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How Customer-Centered is Your Organization?

Is your organization’s customer service lower than you’d like it to be? Does your customer service training create some short-term change, but then after the training, behaviors revert back to the way things were before? Do members of your team agree conceptually that you exist to serve your customer, but then make decisions that are […]

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Tips, Tools, and Techniques for…Building a High Performance Culture

Uncover and tap into deeper meaning and values already in the culture. Tell stories that honor the past and highlight the rich heritage of your organization. Link recognition, appreciation, or celebration to these. Lead change with examples of how the organization has gone through tough times or major changes like these before. Appeal to a […]

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Building a High Performance Culture

Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher said, “It’s the intangibles that are the hardest things for a competitor to imitate. You can get an airplane. You can get ticket-counter space; you can get baggage conveyors. But it is our esprit des corps – the culture, the spirit – that is truly our most valuable competitive asset.” […]

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Quick Q & A on Teaching Managers How to Have Effective Performance Review Discussions

Jim, I enjoy reading your newsletter. I’m looking for a “best practice” in the area of teaching managers how to have effective performance review conversations. I don’t want this to be limited to just conversations with poor performers, but with all employees. Any ideas? Thanks, Bob Hi Bob, You’re asking a very broad question. The […]

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Process Mapping Stops “The Blame Game”

The downside of today’s focus on accountability and performance management is a fragmented view of how work flows across every organization. As a result departmental silos are reinforced and way too much finger pointing occurs. This leads to a culture of “if it’s not our fault, it must be yours.” I love to get examples […]

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Why Change Processes Fail

A new consulting Client is struggling with organizational change in an industry that is experiencing rapid change. The pressures on this company to reduce costs while improving customer service is some of the most ruthless we’ve seen. We’re helping them completely overhaul their systems and processes as well as leadership practices and culture. Understandably, there’s […]

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When Team Members Don’t Pull Their Weight

Within a few days I received two e-mails asking for help dealing with a team member who was unmotivated and a loner who doesn’t care about the team, doing the minimum required to get by. In one case the person writing to me was a peer of the team member. In the other case, he […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm….on Healthy Debates

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” Gandhi “I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.” Dave […]

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What’s the Right Organization Structure?

Here’s a note I recently received from the president of a company we’ve been working with: “I am looking for a book/information on organizational structures. However, there’s a twist. We are currently set up as most companies are, with a vertical (silo) model. I want to change this. Part of our vision is to be […]

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Why So Many Organizational Change Programs Fail

One organizational problem that keeps repeating itself is the high failure rate for implementing new organizational improvement efforts like increasing customer service levels, re-structuring, mergers/acquisitions, introducing new technologies, performance management systems, leadership training, and the like. I recently wrote an article on this recurring problem for a new column I am writing for HR Professional […]

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Attention Deficit Disorder is Becoming a Major Management/Organizational Crisis

Recently an Improvement Points subscriber sent me this e-mail after “A colleague recently forwarded one of your ‘Improvement Points’ newsletters to me (Stop Working and Start Living) and it was right on the money for what I needed to hear that day. Today I am an employee that has been recently moved to a leadership […]

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Working in the Team versus Working on the Team

A growing problem we see with many management teams in less than outstanding organizations, is they don’t feel they can afford to take time out from hectic daily operations to step back, look at their effectiveness, and refocus their work. In other words, they have no time to learn. About one month after finishing a […]

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