Training and Education

Recently, while discussing how job descriptions and evaluation criteria impact collaboration, a director commented, “Behavior. That’s what we’re after. Behavior.” Her comment struck me as both familiar and very odd. However, the director’s comment did...

Give Yourself a Gift: Reflection Time

This time of year is associated with giving gifts to others. But I think it is also a good time to think about the gifts we can give ourselves. One that we can all afford is the gift of reflection time. Let me tell you a story. I have a friend, Jen, who is a pure...

Control and Creativity

Last month, I had the privilege to study with a renowned artist, Nancy Crow. It was a wonderful experience. Of course I learned about art —design principles, use of color, figure ground tension. I also came smack up against an issue that I see in so many...

Six Ways to Build Trust

Trust may seem mysterious—something that just happens or grows through some unknowable process. The good news is there are concrete actions that tend to build trust (and concrete actions that are almost guaranteed to break down trust). First, let’s agree on a...

Interview about Change with Marcus Blankenship

I recently sat down for an interview with Marcus Blankenship of Programming Leadership. We talked about my book, 7 Rules for Positive Productive Change, and how change plays out for people and organizations. You can listen to the full interview on Marcus...

Rules of Thumb for Agile Coaches

At the end of one of my Team Coaching workshops, a participant–an agile coach with years of experience– remarked, “I had no idea there was more to coaching than asking questions.” Another coach commented, “I see now why me teaching how to write stories...

An Alternative to the Annual Review

Well, it’s that time again — time for the yearly performance review. The ritual starts with gathering feedback, proceeds to assigning rating/ranking, and drags on through doling out a raise. Do you enjoy annual review ritual? Thought not. This year I think...

Change Artist Super Powers: Patience

John was out of patience. “It shouldn’t take this long!” John, the VP of Development, snapped. “This is a simple change. It is just not that hard!” The “it” John referred to was a set of measures and metrics. He believed that if all the teams reported these, everyone...

The Risks of Anonymous Feedback

In one of the online forums I participate in, someone declared that feedback between peers must be anonymous. His rationale was that people won’t be honest without anonymity. I have found that it is possible to be honest and not anonymous.  I’ve also found...

Change Artist Super Powers: Empathy

Some people seem to think that empathy has no place at work…that work requires a hard-nose, logic, and checking your emotions at the door. But, in periods of change, emotions—which are always present, whether we choose to acknowledge them or not—surge to the surface....

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