Certified Man of Action Bob Gates was faced with a daunting challenge: successfully implementing a landmark cultural shift in the US Armed Forces – before Congress and President Obama could unsuccessfully botch the same job.
Lessons from the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ can apply to any change effort. Continue reading When Change is the Call of Duty
Former Defense Secretary and Honorary Man of Action Robert Gates salvaged two wars and shook up the Pentagon, while providing valued counsel to both Republican and Democratic presidents.
There are plenty of lessons to be learned from his memoir – about decision making, understanding culture, and getting shit done. Continue reading On Defense: Decisions, Debates, and Duty
Would you take business advice from this man? I did!
And here’s what I learned about motivating – and demotivating – employees. Continue reading Everything I Need to Know I Learned from George Carlin
Pity those who are in over their heads.
But a pox upon those who brazenly don’t even try.
You don’t need to give 109 percent or more to be a Man of Action – you just have to be present. Continue reading It’s All About Being a Man of Action
A lot of “Change Literature” wants you to follow one set, magically correct path.
Trouble is, every organization is different. For one, that path may be too narrow – for another, it may be too wide.
Some things to consider to make your change effort Just Right. Continue reading Goldilocks Your Change
Ever stand around waiting for a cashier to “get approval” on a return? Eventually, the manager punches his code into the register and walks away – that’s the “approval process”!
Bureaucracy wastes your time (you had to wait for the manager to show), disempowers employees, wastes money, and destroys the human spirit.
So stop doing that. Continue reading The Hunt for Red Tape
‘Teaching to the test’ may be a crap way to run a school, but letting employees know what gets an ‘A’ is both efficient and effective.
Setting clear objectives – when launching a project or designing a business process – is a winning idea. Here are some quick questions to check your thinking.
(Part Two of Two) Continue reading What’s the Objective II: Of Projects and Process
Clarifying objectives – that is, understanding the rationale behind expectations – allows a Man of Action to act wisely.
Properly articulating the “why” improves customer satisfaction, response speed, employee engagement, and more.
(Part One of Two) Continue reading What’s The Objective?
There are going to be times when you think, “Am I absolutely off my rocker? Or is everyone else?”
Your options are to absolutely lose your cool, or to find a common perspective. Here are some tips for the latter.
Continue reading Am I ‘That Guy’?
The piece in Sunday’s NYT – “I’m Not Texting, I’m Taking Notes” – managed to push every one of my (analog) buttons. Punks with no experience – and even fewer good ideas – have invaded our cubies and want to take over, NOW.
Naturally, I know exactly what must be done to move forward. But how did we end up like this? How have we destroyed the Organization? Some thoughts… Continue reading Talkin’ Bout the Squished Generation
A recent run-in with Indian transport and teleco bureaucracy brings into stark contrast the difference between a good “Process” and merely “procedures”.
Some ideas to help make your processes more flexible. Continue reading Design Adaptability Into Your Process
Don’t let the ball drop on making improvements in the New Year. Instead of quitting smoking or eating fewer carbs, why not try to build some healthy habits in the workplace?
Here are a dozen ideas to get started. Continue reading Twelve Resolutions for a Better 2017
In my previous post, I discussed the temptation of assigning blame during any kind of root cause analysis.
No matter the cause, understanding how employees were – and will be – expected to behave is key to successfully implementing a fix. Continue reading Expect Better
Even the best designed processes can have “bugs” discovered during implementation.
Here are six steps to prepare the team – and the organization – to minimize disruption and quickly recover. Continue reading Get the Bugs Out of a New Process
‘Scope Creep’ isn’t something that just happens to a project. It can be controlled, and good project managers know how to do that.
This post includes some causes and corrections of a common project malady.
Continue reading Stop Creep from Sneaking Up on You
One of my clients actually differentiated between ‘meetings’ and ‘working meetings’. EVERY meeting should be a ‘working meeting’!!!
Here are some tips other clients have implemented successfully to keep their meetings from being a tragic waste of human spirit. Continue reading Five Ways to Change Your Meeting Culture
A common perception is that ‘following a process’ means limiting staff creativity. When processes are designed and implemented correctly, that simply isn’t true.
Here are some non-traditional examples of very strict processes with very creative outputs.
Continue reading Freedom Within a Framework
‘Boy, changing things around here is like turning a ship. It takes a lot of time and a lot of ocean.’
Ships turn on a dime. Here’s how – and what it means for your change initiatives.
A ‘KT Classic’ by RJB and firm principal Sam Bernstine. Continue reading Sailing Through Change