McDonald's in India

McDonald's in India“That’s the way we’ve always done it.”

It’s the phrase that sends chills down the spine of every change agent and creative thinker. In change management training programs, we provide leaders with techniques and strategies for overcoming these objections and short-sighted modes of thinking that hinder progress. These change managers can challenge individuals with a rigid perspective and help them think beyond their current experience so they’re more open to new possibilities.

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Photo of Cheer Cast

Photo of Cheer CastA new docuseries on Netflix has exploded in popularity over the past few weeks and turned a group of community college cheerleaders into overnight celebrities. Cheer is a six-part series that follows the award-winning Navarro College Cheer Team as they prepare to defend their title in the National Championship competition in Daytona, Florida. Throughout the series, a handful of athletes become the focal point of the series, but no one captures viewers’ hearts quite like Jerry Harris.Read More

Photo of Australian Fires

Photo of Australian FiresToday’s blog is from Australian contributor, Dr. Tom Verghese. Tom is Principal and Founder of Cultural Synergies. His work helps organizations perform at optimal levels, improving cross-border staff engagement, communication, and relationships.

Welcome to 2020—a whole new decade! I hope this finds you well and focused on your goals for the year ahead.

Being located in Australia, it has been impossible not to be affected by the situation currently occurring before my eyes. As many of you may know, Australia has been experiencing one of the worst fire seasons on record. The sheer scale and devastation brought on by the fires to the environment, people and animals has been beyond comprehension. This crisis has highlighted the ways in which, despite the obvious negatives of the situation, there have also been a number of positives, in terms of the way the community has responded and come together to help each other. This has happened not just at a local level but at a global level. It is interesting to observe the range of behaviours displayed by the various leaders at federal, state and local government levels. The situation encouraged me to reflect on the importance of leadership when managing a crisis. Here are some key traits that I view as critical to leading well in crisis, at both a professional and personal level. Read More

Image comparing leadership to swimming

Image comparing leadership to swimmingGuest blog by Robin Cochran, VP of Operations, Executive Forum

Last Friday I had a meeting with someone who knew nothing about Executive Forum. As I was explaining why our leadership programs are primarily face-to-face, he broke in and said, “It’s like swimming. You can’t learn to swim on the Internet either.” There’s a lot to learn about swimming, but you really can’t swim unless you get in the water.

He explained how his father had taught him to swim by taking him to the river near their home in India and pushing him in. He had to learn to swim. It took time and he got much better at it. He went on to explain that he had also wanted his children to learn to swim, so he spent time teaching them how to swim and also enrolled them in lessons at their local pool. He gave them the experience (swimming in the pool) along with lessons (the structure and meaning). He then added that his children are much better swimmers than him now, with significantly fewer years of experience.

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Photo of man trying to delegate

Photo of man trying to delegate“I’ll just do it myself.”

We all say this from time to time as we rationalize our decision to take on additional work tasks and responsibilities. We may tell ourselves that it’s faster to just complete the task than to explain the process to someone else. At times, we fail to delegate due to lack of trust in the quality of a team member’s help. The success of the project may seem too risky to leave in another’s hands. Other times, we intentionally choose not to delegate because we love the task itself. While giving up control over critical projects can be a stressful experience, when done effectively the result is a more knowledgeable, balanced, and engaged workforce.

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Success under construction

Success under constructionOver the holidays, I took time to clear the mental and physical clutter that accumulated throughout the past year. This included everything from shredding old papers and clearing my inbox to letting go of some disappointments that were holding me back. In the process of Marie Kondo’ing my professional life, I forced myself to read dozens of articles I’d bookmarked over the past year. After a while, I noticed a theme that was so strong, I felt compelled to quantify what I was seeing. I created a tally for every time I read a leadership article that mentioned trust, communication, recognition, accountability, and empowerment. I began to ask myself if there’s really anything new in the world of leadership development if we just keep circling around these same things.

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