Category: Organizational

Battle Bureaucratic Creep

Bureaucratic creep starts when a manager feels he has to exert control over how something gets done. Perhaps he’s been told to get it right “or it’s your job.” So he installs a new checkpoint to monitor a particular decision…

The Importance of Trust in High-Performing Organizations

To understand how fundamental trust truly is, we have to go back to the beginning. As it turns out, we humans are hardwired to seek situations in which we feel trust, because our brains release high levels of…

Under the Hood of High-Performing Organizations

Most people don’t immediately think of trust and spark when they think about great companies. They think about products (GE), or services (Fidelity). They think about brands (Apple). They think about iconic CEOs and strong growth…

A Reflection on LRI’s 20th Anniversary

This week marked 20 years since I founded our consulting firm. In celebration of our success, I thought I would share some lessons I’ve learned. (I was about to say 10 lessons, but in recognition of the fact that we may all be tiring

How Our Views of History Influence Our Ability to Shape the Future

A colleague of mine passed along an article recently titled, “History and Organizational Change.” Written by two scholars in Canada, Roy Suddab and William M. Foster, their argument is…

“Regrettable” Turnover – and What to Do About It.

For many reasons – some obvious, some not so obvious – the departure of a talented manager or employee can have big impacts on an organization. The obvious costs include things like the cost to recruit and fill the position, and the cost to train and onboard the new employee. The less obvious costs include …

Using Learning Loops to Accelerate the Pace of Change

To accelerate the pace of change, leaders must focus on creating localized systems of learning. It sounds easy, but it’s not. The secret is what I call “learning loops.” Learning loops are similar to feedback loops except they are deliberately designed to involve a small group of people who are empowered to achieve organizational change …

Creating an Equitable Work Environment

Inside every organization are clues to whether people are treated equitably or whether a system of favoritism prevails. Who has access to the boss? Who gets the newest computers? Whose budget is protected? Consider the question of status. People are always looking for cues about where they stand in relation to one another. Ancient cultures …

A Closer Look at the “Unboss”

Recent articles focusing on the “unboss” approach have caught the attention of cutting-edge companies like Zappos. But can the “unboss” movement deliver on its promise of creating high-performing organizations? First, let’s define what we’re talking about. An “unboss” is the antithesis of a traditional manager. The unboss views himself as part of the organization rather …

The Customer-Centric Organization

Leaders constantly juggle keeping different constituencies happy: customers, shareholders, employees, managers, labor leaders, Board members, regulators and public officials, to name a few. It’s understandable that executives occasionally lose focus while they’re trying to juggle the needs of all these groups. However, building a customer-centric organization can improve nearly every aspect of a company’s performance …