Developing CEO Successors

When the need to identify a CEO successor becomes urgent, the probability of finding the best person is improved when that need is anticipated in advance. Developing CEO successors should be a deliberate, robust process involving your advisors or directors, and potentially the successor candidates themselves. Many companies rely on external organizations, experienced with succession issues and methods, to help develop and support this process.  One key element in productive succession planning is purposefully identifying and developing potential …

Read more

How Best to Persuade

Some leaders rely heavily on data to persuade their teams to embrace a needed change. Data is perceived as credible, making it a powerful means to convey the impact of a change. Data is influential and convincing, a necessary ingredient of every change rationale.  But there’s no emotion in data, and it’s that emotion that brings the data to life, that makes it memorable, enabling people to connect with the need for a change. Most people have …

Read more

Applying Liminal Agility

Leaders are expected to improve results, which means they are consistently challenged to drive change. Change is a disruption. Few people welcome disruption which makes it the root cause of resistance to change, and every leader’s primary obstacle to be overcome for successful implementation of needed change. In their new book, “Unleashed,” Rick and Amy Simmons, founders of the telos institute,explorea process of liminal agility that leaders may use to transform disruption into opportunity, accelerating the …

Read more

Job Satisfaction Drives Progress

Leadership is a people business. Results are achieved by influencing and inspiring your people to ask why, take responsibility, and make a difference for customers, teammates, and the business as a whole.  During this time of unrelenting change and adaptation, it becomes clearer that your people are your most sustainable competitive advantage. They are the face of your business, doing the meaningful work and delivering the experiences that build enduring relationships. Growth relies on these relationships.  One system …

Read more

The Value of Meetings

One client recently commented that he’s attending more meetings now than he previously did before the Covid shutdown, and it’s destroying his productivity. It’s a complaint I’m hearing more frequently.  When I asked if his concern was due to the higher number of meetings he’s being requested to attend, or because the meetings themselves were unproductive, he replied that both were issues for him. Time is an irreplaceable asset.  Deciding how much of your valuable time to …

Read more

Winning the Unconvinced

When it’s time for a change, about a third of the people welcome it, and they can tell you specifically why they do so. They can describe its benefits and the possibilities it offers. They are the advocates who generate the early momentum for the change.  But the initial reaction of most people, the other two thirds of those impacted, is resistance. Perhaps half of this group needs time to process what the change means to them; let’s …

Read more

Choosing Agile Tactics

Strategy and tactics are complementary. Both are needed to achieve goals, and neither works well without the other. While strategies tend to remain unchanged for long periods, tactics often evolve in reaction to changing circumstances or unforeseen obstacles.  In “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy,” Richard Rumelt writes: “The most basic idea of strategy is the application of strength against weakness; or if you prefer, strength applied to the most promising opportunity. A good strategy doesn’t just draw on existing …

Read more

Effective Discovery Enables Trust

When customers need to resolve a problem, they often limit the information they share with possible solution providers, keeping it focused on their short term need of fixing or replacing something. This enables them to control the dialogue, treat all suppliers as commodity vendors and quickly compare alternatives to facilitate a prompt decision on the basis of price and delivery. If your solutions are more complex, with a related higher purchase investment, and there’s the …

Read more

Cultivating Team Accountability

Since leaders are responsible for the performance of their teams, they often assume the role of primary accountability monitor for each team member.   In team meetings, each teammate reports to the leader, in turn, on her or his activities. The result is a one-sided presentation of information between team member and leader, with little dialogue occurring among the rest of the team. This creates an environment in which team members assume that the leader is the only …

Read more

Your Leadership Is Reflected in Your People

In a rapidly changing market, with accelerating workflows, responding to urgent operational issues is an increasingly common occurrence. Often, there is no time to wait while senior leadership decides how best to respond, so front-line, customer-contact employees are challenged to make “in the moment” decisions which can have a serious impact on the company’s reputation, brand awareness and finances. Situations like these provide teaching opportunities that support talent development. High impact, urgent and rapidly evolving scenarios will continue …

Read more