 5 Keys to Organizational Change. 7 Days to C-Suite Nirvana. Does anyone really believe this clickbait? This meme of false s...

FITBIT Your Strategy
June 8, 2017

We are going to assume that you do HAVE a strategy that is guiding decisions towards some well-defined goals. You aren't just reacting from one crisis to the next, right? OK then,...

Get the Little Things Right
April 19, 2017

You must be good at the little things to be an effective consultant or change agent. Any good cook knows that. And you have to take the time. Scratch made puff pastry is a wondrous thing, not a...

Align Behavior with Goals
April 4, 2017

The last two posts took up the problems of getting all organizational work aligned to real goals for that organization.  The point of this effort, and it does take focused effort, is ...

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