Tools and techniques for effective communication: The platinum rule

Tools and techniques for effective communication: The platinum rule The late, great Gerald Rosen, a contracts professor at Loyola Law School, used to say, “If you can’t get them on the merry-go-round, get them on the swings; if you can’t get them on the swings, get them on the slide; if you can’t get them on the slide, get them on the monkey bars.”


Don’t Let Limited Perspective Destroy Your Team

Recently, I’ve watched an organization of passionate and caring people disintegrate. The limited perspective of leaders and team members has frustrated communication and problem-solving. They’ve devolved into camps of us vs. them. It can happen to any team if you don’t pay attention to how you see the world. Don’t Let Limited Perspective Destroy Your Team


Great feedback is "EARNed"

During leadership trainings I will often ask participants to describe what good (and poor) feedback looks and feels like. Great feedback is «EARNed»


What are you willing to give up to change the way we work?

What does it take to build the fast, flexible, creative teams needed to challenge entrenched work culture? For transformation expert Martin Danoesastro, it all starts with one question: «What are you willing to give up?» He shares lessons learned from companies on both sides of the innovation wave on how to structure your organization so that people at all levels are empowered to make decisions fast and respond to change. […]


Seven key steps to getting out of your team’s way

Early in the year I wrote about my personal vision to create better, happier workplaces and my commitment to focus on the management behaviors that lead to ideal workplaces. In the first blog post I shared the benefits of and best approaches to positive reinforcement. This week we’ll look at getting out of your team’s way. Yes, you read that right. People are happier when they have a leader who […]


The Feedback Fallacy

The debate about feedback at work isn’t new. Since at least the middle of the last century, the question of how to get employees to improve has generated a good deal of opinion and research. But recently the discussion has taken on new intensity. The ongoing experiment in “radical transparency” at Bridgewater Associates and the culture at Netflix, which the Wall Street Journal recently described as “encouraging harsh feedback” and […]


Why Visionary Leadership Fails

Visionary leadership is widely seen as key to strategic change. That’s because visionary leadership does not just set the strategic direction — it tells a story about why the change is worth pursuing and inspires people to embrace the change. Not surprisingly, then, science and practice have a very positive view of visionary leadership as a critical leadership competency. Why Visionary Leadership Fails


To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself

A colleague and I were recently meeting with a CEO and his leadership team, observing them as they discussed how to improve their annual planning process. As the team of ten explored their current process, the conversation got heated. The team had been talking for 45 minutes, but it wasn’t clear who was leading the discussion or what their objectives were. Many comments were off-topic, and they were not getting […]


A rocker’s guide to management

In his languidly titled autobiography, “Life”, Keith Richards tells a story that captures something about the workplace culture of the Rolling Stones and his decades as the band’s guitarist. It’s 1984 and the Stones are in Amsterdam for a meeting (yes, even Keith Richards attends meetings). That night, Richards and Mick Jagger go out for a drink and return to their hotel in the early hours, by which time Jagger […]



Garry Ridge is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the WD-40 Company, a billion-dollar business with a 93% employee engagement index. Garry Ridge on CultureLab