The power of irrelevant criteria

Obvious statement alert: good hiring practices are important. All too often, though, companies just sort of seat-of-the-pants their way through the hiring process. Different hiring managers have different criteria that may have nothing to do with any candidate’s actual potential. I’ll acknowledge that my dislike of people who wear shoes without socks may have impacted a decision or two in …

Is change hard? Or …?

There’s a common belief that change is hard. I disagree. I think mostly change is uncomfortable. The human brain loves routine, habit, consistency, familiarity. Shifting away from that – creating change – means the brain has to work harder… and fundamentally, the brain prefers to be lazy. It’s a neurobiological energy-conservation thing, as I wrote about here. Leaders of change in …

Changes to change?

All your change initiatives roll out precisely according to plan – right? No? Hmmm… Welcome to reality. As boxer Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” And as the Prussian Field Marshal Helmuth Carl Bernard von Moltke said, “No battle plan ever survives the first encounter with the enemy.” In other words, your …

What’s under the resistance?

Resistance is the bane of many change managers’ and leaders’ existence. And many of them try to just power through, using carrots and sticks – offers of rewards and threats of punishment – to get employees on board with change initiatives. In the timelessly annoying words of Dr. Phil… how’s that workin’ for you? My experience would indicate: notsogreat. When …

The lingering scent of … problems

I bought a new-to-me used car about five years ago. It’s a good car. I like it, it’s got plenty of space for the dog, it drives well, and it gets decent gas mileage. The previous owner clearly loved her perfume. After five years, the car still stinks has a distinctly perfumey scent. Even my husband, who’s (yay for him) much …

What’s your take on values?

Serious question: What’s your take on values? How do you identify them and then commit to them? Is there a process you’ve used, or have you simply gone with what feels right? I’ve wrangled with this for years now, even as I’ve worked with clients to identify their values and help them integrate those values into their work, business, and …

Consulting and “hoof in mouth” disease

“This will be so much simpler than what you’re doing now – there will be so much less to do!” That was me, many years ago in my early days of tech project management, cheerfully extolling the benefits of the new software I was at the client’s to install. Whoops. Open mouth, insert foot. The client project manager’s eyes got …

Why I talk about neuroscience

Have you heard of “neurobabble”? Maybe you’ve heard of “neuroleadership,” “neuro-ethics,” “neuro-law,” and other – yes, I’ll say it – equally ridiculous terms. I talk about neuroscience as it relates to change. And I freely admit that in doing so, I over-simplify complex topics, and could reasonably be accused of jumping on the neurobabble bandwagon. (At least I don’t talk …

Got cats? Let’s herd ’em!

Once upon a time, I had ten cats. Yes, it was a lot. Yes, it was very furry. Yes, I went through a lot of kitty litter! Maybe I’m stretching a metaphor to the breaking point, but in my experience, trying to get all stakeholders in a change initiative heading in the right direction can be a whole lot like …

Resistance is NOT inevitable!

A lot of my work focuses on how to get people, teams, and organizations past the resistance to change that tends to crop up. But resistance is not inevitable, though I’ve been known to say – wrongly – that it is. And yes, I’m calling myself out. Change can be exciting and motivating, even in the midst of uncertainty and the …