Our political leaders present models of behavior that are likely to be imitated. Their example may be interpreted as defining the characteristics of success itself. For this reason, it is imperative that those of us who write about leadership give voice to the necessary virtues of success that will sustain our culture, companies and country, particularly when they are different from those on display today. Many Americans are losing faith in our nation’s leadership while those outside our country are losing […]
The New Manager – Leading People, Teams and Processes New manager training is a challenge for every company. I have just completed and published a new course to fulfill the need of training new managers (or those hoping to be) in the essential people and team management skills. It is based on principles and practices of lean culture. A lot of the material in this course is similar to my Team Leadership course, however, every lecture is new and hopefully […]
Now that the election is past and we know the outcome, I feel a need to speak out on what I believe to be a crisis in American leadership. This transcends party. I would be amazed if even one citizen believes that the political parties selected the two best possible candidates from our vast population of qualified and experienced executive talent. Both parties, and the American people, must reconsider how we go about selecting a candidate and the personal leadership qualities of those candidates.
Implementing Lean Organization & Leadership Dear Friends, I have three online courses that I consider the core courses for implementing lean leadership and culture. I have published a book that corresponds with each of these three courses. I want you to not only have lifetime access to the courses, but I also want you to have the corresponding book. So… I will email you an ebook/epub version of the corresponding book if you will sign up for any of the following […]
For the past several months I have been focused on completing two related projects. Both focused on the development of coaching skills and your capacity to provide coaching to every leader and team. One is the publication of a book, The Lean Coach. The second is the launch of a new online course, Coaching Leaders for Success. To change the culture of an organization you must change the habits of leaders and teams. Habits rarely change without the assistance of a coach. The Necessity of Coaching Most […]
Lean implementation requires a change in culture. The change is to create the habits of continuous improvement, problem-solving and teamwork. For many companies, this is a struggle. While it is never easy, the blended learning model greatly increases the probability of success. Relying on single modes and a short-term focus will almost guarantee failure. The Blended Learning Model Over the past five years I have worked with VON Canada to implement lean culture, and with considerable success. There are many […]
As a student of leadership and history it is impossible to avoid a search for meaning in the current political theater. There are lessons for business leaders in the mental models exhibited by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. How they solve problems can change our world for better or worse. This is a non-partisan discussion. Are political leaders a reflection of the culture or do they set the culture? Probably, both. If we understand how some of the current candidates both […]
Google’s Research on Their Own Teams Google is one of the smartest companies on earth today. They pursue excellence in both their products and their people with more determination than almost any other organization. Some while ago they recognized that teams were the foundation of their organization and culture. Sound familiar? They have just completed a thorough research effort to determine what makes teams high performing, or not. It is published in today’s New York Times Magazine and I strongly […]
As a student of leadership I must offer my hopes and prayers for the coming year, and to do so I will defer to the wisdom of George Washington. It will be a critical year and those of us who give serious thought to the subject of leadership have a responsibility to speak out. I will avoid becoming overtly political, but this year will be dominated by politics. The subject of leadership and how or why voters choose leaders cannot be avoided.
Many organizations are not gaining the potential benefits of teams in the workplace due to misunderstandings about team autonomy and self-control. This is a critical issue in organization design and leadership today. Let’s clarify both the benefits and the determinants of team autonomy.
I suggest that both Bezos and those interviewed for the Times article are honestly and accurately portraying the culture as seen through their eyes and their experience. Amazon is straddling the Barbarian and Builder/Explorer stage of my life cycle model. This is a good place to be in an external environment that is filled with rapidly emerging competitors and changing technologies. If you aren’t conquering you are probably about to be conquered!
Imagine your CEO, each time he or she was challenged, turning on the person asking the question and proclaiming “you’re loser” or, “that’s because you’re stupid!” My mother, and probably your own, taught me not to call others names. Someone said “turn the other cheek.” Why in politics is this kind of response apparently acceptable to so many people when it should immediately be recognized as uncivil behavior and a disqualification for any public office?
The purpose of presidential campaigns is to put on display the qualities of leadership of each candidate so we may choose among them. But what are those qualities we seek, why, and do they match the needs of the age in which we live? If we were a corporate search committee we would want to align the strategic challenges of the firm with the competencies of the candidates.
The world of corporate training and development has yet to fully embrace the new reality of technology, online resources, and the need to integrate learning into the daily habits of all managers and team members. This requires a deliberate map of the learning process, eliminating waste, and breaking down silos.
Implementing lean management, or any other change in the culture of organizations, requires a zoom lens to see the different levels of complexity required. Toyota Kata, lean tools, and other methods operate at some focal lengths and not at others. The well informed manager will have the ability to understand complexity and to use simple methods when appropriate. If you are photographer with only a 300mm lens you will miss a lot of great photos.