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The Great Experiment – A Lesson in taking a risk

Back in February of last year, a former colleague that I'd worked with at two companies and had known for thirteen years called me out of the blue. He said he'd just taken over a team at his company and things were bad. Really bad. Highest attrition rate in the company bad. Poor quality of work bad. To say morale was low and attrition high was an understatement. Read the rest of this entry »

Leadership Development Gaps Derail Organizations and Careers

What happens when you or your organization have gaps in leadership development? Study after study shows that employees go the extra mile for managers who are highly effective leaders. What makes an effective leader? Read the rest of this entry »

Creating a Reality That Doesn’t Exist

As humans, we make sense of our world through story.  In other words, we create a reality for ourselves that doesn’t exist, in reality.

I attended a workshop last weekend with Human Change Technology Expert, S. Lane Pierce, and he cited Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi the author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience who theorizes that we are bombarded with two million bits of input each second, and we process about 126 of them.  We do that through a process of deleting, distorting and generalizing.

Can’t Stand Working With That Jerk

As a managewhich, one of the more frustrating challenges is dealing with people who do not play nicely together in the sandbox.   Most of managewhich’s deal with it in one of three very ineffective ways:

  • Ignore it, and hope it goes away.
  • Do their best to separate them, so that there is minimal disruption to the team and the work product, and then we have to all ignore the hostility elephant in the room.

The Fact and The Fundamental Lie (Part 3)

Photo by Tiffany Trewin

Photo by Tiffany Trewin

Where we left off in part two, Janice*, the manager of her company’s governance group, has provided Rhonda*, a program manager who works for Janice, with some feedback about her performance.

…which started with “You are always trying to undermine me.”

The conversation degenerated into Janice trying to tell Rhonda all the ways that her circumventing the PMO’s process proved her intent to harm and into Rhonda’s defense of her own character.

The Fact is Also the Fundamental Lie (Part Two)

Photo by Todd

Photo by Todd

In part one of this post, we left Janice* and Rhonda* in Janice’s office.  Janice, the manager of her company’s governance group, is furious that Rhonda, who works for her, has been circumventing the process that the PMO is supposed to be enforcing.  Furthermore, I’d learned in out initial complimentary consultation that Janice has built some resentment towards Rhonda because of some things she’s observed Rhonda doing over the last year, but Janice never addressed it.

The Fact is Also the Fundamental Lie (Part One)

Photo by Desiree Delgado

Photo by Desiree Delgado

We humans are a complex bunch.  We haven’t quite evolved to where our pre-frontal cortex can separate out fact from perception, as much as we might think and believe that we have.  I haven’t.  You haven’t.

So, what does that mean and why should you care?

Well, whenever we have a difference of opinion we tend to take our own side.  Never is that more true than when we know we’re right.  Because, when we’re right, we are right, and that means that there is no “other side of the story.”

Who Makes the Rules? Resolving Generational Conflicts at Work

Photo By Pedro Simões

Photo By Pedro Simões

Part of the resentment Baby Boomers have towards the younger generations in the workforce is the ease in which they express “What’s In It For Me?”

It stems from the remnants of company loyalty and fealty that were drummed into their heads when they were starting out; even though our boomers mostly know intellectually that there is very little reciprocity of loyalty, old habits die hard.  The “rules” say that it is unseemly to always be asking that question.

Quit Allowing Conflict to Derail your Productivity and Start Using it to Create! Part 1

Photo by Joe Pitz

Photo by Joe Pitz

I was chatting with a former work colleague the other day about her challenges implementing a Project Management Office (PMO). She’d come to me because I’ve had the experience multiple times in my former life, and it usually comes down to the same dynamic:

Camp A believes very strongly in the value of the PMO.

Camp B believes very strongly that the PMO is nothing but a waste of time and resources that could be devoted to developing a product.

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