RESOURCES

Unconditional Leadership

Leadership

Like most leadership approaches and philosophies, servant leadership is not a recent creation.  However, the increasing interest around servant leadership has produced a broader range of descriptors and practices with more and more leaders describing themselves with this label. Perhaps more than any other leadership approach, servant leadership is defined more by a core belief than a specific set of outward expressions. Leaders who lack that core belief are not servant leaders but rather using some servant leadership practices among the many in their toolkit. The result may be an improvement in their leadership but may also create frustration…

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Solving the Better Problem

Organizational Transformation

To solve most of our big problems before they happen would seem to require some form of time travel.  And it would produce a wonderful world. Chip Heath of Heath Brothers fame has challenged us to do more than dream about that world in his latest book, Upstream. Similar to his previous works on communication, change and decision making, this book provides more a pathway to follow than an exact formula. Most of Heath’s examples come from the social sector trying to solve the big problems of our day like healthcare, climate change, poverty and education. These are the…

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Stop Fixing and Start Learning

Leadership

One leadership style that is both praised and criticized is the “fixer.” When the situation looks mostly hopeless, we need someone who can minimize the damage and help restore some level of status quo. Yet no organization desires to be in that situation and certainly not to live in that state of affairs. Fixers excel at identifying root causes and mobilizing resources rapidly to help people and organizations move to a position where they can begin to play an active role in their rescue.

 

Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert in When Helping Hurts, illustrate the devastating effects when poverty alleviation…

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Catching the Right Wave

Strategy

“Timing” as the saying goes is everything.  That is certainly one of the main messages in the 2018 award winning documentary, General Magic.  The documentary tells the story of a start-up company that has been called “the most influential Silicon Valley company that no one has ever heard of.”  This Apple spin off saw the future in terms of “a computer in your pocket” (smart phone) and thought they could bring it to market in the early 90’s.

 

The documentary captures the thrill and excitement possessed by a group of young, really bright IT professionals who believed they could invent…

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Create Tension and Find a Better Solution

Strategy

Several years ago, I read Roger Martin’s, The Opposable Mind, and immediately saw the need and opportunity for integrative thinking.  Martin proposes that we don’t have to choose between two unsatisfying paths but if we think deeply enough, we can identify a third path that captures the desired benefits of the other two.  After writing the book and promoting the concept, Martin realized  telling people they just needed to “think harder” didn’t help very much.  His latest book, Creating Great Choices, (co-authored with Jennifer Reil) provides the methodology to move beyond an interesting idea to an approach that helps…

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