The Poetry of Organizational Change

The Poetry of Organizational Change

“Successful organizational change,” he said, “requires analysis, diagnosis and dissatisfaction with the status quo.”

“It also requires a process for getting the change started, and it requires an ideal vision for the future. 

“The first part—the diagnosis—is analytical. It’s about collecting evidence.

“But creating an ideal vision? No amount of evidence will help you. 

“Creating an ideal vision—that’s the land of poets.”

Read More

Bad Team Conversations? You Might Be Why

Bad Team Conversations? You Might Be Why

Like many well-intentioned executives and managers I’ve met, it’s likely that you genuinely want to engage your team; you want them to feel like active participants in the decision-making process. You know that you don’t have all of the answers. 

And when a problem arises that needs to be solved, you gather your team together.  

“So, how are we going to solve this? I want to hear your ideas.” 

Silence. 

Then, someone cautiously speaks up, offering a suggestion. It’s not a bad idea, but it’s certainly not particularly creative or original. 

A few more team members chime in, providing slight variations on the first person’s ideas. But the ideas are hardly flowing freely. And they’re staring at the table, out the window or up where the wall meets the ceiling—anywhere but at you. 

You’re left wondering,

Read More

Sometimes, Be Less Predictable

Sometimes, Be Less Predictable

“I’m going to leave the room. When I come back, you will each need to be able to introduce five of your classmates to me.

"You have five minutes, starting now.”

This is frequently how I start a class at its first meeting of the semester. Sometimes, but not always, I stick my head back in the classroom after a minute or so if I don’t hear robust conversation and yell, “Get talking! You have three more minutes!”

The outcome is predictable. It’s a breath of energy and fun that kicks off the semester in a wonderful way. 

But the action itself is certainly not predictable. And that’s part of why it works.

Most of the time, most of us like clarity. We seek predictability in those around us; we engineer predictability into our daily routines. Such tendencies are helpful because they can help us be efficient and save our decision-making brain power for matters that truly need it. 

But being unpredictable has its place, its time and its value. 

Read More

Jam Your Way to Creativity, Community and Transcendence

Jam Your Way to Creativity, Community and Transcendence

“Jamming experiences are worthy of study because they are an often ecstatic way of balancing autonomy and interdependence in organizing. As such, they offer a different route, other than reciprocal disclosure, to community.” (Eisenberg, 1999, p. 139)

Upon reading that for the first time in 2007, I—along with several of my fellow doctoral classmates at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte—concluded that the author was probably—no, most certainly—high. 

Such sentences, we thought at the time, were likely only constructed under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. 

But before long,

Read More

Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Derek Sivers is an interesting guy--entrepreneur, speaker, musician, performer, writer, programmer, and more. I first heard him speak at a music business conference in 2004, when he was running CDBaby, the wildly successful online music store that catered to independent musicians. Sivers made a video a few years ago called "Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy." I think it's great. As a management professor, I've used it in class numerous times as a great way to spark discussion about leadership, followership, risk taking, creativity, and other related topics.

Check it out below and see what you think.