Patti Johnson

Patti Johnson is the CEO of PeopleResults, a change and organizational development consulting firm she founded in 2004. She is the author of newly released "Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life." Patti and her team advise clients such as PepsiCo, Microsoft, 7-Eleven, Accenture, Frito-Lay and many others on creating positive change in their leaders and organizations. Previously a Senior Executive at Accenture. Patti is an instructor on change for SMU Executive Education and for the Bush Institute Women’s Initiative, as well as a keynote speaker on change and leadership.

Articles by Patti Johnson

HR Insights, HR Management

Making Waves: HR’s Critical Role in Kickstarting Change


The project plan was flashed on the screen.

The financial metrics were shared. Work steps were reviewed and analyzed for many months ahead. Yet, something big was missing. People.

A real change grows and takes hold because of many individuals – those who individually decide to get involved, contribute and share their ideas. And, there are those who will start their own smaller changes within the bigger strategy. Read more…


If You Want Innovation and Change, You’ll Need Wave Makers


Editor’s note: This is excerpted from the new book, Make Waves: Be the One to Start Change at Work and in Life.

By Patti Johnson

As human beings, we are born with an interest in using our imagination and making the world better.

Think back to kindergarten, when you were full of ideas, suggestions, and questions. Many of you remember your own questions, or have a child who regularly asks, “Why?”

Why can’t trains fly? What if we had birthday cakes for dogs? Why not? That creative mind-set gradually fades as we grow up, learn what’s realistic, and apply the world’s logic. And parental exhaustion has to be a factor, too. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Want Better Engagement? The Little Things Matter More Than You Think


Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday

Companies everywhere are looking at how to drive up engagement scores and results. Yet, research tells us that the most significant factor in engagement is the relationship employees have with their direct manager, and if someone cares about them and their career.

We know that engagement takes more than a corporate program and free yoga classes at lunch. So, what can you do about it?

Here are a few reminders of simple actions you can take as a manager or team leader that make a difference. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

A Lesson From Grammy Winners Daft Punk on Why Collaboration Works

Daft Punk

I’m not a Daft Punk expert – unless you count listening to Get Lucky non-stop when driving my son and his friends to the beach last summer.

This French robot-headed duo won big at the Grammy Awards Sunday night, including best album for Random Access Memories.

Their robot heads with their tuxes were eye-catching, but so was something else. Read more…

Best of TLNT

6 Ways You May Be Driving Your Team Crazy and Don’t Even Know It

123RF Stock Photo

Editor’s note: TLNT is continuing an annual tradition by counting down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 15. Our regular content will return next Monday.

Even the very best leaders have habits that can sometimes make their teams completely crazy.

Beware of these favorites that have been known to cause mumbling under the breath, a twitch, or a knowing look within the team.

Go ahead and ask yourself: Do any of these look familiar? Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

Are Your Team Meetings Really Like Thanksgiving Dinner?

From the HR blog at TLNT. Photo by

Thanksgiving is a time for family.

We have the eccentric uncle or an unpredictable cousin, but they are family. We enjoy the day and take a deep breath knowing we only see Uncle Buck once per year.

But, if you have the same eccentric characters playing key roles on your team, it’s not that easy. And, it’s every day.

Recognize individual habits that impact everyone. Your team is counting on you. Read more…

HR Insights, Talent Management

How You Know You’re Exhibiting Grown-Up Behavior at Work


It’s back to school time, kids. Finally, you parents can return to a schedule without teenager late nights in the middle of the week or requests to go to the pool during your conference call.

We can go back to being the grown-ups that we are.

Maybe. We all know that the office can be a replay of the playground or the middle school lunch table. But, it’s time to be the grown up there too. Read more…

Talent Management

Nate Silver? He’s Proof That You Need to Develop Your Data Rock Stars


Nate Silver has a way with data.

He’s known for being an innovator in interpreting, simplifying and translating complex data with accuracy. Not your classic rock star career path. Last week he made news when he announced his move from The New York Times to ESPN.

The celebration of a data guy’s career move is a signal that the world is changing. The day for a strategic and visible career in data has arrived and it’s an essential talent for any organization. Read more…

HR Insights

Why Stepping Back and Making It Simple Solves Everything

Photo by

Simplicity is hard.

Well, it may not solve everything, but stop and think about how complexity gets in the way of so much of what we do. Organizations are confusing, strategies are misunderstood and the customer experience is disjointed.

It turns out that simplicity is hard. It’s easier to bolt on the new technology to the old version, add four more slides to the 72 page slide deck and narrow down to the top 25 critical initiatives for 2013. Finding the simple truth is difficult and so we punt.

Simplicity takes clarity, honesty, unbelievable discipline and intelligence. Any one of these alone can stop us dead in our tracks – much less all together. It often takes more than one person to achieve simplicity. And, oh by the way, we have a deadline. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

No, a Strategy Is Not Enough — You Need to be Able to Implement It, Too

123RF Stock Photo

Business heroes are often the innovators and the visionaries that set the next strategy. Yet, 90 percent of strategies fail because of execution.

We’ve heard this surprising statistic for a few years. Surely, we’ve changed our ways.

Ron Johnson, the former CEO of JC Penney, is a case study in a strategy not realized – or at least not realized fast enough.

Johnson had a bold strategy to not only redefine JC Penney, but the entire department store concept. His goal was to change everything from store design, marketing, promotion and reinvent the brand. All at once. Read more…