Category: Uncategorized

Team Building Lessons – How Much Time Should We Spend Planning?

One of the things we’ve learned in our two-and-a-half decades of facilitating team building programs is how common it is for teams to jump into challenges without spending any time planning. Granted this is a human impulse, as many of us are compelled to take a “do think do” approach to problems, puzzles, and challenges. It’s an interesting phenomenon when it comes to work teams, though, as you wouldn’t think about allocating money to a marketing campaign or R & D project without some planning. Sure, the stakes are much lower, but teams are still driven to win or at

Team Building Lessons – Do We Try a New Approach?

Team Building Lessons - Do We Try a New Approach?

The great thing about team building isn’t just how fun it is, but also how well its lessons apply back at the office. The other day we were doing an event with a group which involved completing an activity where the team has to touch a series of numbers scattered on the floor randomly in as fast a time as possible. The group got five goes at this activity, so a limited number of attempts. What’s interesting is how differently groups approach this challenge. Some dive right in, trying one technique or strategy, then maybe scratching it and trying something

Team Building Lessons

Proving Team Building ROI can be tricky in that it’s not something that produces clear data. You can’t easily say that your team building program in spring led to an amazing sales quarter, or that it directly reduced attrition, or helped with that product break-through you’d been searching for. However, team building gives back what you put into it, and team building events provide a treasure trove of learnings that you can bring back to the workplace. In this vein, we’re starting a “Team Building Lessons” series in which we provide anecdotes. Do We Try a New Approach? How Much

Why You Should Stop Using Business Jargon in the Workplace

Stop Using Business Jargon at the Office

A few years ago I was speaking with a marketing director at an industry event and I asked her what she was currently focused on at work. I quickly regretted askinco-workerstook a deep breath and launched into a protracted spiel about how she was leveraging cross-departmental assets in order to create a thought-leadership platform that would re-focus downstream marketing efforts on initiatives that drive revenue, you know, campaigns that really “move-the-needle.” While I had an inkling of what she was talking about, for people outside of marketing it would sound like Klingon. Plus, to me and most people, this type

Why Ongoing Management Training is Critical for Your Organization

Importance of ongoing management training

Promotion to management: it’s a badge of pride for almost any employee. The coveted manager role seems to be one of the only ways to advance one’s career and garner more power and responsibility within an organization. But have you ever considered why people are most commonly promoted into this position? Often promotion to management comes as a result of two things  – one being job tenure, i.e. the amount of time on the job, and the other being individual performance, i.e. sales numbers or contributions to a particularly important project. While both of these types of employees should be

The Power of Storytelling in Business

The Power of Storytelling in Business

Most employees think that storytelling is something reserved for books and the big screen, but this belief is robbing companies of one of humanity’s greatest tools. Stories have been used from the dawn of humankind to pass down valuable information and engage people’s attention. Yet somehow stories still aren’t utilized by business people to help aid them in their work. This is likely because we mistakenly think of stories as purely entertainment. Stories can be colorful and emotional, and sometimes they are embellished to make them come to life in the minds of the audience. Because of this, they can

The Four Part After Action Review

After Action Review Four Part Templaet Developed by US Army

If you’ve just completed a campaign or significant action of some sort – like internal restructuring, changing business processes, or launched a product in a new market – and you’re not setting aside time to examine how that action went, then you’re missing out on a tremendous learning opportunity. Successful business teams know the importance of a thorough after action review. A process originating from the US Army’s National Training Center, the After Action Review (AAR) process was started as a way to evaluate information learned after a military operation by systemizing the process of generating feedback and recording it

What is switchtracking and how does it affect feedback?

What is switchtracking and how does it affect feedback

Switchtracking is a fascinating phenomenon that you may not have heard of, but you almost certainly have experienced. With that in mind, let me paint a picture for you instead of giving a definition. Susan has begun a feedback conversation with a co-worker, John, and it goes something like this: Susan: I received your finished report, however, it’s using the old style of formatting and I am frustrated that you didn’t use our new template. John: So I turned in my report early, to make sure it fit your shortened deadline, and again you can’t help but criticize my work.

The Importance of Ongoing Relationship Building Between Employees

The Importance of Ongoing Relationship Building Between Employees

Technology is rapidly changing the workplace and the relationships therein. With myriad technologies to keep us connected, including phones, email, instant messenger, and video conferencing, it allows us to easily stay in touch. As a result of these technological advances, many companies have embraced remote working situations, allowing employees to stay home a few times a week, or even weeks at a time. Even more radical, some companies have gone almost entirely virtual, like app-integration company Zapier and Automattic, the company behind the world’s most popular content management system (and what our site is built on) WordPress. (Shoutout to Zapier,

Embracing Employer Review Sites

Embracing Company Review Sites for Job Seekers

If we were on a trip visiting a new city and I asked you to pick a bar, restaurant, or tour company, what would you do? More than likely you’d slip your phone out of your pocket and launch the Yelp! app. And if I asked you to the movies, you’d assuredly check Rotten Tomatoes before agreeing to meet me for Vin and Dwayne’s latest installment Fast and the Furious. (No judgment if you decide not to go.) With the dominance of sites like Yelp! and Rotten Tomatoes, it seems we’ve fully embraced the culture of ratings and reviews. So

Chief Culture Officers: Guiding Corporate Culture for Success

Chief Culture Officer

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That quippy line, attributed to famous management guru Peter Drucker, seems to have taken on new significance with companies over the past decade. Corporate culture is showing up in the news with increasing frequency, often in reference to negative cultural attributes contributing to shady business practices or toxic work environments. While these negative cultures can show up in companies of any age, a lot of recent news has been focused on startups, like Uber, which employed questionable business tactics and had numerous recurring issues with sexism. Likewise, fellow tech-unicorn Zenefits’ culture was infamous – with

15 Myers Briggs® Personality Type Charts of Fictional Characters

myers-briggs-personality-types-chart

Let’s face it — learning about our Myers Briggs® type can be pretty darn fun. Reading through the lists of traits and saying, “Man, that’s so me!” Comparing your traits with those of friends and family is especially entertaining. We think to ourselves, hmm, that’s why my co-worker Jackie and I get along so well, or that’s why my Uncle Bob drives me nuts. It provides a little framework and puts words to things we knew somewhat intuitively, but never quite put our finger on. With the amount of time we spend streaming video and with our noses in pop-fiction books,

3 Post Meeting Questions to Support Better Decision Making and Get Things Done

Have you ever walked away from a lengthy meeting or conversation, one chock full of discussion and strategizing, and later thought to yourself, “Wait, did we actually decide on anything?” Often the answer is fuzzy. You may have thought you decided on something, but aren’t sure how the others saw things. Maybe there was consensus on a decision, but no follow-up steps. Or you don’t know who would be tasked with completing the assignments that said decision would imply. It’s not uncommon that one of two things happen – that either nothing gets done, despite everyone agreeing on a particular

Email Etiquette, Management, and Writing Tips

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Email consumes an inordinate amount of our time these days – one-third of our work day, apparently – so we thought it might be helpful to review some email tips and etiquette suggestions to make your time spent in Outlook, Gmail, et al. more efficient and effective. Without further ado, here they are:   Never forward anything without permission. Whenever you receive an email from someone, you must assume that if nobody else was CC’d or otherwise included, then they are not meant to read the contents of the email. It is most polite to ask about forwarding the information

Optimal Leadership Team Size: Bigger May Not Be Better

Optimal Leadership Team Size: Bigger May Not Be Better

In the fast paced world of business it seems as though the landscape is constantly changing. Technologies evolve rapidly, policies shift with changing political climates, consumer interests fluctuate, and economies boom and bust. Regardless what the change is, things never get simpler. Proof of this change can be found in the ever expanding C-Suite, which has grown as companies try to adapt. It used to be that the executive trilogy of a company consisted of the CEO, CFO, and COO, but this management team has grown in the past couple of decades. Now we see things like Chief Technology Officer,