Facing the Virtual World

The virtual world is sold on these features. More individual freedom. Work at home, learn at will, and control your own time. Get information you need on demand. Be a global citizen. The challenge is to address the human and workplace consequences of the technological and cultural forces that constantly drive us toward speed, control, efficiency, and short-term results.

Moving Past Persistent Resistance

Years ago, I was partnering with our organization’s IT team to outfit a new computer lab. There were a lot of details to work out. I was approaching the project with the learner in mind. My IT counterpart was focused on minimizing the cables that would be crisscrossing the room. Unfortunately, my want for the learner was not lining up with his want for the scope of work needed to get the lab ready.

Business Partnering: The Secret to Influence in the Workplace

If you want to become a valued partner, then the sole use of your technical expertise and experience will be insufficient. You may give excellent advice and even create stunning slide decks that can mesmerize executives, but if they don’t have a trusting relationship with you, then your power to generate desirable change is a mere illusion…vapor in a windstorm. To avoid this miserable situation, you must multiply your technical expertise by applying faithful persistence for building trust. You can do this by building your business partnering skills.

You Don’t Need An Expert. You Need a PARTNER.

Experts are constantly touted as the only ones knowledgeable and powerful enough to lead. But there is a catch. Relinquishing responsibility to an expert breeds an unhealthy dependency. When problems inevitably come up again you won’t know how to confront them yourself. There is also a problem for the consultant. If you’re the consultant, this tendency also makes your job harder because removing the client from the problem-solving process makes it more likely the changes your recommend will be resisted.

How To Reimagine Workplace Politics

The traditional rules of workplace politics center around managing and manipulating situations, information, and people to your own advantage. Tactics include being very cautious in telling the truth, selectively invoking high-level names to gain support, closely managing relationships, and paying great attention to what the people above you want. A sea of books will tell you that you’ll gain attention, move up the ranks, and pull your own strings by mastering these strategies. And you probably will. But in the process, you perpetuate a patriarchal cycle that actually coerces you to surrender your power and autonomy.

How Useless Are “Performance Standards” In The Workplace Today?

Ask people to define the performance standards that will have meaning for them. Then have them talk about how they want to hold themselves accountable. This reduces the possibility that measurable performance standards will become punitive. Once measures become punitive, people will work to outsmart them to survive; learning decreases, and energy that should be going toward achieving the work is replaced by subversive efforts to “beat the system.”

How to Create “Organizational Cooperation” that Succeeds for Clients and Citizens

When it comes to organizational cooperation, refuse to settle for the thought that because a gathering occurred and words were exchanged that anything meaningful happened. Instead, reframe the nature of the gathering by focussing on the core issue of why barriers to true cooperation persist. Address “why” they’re protecting territory. They must confront the question: “What are you willing to give up for the sake of the larger purpose?”

Wanting Proof Positive: Reframing the “Measurable Outcomes” Problem

Thus, whenever a change is discussed, there will be an immediate demand for measurable outcomes and hard data that the change will improve the operations. But what happens when what you value cannot be easily measured? In fact, many of the things that matter most in your organization defy measurement. Let’s explore how to reframe the cult of measurability in order to ensure you pursue not only what “works” but what matters.

Taking It To Scale: Reframing the “Scalability” Problem

Whenever a pilot...

Recent Articles

Facing the Virtual World

The virtual world is sold on these features. More individual freedom. Work at home, learn at will, and control your own time. Get information you need on demand. Be a global citizen. The challenge is to address the human and workplace consequences of the technological and cultural forces that constantly drive us toward speed, control, efficiency, and short-term results.

Moving Past Persistent Resistance

Years ago, I was partnering with our organization’s IT team to outfit a new computer lab. There were a lot of details to work out. I was approaching the project with the learner in mind. My IT counterpart was focused on minimizing the cables that would be crisscrossing the room. Unfortunately, my want for the learner was not lining up with his want for the scope of work needed to get the lab ready.

Business Partnering: The Secret to Influence in the Workplace

If you want to become a valued partner, then the sole use of your technical expertise and experience will be insufficient. You may give excellent advice and even create stunning slide decks that can mesmerize executives, but if they don’t have a trusting relationship with you, then your power to generate desirable change is a mere illusion…vapor in a windstorm. To avoid this miserable situation, you must multiply your technical expertise by applying faithful persistence for building trust. You can do this by building your business partnering skills.

You Don’t Need An Expert. You Need a PARTNER.

Experts are constantly touted as the only ones knowledgeable and powerful enough to lead. But there is a catch. Relinquishing responsibility to an expert breeds an unhealthy dependency. When problems inevitably come up again you won’t know how to confront them yourself. There is also a problem for the consultant. If you’re the consultant, this tendency also makes your job harder because removing the client from the problem-solving process makes it more likely the changes your recommend will be resisted.

How To Reimagine Workplace Politics

The traditional rules of workplace politics center around managing and manipulating situations, information, and people to your own advantage. Tactics include being very cautious in telling the truth, selectively invoking high-level names to gain support, closely managing relationships, and paying great attention to what the people above you want. A sea of books will tell you that you’ll gain attention, move up the ranks, and pull your own strings by mastering these strategies. And you probably will. But in the process, you perpetuate a patriarchal cycle that actually coerces you to surrender your power and autonomy.

How Useless Are “Performance Standards” In The Workplace Today?

Ask people to define the performance standards that will have meaning for them. Then have them talk about how they want to hold themselves accountable. This reduces the possibility that measurable performance standards will become punitive. Once measures become punitive, people will work to outsmart them to survive; learning decreases, and energy that should be going toward achieving the work is replaced by subversive efforts to “beat the system.”

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