Remember, all knowledge has a best before date

There is nothing more immobilizing than hanging on to knowledge whose time has expired

Remember, all knowledge has a best before dateI believe in ghosts. Not only do I believe in ghosts, I've seen how they haunt workers, teams, departments and entire organizations. And nowhere are these workplace ghosts more insidious than in the area of collaboration. What I'm calling "ghosts" are out-dated attitudes and behaviours about collaborative knowledge sharing that still haunt corporate halls and…

A change agent’s guide to the brain

The way to focus people on the organization's optimal future is to get them to pay attention to their own insights

A change agent’s guide to the brainDon't you just hate dealing with people who fight against every plan for organizational change? You know the type: They're disruptive, set in their ways, and highly resistant to change, even when it is obviously in the best interest of the business. Well guess what? Research suggests that those trouble-making, inflexible, change resistors are ...…

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellence

Building and sustaining organizational excellence requires exceptional people dedicated to the task

5 sure-fire ways to destroy organizational excellenceA blog from a couple of years back by marketing guru and all-round provocative thinker Seth Godin entitled The fruitless search for extraordinary people willing to take ordinary jobs took me back to a boardroom conversation about executive pay. Every company has a ‘compensation philosophy’ that it uses to guide how it sets the pay…

How body language can kill your career

People believe what they see, not what they hear

How body language can kill your careerOf course I'm not talking about you. You may be a respected professional whose expertise speaks for itself. Your body language is a minor consideration. Or is it? Here's an email I recently received from an engineer: 'The Project Manager introduced a new consultant. The new guy smiled and shook hands with everybody, but it…

Why mission matters now more than ever

Encouraging everyone to look at what they’re doing through a mission lens can help your entire organization

Why mission matters now more than everI often find inspiration for my column from something I’ve read or heard. This month’s column was inspired by a podcast with Tobi Lütke, co-founder and CEO of Shopify. Shopify has been on a tear lately, overtaking even RBC to become Canada’s most valuable company. As a very small shareholder, I couldn’t be happier for…

5 ways to stay sane if your boss is a micromanager

The worst thing an organisation can do is to reward pathological behaviour

5 ways to stay sane if your boss is a micromanagerOne of my bosses, Janet, was clever, hardworking and had an amazing eye for detail. She had high standards: if you e-mailed with a question at 10 p.m., she replied by 10.05. She worked hard, delivered on time, hated mistakes and expected the same from her team. She was driving us mad. We had been…

How to say ‘yes’ to pro bono work and feel good about it

Calling it ’knowledge philanthropy’ rather than ‘pro bono’ makes me feel like I am giving, rather than giving something away

How to say ‘yes’ to pro bono work and feel good about itAs an entrepreneur I get a lot of requests to give away expertise ‘for a good cause’. Many times I have to say no. However, I have started to intentionally incorporated knowledge philanthropy into my lifestyle portfolio (not my business portfolio). Here are some of the lessons I learned around how I say ‘YES!’ to…

A-to-Z strategies for building collaboration

It takes ongoing teamwork to produce innovative, cost effective and targeted products and services

A-to-Z strategies for building collaborationMost leaders agree that effective collaboration is more important than ever. In a "do-more-with-less" reality, it takes ongoing teamwork to produce innovative, cost effective and targeted products and services. In fact, a company's very survival may depend on how well it can combine the potential of its people and the quality of the information they…

Success strategies for working through chronic stress

How do you deal with stress?

Success strategies for working through chronic stress"Every day is a new day." At no time in recent memory has this phrase been more poignant. The situation has gone from one of sudden, unexpected crisis to that of chronic, daily stress. It is emotionally and psychologically exhausting. In the workplace, the pressure to make good decisions and produce good results has never…

Tips to becoming a strategic thinker

The good news is strategic thinking can be nurtured

Tips to becoming a strategic thinkerI once started working with a leader who suddenly found herself on the executive team. A corporate restructuring resulted in skipping a level and now she is sitting around the table asking, ‘am I strategic enough to do this job?’ Her question is not unique. Twenty years of developing leaders has taught me there are…

The seven deadly sins of hiring

Avoid these seven deadly sins and you’ll be sure to improve the quality of your hires while at the same time providing a return on your investment

The seven deadly sins of hiringWe’ve all been there: you have to fill a position, and it needed to be done yesterday. Any warm body will do, right? Wrong. Poor hiring decisions mean decreased profits, lost sales, productivity and costumers, increased costs and a decrease in employee morale – costly mistakes for any employer. The average cost of a bad…

Video: How managers can best handle difficult conversations

Managers often must have difficult conservations on staff work performance. Professional facilitator Robin Parsons discusses how leaders can prepare

For managers, one of the greatest challenges they face is how to have a difficult conversation with a staff person. Managers often must have difficult conservations  on work performance, matters of discipline or in cases of conflict. Professional facilitator Robin Parsons discusses how leaders can prepare for such conversations and handle at times unexpected discoveries.…

Tough times require tough bosses

Seven basic management skills to motivate your workers

Tough times require tough bossesFor over two decades we have been training leaders to manage people by empowering them. Leaders who were authoritarian, who behaved like a parent instead of a coach, were seen as dinosaurs at the end of their era. Times change. I remember how a conversation I had with a client, an enlightened and successful leader, unfolded:…

Five ways you can practice kindness at work

By being kind, we give those around us hope and inspiration

Five ways you can practice kindness at workMindfulness is a hot trend in organizational effectiveness, with employee programs popping up in innovators like Google and stalwarts like General Mills (Why Google, Target, and General Mills Are Investing in Mindfulness, Harvard Business Review). The demonstrated benefits of mindfulness practices, such as meditation, are mounting. As good and important as mindfulness is (I am…

It hurts to feel excluded

Team spirit can quickly disintegrate as individuals who feel that they are being discounted simply withdraw

It hurts to feel excludedYou are brought into a room to play a computer game. On the screen you see your avatar, a computerized graphic that represents you in this virtual environment. You also spot the avatars for two other players, both of whom you assume are physically located with their own computers in similar rooms. At first it…
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