Employee Engagement And Empowerment

Employee engagement is defined as an active state related to productivity and innovation. Engaged employees can be described as being fully immersed in and enthusiastic about their work.  This emotional attachment means that employees will go above and beyond the call of duty. Employee Engagement differs from employee satisfaction.  Satisfaction can be described as being happy at work. Engagement…

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We’ve Lost Our Collective Identity and It’s Killing Your Business

Leading an U.S.-based business during these volatile times in our history has never been more challenging. Race relations are being tested every day across the country. There's a threat that emerging public policy may wipe-out a large portion of the lower-end labor force. The direction of international business dealings is in question as the promise of new trade laws and tariffs looms. Many…

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C-Suite Tip Number 1

We all know about the pyramid structure. It's a generic way to think about an enterprise and how most are organizationally design. Divided into three layers, the top layer of the pyramid is comprised of the senior-most leaders. These are the people responsible for setting strategic direction and guiding the enterprise towards its future. While certainly concerned with quarterly performance, the…

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Freedom to Shine: Empowerment through Free Will

There is recent research that points to the notion that the belief in free will is a significant predictor to personal achievement.  It is suggested through this work that one's motivation is often accelerated when they believe that their effort can determine results - and, that their progress will not be slowed or redirected by outsideinfluencers that exist beyond their control. That said,…

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How Peer Pressure to Conform Affects Your Business

I've written about staff engagement from the top-down in many of my past columns--written from the perspective of executives engaging their people in transformation work. But, this is the first time that I've tackled the subject from the bottom-up. How do staff members engage their executive sponsors in the process of change management? As a management consultant responsible for driving…

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These Common (and Unnecessary) Challenges Are Keeping Your Business From Success

The other day, I was watching Inc.'s very own Issie Lapowsky's Malcolm Gladwell interview. They were discussing Gladwell's most recent book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, when the topic of "Desirable Difficulties" was brought up in their conversation. As the theory goes, introducing certain difficulties into the learning process can greatly improve…

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How to Build Teamwork Through Heraldry

As a person of Scottish heritage, I grew up in a household that emphasized our rich family history. Our family's coat of arms served as the centerpiece of most discussions on the subject. Garnished in star and sun symbols colored in red, yellow and blue, I learned that our coat of arms represented different parts of our family's heritage and that its symbols and colors held important and specific…

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5 Tips to Building a Business to Scale in Today’s Competitive Market

Francis Bacon, father of the scientific method, famously said: "He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator." I couldn't agree more! Certainly, the time has come for business leaders to "apply new remedies" in their pursuit of building organizations that can rapidly react and respond to changes in the marketplace. Indeed, re-imagining business…

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5 Powerful Ways to Harness the Potential of Millennials

As many of my readers already know, I regularly cover the topic of the Gen Y worker and all of the opportunities and challenges that they represent in this column. In the past, I've offered some tips from mentoring to organizational restructuring. This piece takes a slightly different tack. It provides 5 solid ideas aimed at building the type of long-term relationships that work for businesses…

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Data Storytelling: Big Data’s Next Frontier

If you're looking for a business prediction for the year, here's one: "Data Storytellers will be in high demand." Many self-proclaimed business gurus are predicting this year will be the year of "Big Data". For those unfamiliar with the concept, big data is a general term for the processes and automated tools related to the search, capture, storage, curation, analysis and visualization of data.…

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Story Telling for Business Growth and Long-Term Accomplishment

As a management consultant that focuses on strategy and planning, I've had the occasion to put together some wonderful vision stories over the years. I've counseled my clients in the practice long before it was in vogue. In fact, it's amazing to me that vision stories are now considered "the thing to do" in business strategy work. I've been doing it for over 20 years! If you're not already "hip"…

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The No. 1 Thing Successful Companies Scale

I’ve often said, “if leadership doesn’t scale neither will your organization.” Experience has led me to conclude there is no greater contribution a leader can make to the enterprise than developing a true culture of leadership. Here’s the thing – a culture of leadership can only exist when leaders understand their primary obligation is to develop other leaders. If leadership is sought after,…

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A Leadership Job Description

When was the last time you read a leadership job description? We have job descriptions for every position under the sun, but I’ve yet to see one for leaders. Virtually every job description you’ll read lists “leadership ability” as a quality/characteristic/attribute that is valued, and in fact, most list it as a requirement. So why is it we place so much value in leaders, when we can’t even…

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Leadership & the Super Committee

It's been a while since I've weighed-in on the political front, and with the recent failure of the Budget Super Committee, I thought it would be an interesting time to examine the difference between statesman and politician.  I don’t know about you, but I’m so fed-up with the rhetoric and the gamesmanship in Washington that I’m about ready to give-up on all politicians. Our country was founded by…

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When to Restructure

To restructure or not to restructure? That is the question many a business is forced to ask at some point during their life cycle. The mere discussion of corporate reengineering can cause fear, anxiety, and in some cases even panic. This is so much the case that some CEOs will avoid restructuring initiatives at all costs. There are even some business theorists that warn against undertaking…

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There IS an “I” in Team

As much as some don't want to hear this, there is an "I" in team - there is simply no getting around the fact that teams are comprised of individuals. If you crush the individual character and spirit of those who form your team, how can your team operate at its best? It cannot. The strongest teams don't weed out or neutralize individual tendencies, they capitalize on them. The goal of a leader is…

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