Company Culture FAQs Part 1 of 5

What’s the purpose of reviewing your company culture?

Does social media impact a company’s culture?

I answer these questions—and much more—in my Live Facebook Video. Check out the recorded video here, or read the transcript below (including bonus content!)

Continue reading “Company Culture FAQs Part 1 of 5”

What You Can Do to Boost Risk Intelligence After Losing Staff

If you own a business, you are responsible for every detail in your company: hiring, firing, and everything in between.

When a key employee hands you their resignation letter… what is your typical response?

Do you feel alarmed, frustrated, nervous, or angry?

Are you afraid of what could go wrong?

Without a clearly defined processes to deal with unexpected turnover in your company, you will be facing a lot of unknowns. Risk Intelligence is the ability to perceive what could happen before it happens.

If you feel blindsided by a sudden resignation, or shocked by events that forced you to fire key staff members, then it’s time to boost your level of risk intelligence.

Continue reading “What You Can Do to Boost Risk Intelligence After Losing Staff”

5 Reasons to Share a “Year In Review” of Your Business

Facing the good and bad of the past year takes courage, especially in re-living painful experiences. But self-evaluating the highs and lows in your past year is just the first step.

Sharing your findings with the entire world takes it to a whole new level.

In this post, I’ll talk about the benefits and downsides of making your Year In Review public, and why we’re afraid to fail.

Continue reading “5 Reasons to Share a “Year In Review” of Your Business”

5 Painful Discussions That No Organization Should Ignore

This is the final in a 3-part series about Pain and Decision-Making.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

In previous posts, I described ways to see pain objectively, and how to identify pain points, and ways to fix them. In this article, we’ll be examining some difficult topics that most leaders tend to avoid.

Continue reading “5 Painful Discussions That No Organization Should Ignore”

[Video] Let’s Define… What is an “Employee For a Day”?

What does your company look like from the point of view of staff? In this Let’s Define video, I define the “Employee For a Day” concept and why it’s so important.

Read my definition of “Employee For a Day” and what happened when I tried this experiment as a new manager.

Watch the video, or read the transcript below:

Continue reading “[Video] Let’s Define… What is an “Employee For a Day”?”

“Employee For a Day”: How to Start

Are your staff afraid to share what is going wrong in your company? Do problems keep happening, and you don’t know why?

A great solution is to step into the roles of your staff and see the situation first-hand.

One fantastic technique is what I call “Employee For a Day.” It is a simple, hands-on activity where an executive leader leaves their role, and she or he sits in the seat of employees to see the organization from their point of view.

In my previous post, I describe what happened when I entered the day-to-day world of my staff. It humbled me, challenged me, and ultimately led to several changes in the organization.

There were a few drawbacks as well. Here are all the dirty details of how to get started.

Continue reading ““Employee For a Day”: How to Start”

What Happens When We Avoid Pain in Decision-Making?

Pain isn’t something most of us want to experience. We are hard-wired to avoid unpleasant conversations, experiences, and memories. And most of the time, this instinct serves us well.

But when it comes to recognizing risks — vulnerabilities and threats that could cause harm — avoiding pain is dangerous.

This is the first in a 3-part series about Pain and Decision-Making.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

In this post, I will review the basics of pain, our unique thresholds, corresponding fears, and how to evaluate and properly both pain and managing risk. Continue reading “What Happens When We Avoid Pain in Decision-Making?”

What Happened When I Became an “Employee For a Day”

Do you ever go through an “a-ha moment” that suddenly makes you aware of a totally new perspective?

That happened to me a few years ago. Like many top-level leaders, I had slowly and imperceptibly developed “Corporate Ladder Bias” during my transition from employee to executive. This subconscious change occurs when our field of vision is consumed with all the problems and headaches at the management level. We become blind to the day-to-day frustrations of what I call the “Foundational Staff.” These are employees at the lowest levels of an organization, including:

  • Housekeeping
  • Direct Customer/Patient Care
  • Food Service (or Dietary)
  • Maintenance (or Physical Plant)
foundational staff, organizational roles, organizational chart, housekeeping, direct care, food service, maintenance
Grace LaConte’s 4 Types of Foundational Staff

Continue reading “What Happened When I Became an “Employee For a Day””

Yin and Yang Approaches to Management

Balance is very difficult for leaders. When things go wrong, many of us find it hard to stay calm, cool, and collected.

Leaders are expected to meet objectives, yet also be approachable. To maintain control, but welcome differing opinions. To motivate staff, yet manage ongoing risks.

A few years ago, I was hired as director at a healthcare facility in Minnesota. It was a perfect fit for my experience and training. The leadership team was encouraging, as were the members of my department. And I really loved being in a long-term care environment.

But despite all the support, I found myself increasingly stressed and anxious. The problem wasn’t just the high-pressure environment; instead, it was a battle happening in my mind. As an introvert, I do my best work in periods of silence and reflection. My information-gathering process is intuitive, because I rely on connections between things that are not obvious to others. Rather than following a specific pathway, I look for hidden clues and investigate the root causes of problems. My process may be unconventional, but it gets results.

Unfortunately, executive roles typically do not welcome an intuitive thinking process. And this clash — between my natural temperament, and a system that rewards fast and decisive action — resulted in a very high-stress environment.

I wondered:

Why was it so difficult for intuitive leaders to fit the mold of traditional corporate thinking?

and

Is it possible to find a balanced leadership style?

Continue reading “Yin and Yang Approaches to Management”