Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking at the 28th Annual Material Handling and Logistics Conference (MHLC) alongside thought leaders Patrick Lencioni and Guy Kawasaki, as well as The Container Store’s VP of Logistics and Distribution, Amy Carovillano (not to mention live performances by Jay Leno and REO Speedwagon).
Although each of these speakers addressed a different aspect of leadership and organizational growth in their talks, it was interesting to note the commonalities in the experiences they shared and some of the points I discussed in my presentation on what organizations require from today’s leadership to help them navigate the current global business environment.
To help give you an idea of some of the insights shared at this conference, here are three of my favourite quotes from these thought leaders, and how they reflected some of the actionable steps I discussed in my talk on what leaders need to implement in order to ensure their organization can succeed and thrive in today’s increasingly competitive global market.
1. “Make a culture that makes you smarter about the decisions you make.” – Patrick Lencioni
One of the speakers I was looking forward to hearing from at this conference was Patrick Lencioni, given how I used a quote from him to reinforce one of the concepts I discussed in my talk.
In describing the ideas and insights he writes about in his latest book “The Advantage” (which Patrick generously gave me a copy of and signed for me after I asked him a question about his talk), Patrick pointed out how fostering trust and respect in our organization’s culture allows us to better manage conflict, as our focus shifts away from Click here to continue reading »”What Leaders Need To Do To Create A Thriving Organization”
The following is a guest piece by William A. Donius.
As we age, neuroscientists tell us, our thoughts and patterns become more ingrained. The way our brains process, sort and ultimately respond to questions is akin to taking the same path through the garden over and over.
We get to know the path very well, and it becomes familiar to us. As long as the problems we face are familiar, so are our approaches to solving these problems. We are in our intellectual “comfort zones.”
What happens if our efforts to solve a problem aren’t producing innovative results? The thought might occur to us, “How do I go about thinking differently?” When we are asked to deviate from the paths ingrained in our minds, it may seem like an interesting notion, but here’s where the going gets tough.
Despite trying to think differently, we typically end up with little to show for our efforts. Our steps continue to lead us down the same old garden path.
Why is it so difficult to achieve innovative breakthroughs in thinking? Click here to continue reading »”Not The Same Old Garden Path – How We Can Literally Think Differently”
Have you ever noticed how when someone tells us how they’ve been really busy with work, we automatically interpret this as being a bad thing? Certainly, no one associates having a lot of work to do with sunshine, love, happiness or any other positive experience.
In many ways, this is a natural product of both our schooling and work experiences, where we’re not guided and supported to use our genius, creativity, and talents in order to do the work we should do. Rather, what is the more common experience is being funnelled through a system that puts us into neat slots like gears in a complex piece of machinery.
When it comes to work, we’ve come to accept the concept of ‘no pain, no gain’ as being the proper route to success and prosperity. That we need to tough it out in the hopes that – someday – we might finally be able to do what we want to do because we’ve ‘paid our dues’.
To make matters worse, even if we are lucky enough to do work we enjoy, that sense of satisfaction tends to be short-lived as we’re rarely given the space to grow and evolve, with the freedom to make mistakes without being blackballed a failure and someone no longer worthy of development or the attention of those in charge.
And so, we inevitably hunker down, hoping that someday Click here to continue reading »”When Did Work Become A Bad Word?”
There’s been a lot discussion lately on the merits of telecommuting, in terms of fostering teamwork and innovation among disparate employees in an organization. While there’s certainly been a number of valid points made on both sides of this issue, one fundamental problem with this on-going discussion is the focus on how we work without any evaluation of how these strategies address the issue of why we work.
By now, all of us are familiar with the numerous studies that have unequivocally demonstrated that the ability to motivate employees through salary or other financial incentives has a very short shelf-life and is especially difficult to maintain when obstacles or challenges are placed in our way.
These studies have also shown that the most effective way to sustain our motivation and drive over the long run is being able to connect what we do with an internalized understanding and appreciation of the purpose behind why we do it; of why it matters both to ourselves, and to the organization and community we serve.
This is exactly the approach we see in many of today’s thriving organizations which have a clear connection between their collective efforts and the purpose behind their organization. These purpose-driven organizations don’t care about what their competition is doing because they don’t need to rely on others to define the value of what they do. That definition has already been created internally and collectively.
Our purpose tells us why what we do is so important that only we could do it, if not also why we have to do it. In the pursuit of profits and market share, it’s easy for an organization to Click here to continue reading »”What Organizations Really Need To Succeed And Thrive”