Culture, Leadership

Leaders Get More Out of People When They Don’t Wear the Crown

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“She said to me… you might be president of PepsiCo, you might be on the Board of Directors, but when you enter this house you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother… so leave that damn crown in the garage.’

You have to admire the older generation. They will always speak their mind. When I read this, I thought of my parents and how their plain-spoken ability to cut through all the BS and hit the bullseye with their message.

The above statement was from Indra Nooyi’s mother in reaction to her daughter’s election to the Pepsi Board of Directors. The 58-year old Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and mother of two daughters delivered some surprisingly frank and candid insights on work-life balance in an interview with David Bradley, owner of the Atlantic Media Company, at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week. Read more…


Lessons From the VA Scandal, or How to Avoid a Culture of Coverups

VA Hospital

New information about the inadequacies of leadership at the U.S. Veterans Affairs medical centers continues to be revealed daily.

The headlines are astounding, like this one from Bad VA care may have killed more than 1,000 veterans, senator’s report says.

In summary, for years the wait times reported by many VA medical centers in the department’s management system for measuring effectiveness were simply false. As a result, veterans have not been served well and most everyone is outraged. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

5 Ways to Help Get Employees to Think More Strategically

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When asked to select the leadership behavior most critical to their organizations’ future success, executives chose strategic thinking 97 percent of the time, according to a large scale global research study by the Management Research Group, and strategic thinkers have been found to be among the most highly effective leaders.

Executives rated a strategic approach to leadership as ten times more important to the perception of effectiveness over other attributes including innovation, persuasion, communication or results orientation. Read more…

Culture, HR Management

How Short-Term Financial Decisions Can Destroy Workforce Productivity

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First of two parts

People often complain that HR is the source of many bad management practices. The finger typically points at HR leadership when a company has lousy hiring methods or does a poor job engaging and developing employees.

While HR leadership often bears responsibility for inferior workforce management, in many companies the real culprits are the policies and actions of the Finance department. This tends to be especially true in larger organizations.

It is hard to make significant, positive changes to the overall financial results of a large company in a short amount of time. Read more…

Culture, Global HR, Webinars

TLNT Webinar – Think Globally, Onboard Locally: Tips for Designing a Global New Hire Experience Program

Earlier this year Nicole Dessain identified ten trends that we feel will shape 2014 – some of which already started in 2013 or previous years, but which will have new significance this year.

One of these trends, the growth market conundrum, hypothesizes that we are the cusp of a fundamental shift of economic power from the developed world to emerging markets. Yet, only 30 percent of executives surveyed by Deloitte believe they have sufficient capabilities for managing global talent, and only 28 percent are actively investing to improve those capabilities.

During this webinar we will explore a critical component of globalized talent management: onboarding. Case studies and examples will help make key concepts come to life.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand impact of macroeconomic developments on global talent strategy
  • Learn about key elements of a “core” onboarding experience that allows for local customization
  • Receive tips and resources to get you started with designing a global onboarding program

Date/Time of Webinar: July 30, 2014 at 2 pm EDT

Registration Link:

Sponsor: DocuSign

Culture, Leadership

The Five Characteristics of Elite Leadership Teams

Illustration by Dreamstime.

I recently worked with a troubled leadership team.

It was still producing solid revenue results, but internal conflicts and damaged trust were inhibiting the team’s ability to align goals and support each other’s efforts. The team included the long-revered co-founders of the organization plus the heir apparent to the president’s role.

These leaders were all committed to developing and empowering the next tier of company management. They wanted to see leadership courage in these individuals to tackle tough issues, the ability to collaborate and resolve conflict, and self-empowerment. Read more…

Culture, Training & Development

It Takes More Than Brains to Create a Learning Organization

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Ray Stata, former CEO of Analog Devices, a semiconductor company, is quoted as saying, “The rate at which organizations and individuals learn may well become the only sustainable competitive advantage.”

What could be truer? In our increasingly competitive, global, fast-moving economy, companies that take learning seriously—or more accurately, the learning of its people seriously — are much better off than companies that don’t.

And, such “learning organizations” stand in marked contrast to that other kind, which tend to base decision-making on tradition, history, bias, emotion, and perception rather than verifiable data. Read more…


10 Key Principles For the Majority of Us Who Need Cultural Change

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I wrote a popular TLNT article about how 96 percent of respondents from a Strategy&/Katzenbach Center survey on culture and change management highlighted that culture change was needed in their organization in some form.

I criticized some of the over-simplified recommendations that accompanied the survey release, but The Katzenbach Center came through with their recent high quality article and related video on 10 Principles for Leading Change Management.

All leaders need to understand these principles, and it doesn’t matter if you are in a big corporation like General Motors or a small business on Main Street. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

How Your Work Culture Can Get You Through the Sands Dunes of Life


“You are here,” the mat reads.

You look down, mouth agape, and you think, “So where the hell is here?”

You’re standing atop a great sand dune among a mountainous range of dunes. Nothing but blue sky above, you’d think the future would look brighter, but it might as well be raining, since the sunlight hurts your eyes and you’re drenched in sweat; the sun’s heat is unbearable.

And there’s no one or nothing else around. No wind, shade or drink to help cool you down. No one to help or even commiserate with. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

What Happens When a Workplace Culture Is Built on Lies?


A friend and I were talking the other day about unethical business practices and why companies get away with them, even when the bad behavior is an open secret among staff, community partners, and Board members.

Well, it’s really not that hard to imagine why — those who would be inclined to speak up are fearful of losing their jobs, many others just don’t care, and still others are only too happy to play along, as they benefit from the questionable deeds.

It’s pretty simple, actually. Read more…