Moss, trees, and root cause

Have you ever really looked at moss? Many years ago, my mother and I went to a botanical garden where all the “lawns” were moss. (How many years ago? Somewhere around here, I have the VHS video cassette from that garden, promoting the concept of moss lawns!) I could argue that moss wants more shade than most lawns, and that it’s …

Do you “best practice”?

This may be somewhat controversial, but so-called “best practices” are often more like “somewhat effective ways of doing things.” And all too often, “best practice” is just another term for a blueprint or template. I am not a fan of blueprints and templates. (If you follow me on LinkedIn, you’ve probably noticed that.) I’m not saying that there aren’t better, and …

What “change” is – really

Change is a reaction. Or perhaps I should say: the decision to change is a reaction. A reaction to … something. That “something” could be any number of things: significant economic or market factors, a leader’s insecurity and / or “shiny object syndrome,” a perception of new opportunities, unhealthy cultural shifts, and so on. On a personal level, it could be …

Don’t drop that ball!

If you’ve ever complained about being overwhelmed, overbusy, or burned out, some helpful (?) person has undoubtedly advised, “You need to drop some of those balls you’re juggling!” These days, with so much about burnout in the news – and, more to the point, in our organizations and lives – “Drop those balls!” must be ringing down office corridors and …

What does “communication” actually mean?

Everyone agrees that leaders need to communicate. But what does that actually mean? Most people learn to talk and express what they want and what they’re thinking as young children. They learn in school to answer questions, and to write essays and papers. And then we get into the workplace and we believe communication will “just happen.” But does it, really? …

Hammers, coffeemakers, and offices

The office isn’t a place to go to work. It’s a tool to be used for work. You wouldn’t use a hammer to make your coffee, any more than you’d use your French press coffeemaker to drive a nail. When we stop thinking about the office as “a place where we work,” but instead look at it as “a tool …

Time: the ultimate NFT

Time. It’s ubiquitous – it’s everywhere – we swim around in it like the proverbial fish oblivious to the water it swims through and breathes. And that ubiquitousness, that everywhereness, that swimming-in-it-ness, means we usually don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. Even as we bemoan the lack of time, and wish we had more, and try to …

Care to predict?

I asked senior leaders and executives what they felt their first-line and mid-level leaders most needed to learn, understand, and practice. Every one of them said the same thing. ~ strategic thinking ~ No question: understanding strategy, how to envision and plan for the future, is an essential leadership skill. These days, with so much in flux (Omicron variant, anyone?), …

Your employees: two tips and a mindset shift

Employees – can’t live with them, can’t live without them, right? Ha. Almost everyone I’ve spoken with recently has said they’re dealing with a higher-than-usual turnover rate (i.e., the Great Resignation), or they’re struggling to hire. Or both. It’s Yet Another Stress Factor in an already really difficult time. And I encourage you to recognize, even in the midst of …

Is there really a Great Resignation?

Yes, I think so. People have been arguing with me about this, but the data don’t lie. (Yes, I insist on “data” being plural, thank you.) The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that April and May, 2021, had the highest “quit rate” EVER. As in, never before this high. As in, really, really high. Look, I get the impulse to …