Category Archives: People Matters

Posts related to the people side of strategy and operations

3 Truths and 6 Power Skills to Master Organization Politics

Organization politics make a lot of people uncomfortable. The untrained hope is that if politics are ignored, and if a job is done well, then well-earned rewards will come. Things rarely play out that way.

Organization politics is defined as anything done at work to increase the odds of success that has nothing at all to do with the work itself. Master executive coach and workplace psychologist, Dr. Dory Hollander, presents three unassailable truths about how things work in organizations and Six Power Skills for mastering the art of career enhancement. Continue reading 3 Truths and 6 Power Skills to Master Organization Politics

Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

Case Background

Leaders of fast-growing, early-stage organizations operate at a fast pace. Often, the last thing there is time to do is to assess the top team’s skills and performance to determine how to prepare them for the next stage of growth.

Most team members know each other pretty well. They have a good idea about:

  • What each other is good at doing.
  • What each has contributed.
  • How each has grown.
  • What each should focus on next to improve.

However, team members rarely have the time, energy, training, or nerve to share what they know in a forthright, supportive conversation with one another.

Yet there are serious consequences to not providing feedback when it is needed most. As highlighted in the Wall Street Journal article, “How To Tell If You Are a Jerk in the Office” (C-Suite Strategies, Journal Report, Feb 23, 2015), confidential feedback for executives is important. Not only are leaders and co-workers affected adversely by dysfunctional behavior, but business performance and customer service can be damaged, often permanently, if poor behavior continues.

IntelliVen, a San Francisco-based executive development organization, uses a proprietary approach to help top leaders and their teams address executive feedback issues head-on. For example, IntelliVen worked with a fast-paced, $10M financial analytics firm serving Freddie Mac, U.S. Treasury, and Capital One among other leading financial institutions. The IntelliVen approach was used to assess the firm’s top team of senior executives relative to norms for successful organizations at a similar stage of evolution and to identify individual and team opportunities for learning.

Continue reading Case: The Ideal Mix of Sr. Executive Team Skills for Success

3 Levels of Human Identity Can Be Used to Build Relationships Across Difference

The business case for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-oppression (DEIA) programs in organizations is no longer being built…it has arrived. Investors, employees, and customers are making clear to leaders that DEIA is now critical to their bottom line and that it will be so forevermore.

Consequently, leaders must learn to integrate cross-cultural skills and competencies into all levels of the system.

Education and change management plans that help leaders, managers, and employees navigate their differences and use them to achieve better business results are important and, thankfully, becoming more available.

To start, it helps to have common language and frameworks that make it possible to understand the complexities of communication dynamics posed by working across social group identities such as age, ability, gender, culture, class, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

In her article Alliances Across Difference: Useful strategies for building effective relationships across difference, Amber Mayes does us all a tremendous service by laying out two foundational concepts to get us started:

  • Levels of Human Identity
  • Social Power and Group Dynamics

Amber developed and uses these concepts with leaders across sectors, industries, and geographies to resolve conflict and unleash the power of diversity in organizations for 15+ years in her role as a consultant to leaders, teams, and organizations. Continue reading 3 Levels of Human Identity Can Be Used to Build Relationships Across Difference

How emerging executives can achieve high-impact with key players more senior than themselves.

An up-and-coming executive engages with an important sales prospect, client, supplier, partner, or colleague on par with his or her degree of comfort and security with the other party. The more seniority the other is perceived to have relative to his/her own, the more anxiety and insecurity is induced, the less is said, and the fewer impact results from the interaction. Pushing to the highest possible level of engagement drives the best results and accelerates career progression.

It makes sense for the up-and-coming executive to think of it as climbing a staircase.

Continue reading How emerging executives can achieve high-impact with key players more senior than themselves.

WORK FROM HOME PRACTICES THAT WORK

With COVID-19 driving so many to work remotely, we want to share tips and best practices collected from having worked remotely almost exclusively over the past few years as well as from recent research. Our goal is to maintain high performance for members of our community while fostering safe, productive, and sustainable working conditions for everyone.

Continue reading WORK FROM HOME PRACTICES THAT WORK