engagement

A must-read leadership book: Leadership Without Excuses

02.15.2015

There are 1,000s of leadership books out there. And for good reason. Leadership is one of the secret weapons of success whether it be in lean transformation in a Fortune 50 company or running a 3-person startup or running a high school science class. It’s really far too important to be condensed to one topic…leadership. […]

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The beauty and effectiveness of simple communication structures

05.12.2014

This post originally appeared on the Lean Learning Center blog. How do I get engaged communication going with my team? How do I reach them? How do we get people talking without it dragging into an endless venting session? These are questions many leaders struggle with. In an effort to engage people, they open up […]

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The failure of “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!”

02.07.2012

I head this approach many times, and in many different forms. Managers say “I don’t want people to bring me problems; I want them to bring me solutions.” Or “I don’t want more questions, I want answers.” I ran across this on the Harvard Business Review Blog in The No Whining Rule for Managers by […]

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Building great spaces instead of great managers

01.30.2012

Why do organizations build great workspaces? Get prime real estate with a great zip code? Buy the fanciest office furniture and features? We do it in an effort to be an employer of choice. We do it to recruit, and retain, the top talent. But is there a problem in this strategy? On fistful of […]

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The Fine Line Between Micro-Management and Surfacing Problems

02.21.2011

Not many people want to be the victim of micro-management. And most managers don’t espouse operating that way. But not all micro-management is created equal. As organizations pursue lean effort,s I see a tension between making problems visible and micro-management. Many organizations are very sensitive to anything that feels like micro-management, even just a detailed […]

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Using internal blogging as a leader

11.22.2010

How do I communicate with my organization? This is a challenge for any leader particularly as their organization grows. Leaders try to communicate through their staff to the rest of the organization, but the message is often distorted or diluted. Leaders try to communicate through lots of one-on-one conversations, but that is very slow and […]

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People are not assets

10.20.2010

What is an asset? By definition, it is “a single item of ownership having exchange value.” Exchange value, as in buy and sell. Sounds a bit like slavery to me, which is still this country’s most shameful part of its history. Why are assets on the balance sheet? So that you can value you the […]

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Valid or reliable – is your culture right?

07.29.2010

This week I’ve been writing about the tradeoff between measuring things in a valid way or a reliable means. Two posts published so far are: Valid or reliable – take your pick Valid or reliable – trying to break the tradeoff How does this impact culture? Culture is one of the most vital yet most […]

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Creating Employee Engagement, Part 4

03.08.2010

This is the final part of a 4 part series on Creating Employee Engagement. You can first read Parts 1, 2, and 3. Skills Required for Engagement Skill gaps to create engagement exist both in employees and managers, although most transformation efforts tend to focus on only one or the other group. Employees need to […]

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Creating Employee Engagement, Part 3

03.05.2010

This is part 3 on employee engagement. Read Part 1 and Part 2. The Development of Systems to Support Engagement When conducting an assessment, one of the most revealing questions that I seem to ask is “if you have found waste or an opportunity to improve, what do you do with it?” I usually get […]

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