We Have a Leadership Problem

"Leadership" has been on my mind lately, maybe because of the many conversations I have with people about the "lack of leadership" in their organizations. It also came up in the comments on my recent post on "Managing" People. Everywhere I go, people are talking about "leadership." But I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that the last thing we need right now is more leaders or even better leaders. The... Read more →

What Do You Want MORE Of?

On Facebook yesterday, LaDonna Coy posed an interesting question: Noodling--what would happen if we were actually able to figure out what we want in life (instead of what we don't want) and then focus on it? What would that make possible? I've been doing a lot of reading in and work with appreciative inquiry lately and this is one of its key principles, called the Poetic Principle. In a nutshell,... Read more →

Harold Jarche points us to a recently released study on corporate responses to the recession/depression we're currently in: This morning the CLC (Corporate Leadership Council) released the results of a survey that asked CEOs which areas were to suffer the most in response to the crisis. L&D [learning & development] came out on top at 38%. So this means, globally, that a third of organisations surveyed will stop investing in... Read more →

Start Something

In times of great upheaval and negativity, there's a tendency to conserve. It's a natural human tendency to withdraw and "hunker down" when the outside world feels like it's on the attack. We're pulled into thinking small, focused on saving what we have rather than on thinking big and using downturns as an opportunity to make things happen But this is a mistake. When we move into scarcity mode, we... Read more →

Change Your Behavior, Change Your Mind

A.J. Jacobs, Esquire writer and author of two hilarious books is a man after my own heart. As he explains in this TED Talk, he spends much of his time immersing himself in learning experiments, such as what it's like to outsource your life (the best month of his life) or to be "radically honest" (the worst month of his life). Not only do these become fodder for his writing,... Read more →

A Dream: Learner-Centered Professional Development for Growth

One of my favorite Steve Jobs stories is the one he told during this Stanford Commencement address a few years ago: Seventeen years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea... Read more →

From the Mouths of Babes

Last week we held our Community Forum on at-risk youth. This was without a doubt one of the most personally and professionally rewarding projects I've ever worked on. With a team of 10 young people, ranging in age from 17-22, we looked at the issues facing teens who drop out of high school, age out of foster care and who become teen parents. We collected peer interviews and researched national,... Read more →

Success in Scary Times

I'm a freelance consultant and for the past 10 years that's meant finding the delicate balance between getting the work done today that needs to get done and finding new work to do once my current projects are finished. People who work for organizations think that their situations are very different from mine, but in reality, the only difference is that I'm always aware of the fact that I have... Read more →

From the "I Couldn't Have Said This Better Myself" Files

When it comes to professional development and who's in charge of learning, you know I come down on the side of individuals. I don't care who you're working for--we're all independent contractors in a global economy and we have a responsibility to ourselves and our families to always remember that. This is something I keep harping on, but it's a sentiment that bears repeating. Now, via Stephen Downes comes a... Read more →

No Excuses Leadership

Katya Andresen has a GREAT post on operating your organization with no excuses. Apparently she recently did a presentation on tweaking your marketing messages, where she was told by her audience that her suggestions weren't possible because: 1. I don’t have the budget to do that. 2. I don’t have the staff to do that. 3. I don’t have the time to do that. 4. I don’t have the internal... Read more →