The emotional case for change

The emotional case for change We find over and over again in our work that the “case for change” does not actually lead people to change all that much. The so-called “knowing-doing gap” is evident in corporate life, much as it is in those wanting to lose weight or quit smoking: the “case” is clear […]

The power of individuation

The power of individuation The front page of this morning’s New York Times shows a picture of a child. The caption? “A malnourished child at Banadir Hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia. More than 500,000 Somali children are verging on starvation.” The message hits home. It’s hard to get your head around half a million children. Half […]

The one-minute culture survey

The one-minute culture survey There are many questions you can ask a company’s leaders to start understanding its corporate culture. Here’s one of the most revealing ones: what would you fire someone for? Outside of the obvious, such as stealing and lying, what behavior would you consider a deal breaker offense? The answers will tell you what’s […]

Hope creep

Hope creep The R&D leadership of a large Integrated Oil & Gas Major struggled with this question at one of our recent workshops: “How do you end someone’s favorite project?” Large R&D and product development organizations need to balance a portfolio of innovations, and they constantly face trade-offs between different projects that look more or less promising […]

Cascading the message down the line

Cascading the message down the line This week, two of our clients each asked the same question: “What are best practices for cascading a leadership message down the line? Somehow my message does not seem to arrive at the front line; it gets stuck in the middle.” One of the most frequent causes of failure […]

People believe what they say themselves​

People believe what they say themselves People generally believe what they say themselves. Strangely, they don’t believe what YOU tell them nearly as often. What implications does this have? Perhaps you can illustrate the point you want to make with a powerful story, rather than provide the facts and the argument of the case. Perhaps […]

The Definition of Manipulation

The Definition of Manipulation A frequently-asked question in our work on change and leadership is: what is manipulation, and how can I make sure I am persuasive, but not manipulating others? Our preferred definition is as follows: “manipulation” is when you are trying to make someone do or believe something that they would likely choose NOT […]