If you are in business, it’s very likely that you’re thinking about the design of your organization. You’re not alone. According to Deloitte, most companies believe organizational redesign is a critical issue. In fact, 92 % of participants in a 2016 global human capital study believe it is important or very important. “Fast-moving global markets and digital disruption have forced companies to innovate rapidly, adapt their products and services, and stay closer than ever to local customers. This has prompted a resurgence of interest in business organization.” Organizational redesign is always well intentioned. The impetus is born out of one of those “we can’t continueRead More →

Mention the word accountability and most leaders immediately envision a punitive system to address failed commitments and broken promises. At InitiativeOne, we understand that developing a culture of positive accountability requires much more than a scorecard involving measurement, review, and punitive consequences. A culture of positive accountability is the result of an intentional process to create a healthy leadership culture. We have helped many leaders understand and practice five powerful building blocks that transform accountability into a positive experience. First, a culture of positive accountability always requires Impeccable Communication. Aside from the obvious fact that honesty consistently ranks as a non-negotiable trait of effective leadership,Read More →

John Mertz drew inspiration from a grove of aspen trees in the Rockies. In Activate Leadership, Mertz shares about a snowshoe journey into the mountains and powerful revelation by his guide. The guide explained how the aspens grow in community. They do not grow alone. Rather, the aspens are bound together by an incredible root system. Those nuggets of wisdom and the elaboration found in Activate Leadership are a fitting reminder. Leaders are not so different from aspens. They grow better in community. Research and writing about the burgeoning numbers of millennials in the workplace has given rise to an affirmation of the importance of community. IRead More →

There is something contagious about a culture with highly engaged employees. Energy and a positive expectation about the future seem to permeate the atmosphere. What leader does not want that kind of environment? It’s not easy to get there. Most recipes for this kind of culture include a sizable measure of empowerment. Employees thrive when they are able to flex their leadership capacity. In Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek describes the “power” of empowerment for companies that want to raise the bar. According to Sinek, “the strength and endurance of a company does not come from products or services but from how well their peopleRead More →

“A healthy soul, therefore, must do two things for us. First, it must put some fire in our veins, keep us energized, vibrant, living with zest, and full of hope as we sense that life is, ultimately beautiful and worth living. Second, a healthy soul has to keep us fixed together. It has to continually give us a sense of who we are, where we came from, where we are going, and what sense there is in all of this.” Ronald Rolheiser, The Holy Longing What is true for individuals is also true in organizations. Every organization needs a combination of two elements. Healthy organizationsRead More →

Rosabeth Moss Kanter describes leadership integrity with compelling imagery. Leaders are “the laureates of the true and beautiful.” My mental picture of a laureate takes me back to the image of a victorious competitor being crowned with a laurel wreath. The recipient of the laurel wreath is recognized after training, competing and winning. So, in my mind, the wreath is a testament of significant investments before and during the race. It is evidence of preparation, self-control and successful execution in accordance with the rules of the game. Kanter’s language offers a virtuous picture and provides a safeguard against a narrow view of leadership. Leadership mustRead More →

Recently, I was sitting in a restaurant with a group of friends. One of my friends left his reading glasses in his car. When he strained in a desperate attempt to read themenu, I smiled and offered my glasses. Apparently, his desire to save a trip to the car was sufficient motivation to give them a try. My prescription was less precise than he expected. After a little effort, he was able to make out the words and order his meal. Problem solved. There was another solution. I could have read the menu to him and offered some suggestions. After all, I could see theRead More →

Last weekend I made a trip to the local auto parts store and picked up some wiper blades. I replaced the wiper blades on a beautiful sunny day. There was no threat of rain in the forecast. It was perfect day to replace them. The next time it rains I’ll be glad I did. The perfect time to prepare for leadership storms is before they happen. Practice impeccable communication Don’t wait for a conflict. Begin speaking with clarity today. Clarify your commitments, expectations and concerns. It takes practice. Delivering and receiving impeccable communication is a skill that is learned through repetition and reciprocity. The importanceRead More →

While serving in one of my first leadership assignments, I learned some valuable lessons about what it means to inspire others. I was in my twenties when I met a very special leadership mentor. She was old enough to be my grandmother. She was quite a warrior and I watched her battle. My time with her was brief. But, the lessons she taught me and her inspiration endures. From the time I met her until I watched her transition from this life to the next, I never considered how her courage would affect my life. I carry three enduring lessons about inspiration from her influence.Read More →

As Spring moves toward Summer, many students are ready to put on caps and gowns, listen to commencement speeches, and begin a new journey. It’s a season of change. Some emerging scholars have already accepted new positions and new assignments. Others are riding a wave of momentum into additional education. Most graduates have learned to steady themselves and expect the ubiquitous questions. At the top of the list of questions is the persistent inquiry, “What are you going to do after graduation?” It is a question that blends two stalwart leadership themes. Do you have a strategic plan for the next stage of your life?Read More →