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 […]

 

CultureLab

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

 

If Humility Is So Important, Why Are Leaders So Arrogant?

A recent management column in the Wall Street Journal appeared under the appealing headline, “The Best Bosses Are Humble Bosses.” The article reported that humble leaders “inspire close teamwork, rapid learning and high performance in their teams.” It even reported that one HR consulting firm is planning to introduce an assessment to identify personality traits that include “sincerity, modesty, fairness, truthfulness, and unpretentiousness,” inspired in part by what two psychology professors […]

 

Find Purpose in Even Your Most Mundane Tasks at Work

More and more companies are embracing the idea that they might have a purpose that goes beyond their balance sheet, one that makes the world a better place in some way. Perhaps you’re proud to count your firm as one of them. But a noble corporate mission can feel quite distant from the realities of everyday working life. How are we supposed to feel a higher sense of purpose amid […]

 

5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

The best teachers all have at least one thing in common: they ask great questions.  They ask questions that force students to move beyond simple answers, that test their reasoning, that spark curiosity, and that generate new insights. They ask questions that inspire students to think, and to think deeply. 5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

 

“We Need People to Lean into the Future”

For years, Walmart seemed to understand exactly what its customers wanted. It developed complicated consumer analytics and used that data, along with relentless pressure on suppliers, to become a retail powerhouse that sold practically everything at the lowest possible prices. “We Need People to Lean into the Future”

 

If Your Team Agrees on Everything, Working Together Is Pointless

Collaboration is crumpling under the weight of our expectations. What should be a messy back-and-forth process far too often falls victim to our desire to keep things harmonious and efficient. Collaboration’s promise of greater innovation and better risk mitigation can go unfulfilled because of cultural norms that say everyone should be in agreement, be supportive, and smile all the time. The common version of collaboration is desperately in need of a […]

 

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

Have you ever found yourself stretched too thin? Do you sometimes feel overworked and underutilized? Do you feel motion sickness instead of momentum? Does your day sometimes get hijacked by someone else’s agenda? Have you ever said “yes” simply to please and then resented it? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.   Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

 

Sparking creativity in teams: An executive’s guide

Although creativity is often considered a trait of the privileged few, any individual or team can become more creative—better able to generate the breakthroughs that stimulate growth and performance. In fact, our experience with hundreds of corporate teams, ranging from experienced C-level executives to entry-level customer service reps, suggests that companies can use relatively simple techniques to boost the creative output of employees at any level. Sparking creativity in teams: […]