Can Leadership Prevent Mistakes?

Can Leadership Prevent Mistakes?

"While I was in the middle of the room, the attic floor and beams collapsed onto the second floor crashing down to the first floor where I was standing. The time between us entering the building and the time of the collapse was no longer than 90 seconds. I was knocked to the floor and was trapped under the debris. I suffered a head injury and a torn patellar tendon. The contents of the upstairs ended up in the first floor room and I could have been killed. By my judgment, approximately 80,000 gallons of water was pumped into that structure and we were ordered in anyway. This was after a previous call to evacuate 45 minutes earlier. This should not have happened!"

Mistakes happen. Sometimes, those mistakes hurt or kill people. I’ve studied them among fire fighters, who sometimes experience events like the one described above (which comes from Report 07-0001036, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2014). The mistakes that people in the fire service and other high-risk occupations make often have important safety implications. In other industries and occupations, mistakes may not hurt or kill people, but mistakes often derail projects or anger customers. They create conflict and they degrade the quality of what we make or do. 

Mistakes aren’t exclusive to any industry or sector. 

Mistakes also almost happen. These close calls or near misses—when discussed well and integrated into a learning program—can serve as powerful wakeup calls for people and teams.

Regardless of whether we’re talking about mistakes or near misses, learning from the past to improve future performance is

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Make Your Meetings Matter

Make Your Meetings Matter

Like most people, I've spent my fair share of time in meetings at work during which stabbing myself in the eye with my stainless steel Zebra ballpoint pen began to seem like a good idea. 

Anything to get me out of that room. 

Anything to change the scenery.

Anything to end my forced participation in something that added no value to my existence whatsoever. 

But the truth is

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What LeBron James Gets About Leading in Adversity

What LeBron James Gets About Leading in Adversity

Both the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers and their opponents in the 2016 NBA finals, the Golden State Warriors, are extraordinary professional basketball teams. 

But on Thursday, June 16, the Cavaliers became only the third team in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA finals to force a seventh game in the series. Clearly, Cavaliers star LeBron James is central to their performance. They’re one win away from taking the championship, but even if they don’t win, there are some interesting insights we can take away from how James has led his team in the midst of adversity.

Most of the time, we have little insight into what happens behind the scenes within professional sports teams. Or when we do, it might be well after the fact, from memoirs of players, coaches or confidants. 

The case of the 2016 Cavaliers is different. 

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AGILE TEAM: The Secret to Delighting Your Customers

AGILE TEAM: The Secret to Delighting Your Customers

IT’S ABOUT YOUR PEOPLE. So, McKinsey & Company has been conducting on-going research for several years into understanding what builds differentiated advantage in creating customer value, loyalty and superior experience.  In their latest series of white papers and articles published in March 2016, McKinsey comes at this crucial question from several different angles but consistently with a common thread – the main differential is the ethos, attitude and skills of your people that make the biggest difference.   The article entitled

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What 280 Executives Said They Face

What 280 Executives Said They Face

Turbulence ahead.

That’s one key message I learned while writing the inaugural issue of The VUCA Report™, which outlines findings from an ongoing study I’m spearheading here through The Strategic Agility Institute.

This study essentially focuses on two elements: (a) the forces of change that executives face and (b) what they’re doing about it. We were fortunate to have had 280 responses 

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Peering into Team-Agility & Talent-Agility: A New Tool for HR

Peering into Team-Agility & Talent-Agility:  A New Tool for HR

I love chairing peer groups as they are extremely powerful in parting the curtains and giving us a glimpse into deeper levels of team-agility and talent-agility.  There is nothing quite like the moment of truth in which the peer group team has created such a safe, transparent and trusting place in which an individual participant can experience the beginnings of a shift in their talent and taking their game to the next level.  Best of all, the whole team learns from the experience, taking away value individually and collectively, even though they were processing another participant’s issue, challenge or opportunity.  It becomes a reliable, predictable and repetitive cycle of win/win/win which spirals upwards, making new levels of talent-agility and team-agility possible.

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Chaos Is Not Your Problem. Your Relationship With It Is.

Chaos Is Not Your Problem. Your Relationship With It Is.

When working with teams of all descriptions and, in particular, CEOs and their executive leadership teams, I help them explore the secrets of agility, understanding what it is and what it isn’t, to develop agile-teamwork. 

Teams who are able to:

Anticipate Change ... Generate Confidence ... Initiate Action ... Liberate Thinking ... Evaluate Results

In particular,

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The Gig Economy: How Agile is your HR Team?

The Gig Economy: How Agile is your HR Team?

Does your human resources team have the agility required to address the challenges of "The Gig Economy?"

If you haven’t yet heard about The Gig Economy, it is a growing challenge for HR professionals and people managers now faced with a portfolio of workers, some full time while others are contract or contingent workers. 

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