All entries by this author

Don’t Force Closure Prematurely

As human beings, we are not wired to embrace uncertainty. We like clear answers, defined outcomes and a well-articulated path to get there. The challenge is that real life doesn’t work that way. Our most important projects and changes are often rife with uncertainty. And forcing the issue and making snap decisions often does more harm than good. If we want to navigate the unknown well, we need to know the thinking styles that will best get us there.



Tyranny Of Rules Or Freedom To Choose?

Rules define how we approach virtually all aspects of life, not least of which is how we function in our organizations. There are the written rules, and the unwritten ones. Both shape our behaviour, and they interact with one another in fascinating and sometimes unpredictable ways. The larger question is how we interact with the rules around us—and whether or not it is safe, appropriate or advisable to do so. That depends a lot on the organization around us, how it functions and how we perceive our role within it.



The Written Rules Get In The Way

It’s the unwritten rules that arguably most influence the culture of organizations. And organizational culture spills over into customer experiences. What is not necessarily clear is where the unwritten rules come from. In many—if not most—instances, they are a reaction to the written rules. Sometimes the influence is constructive. When the written rules are bureaucratic, unthinking or unfeeling, the unwritten rules and resulting behaviours can also be subversive. And sometimes they’re just destructive.



Because Those Are The Rules

Cultural understanding is critical. Figuring out how we understand culture is a little bit more challenging. Models and frameworks help to understand the broad brush-strokes of culture. But if we want to understand the critical nuances, then we need to know the rules of how things get done. And that’s where things get complicated.



Next Webinar: You Are Your Own Imposter: A Guide to Recognizing and Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

For some, life feels like an endless journey of excitement and accomplishment. They move from success to success, opportunity to opportunity, revelling in their ability to show up, face the challenges of the day and successfully apply their skills and talents. For others, life feels like an endless tunnel of dread and anxiety. The move…
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Calling Out The Undiscussables

One of the most interesting things we do in organizations is render topics and truth undiscussable. Through an intersection of power and our own complicity, we allow for a rearranging of the facts to align with someone else’s preferences. That can have consequences for us, for our careers, and for our ability to simply have a coherent and objective conversation. As prevalent as the elephants in the room might be, though, there are some relatively straightforward strategies to both name them, and invite them to leave.



The Cultural Guide To Standing Out

Culture shapes how things get done in organizations. It also defines what gets believed, and what we accept as truths. We create a shorthand for what’s acceptable, and we broadly understand where the lines are that we should not cross. That’s all well and good, until we actually need to challenge the truths, and consider crossing the lines. When we need to stand up and stand out, things get interesting.



The Cultural Guide To Fitting In

It depends. It always depends. Figuring out how to approach situations, address challenges or secure decisions is some of the most difficult work that we do. We might know the outcome we want, but the challenge is successfully navigating the culture of the organization to secure the support that we need. Culture matters. Success in navigating culture means understanding how it works and figuring out how to respond. That’s easy to say, but harder to do.



Working On You

Entrepreneurs have a saying: you need to be working on your business, not just in your business. That often gets viewed as spending time on things like planning, marketing or establishing systems. But it goes beyond that. And while not all of us may be entrepreneurs or business owners, all of us need to take the time to work on ourselves.



Next Webinar: So You’re a Manager… Now What?

When I became a manager, I was incredibly naïve about what it meant ‘to manage’. I micro-managed everything. I had no sense of how to spend my time. I rushed from one task to another without any attempt to think about what I should be doing and ultimately, I failed in my new role. Not…
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