Leaders cannot engage people. People must engage themselves. All a leader can do is clear the way. Despite this, I often find overreaching conclusions from employee engagement surveys about leader’s capability that ought not be drawn, and decisions based on those conclusions that ought not be made.
Engagement is either in the nature of a person or it is not. Some employees will never be engaged no matter what you say or do because the business you want is not what they want. That’s fine, but perhaps they should be in a different role or in a different company. Other employees are simply disengaged from life, not just from your business specifically. You cannot fix that.
Empowerment is like breathing. We all recognize its need but we’re rarely aware of it until something is wrong. Passivity in business is the most common symptom of lack of empowerment. Continue reading →
If you want to improve collaboration in your business, it should not be done by encouraging harmonious interaction. Rather, you must institutionalize confrontation.
No healthy organization is ever in harmony; it is constructive disharmony that is the ideal state. Natural tension always exists between individuals and groups in any organizations, and there is no resolution of conflict without confrontation.
Last week I held and onstage conversation with Parfums Christian Dior Japan President Olivier Teboul for the French Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Below are my personal takeaways from what we discussed. Continue reading →
Below are seven pieces of advice I give to business leaders based on the most successful strategy practices I know. Whenever I discuss these in an open forum, there is always pushback from at least a few people, particularly in Japan. Some people are even offended! That’s OK.
If I am doing my job correctly, at least some people should be made to feel uncomfortable.
When a CEO asks me how to better motivate his or her employees to change, the focus is on the wrong thing. Motivation can get a person started, but only discipline can see him or her through to an outcome.
An executive I was asked to coach told me how she was at wits end trying without success to get a manager on her staff in a significant role to work with an important segment of customers. She did her best to explain to the manager why working with this segment is important to the business and to coach the manager in how to go about working with such customers. The executive made herself available for advice should the manager get stuck and need help, and asked the manager about concerns that she might help address. The executive was doing all the right things time and time again—all to no avail. Her manager simply would not improve. Continue reading →
Download the First Chapter of Rapid Organizational Change and Receive Steve's monthly newsletter.