The HBO movie Bad Education with Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney is a great lesson in how to screw up communication in a crisis. If you haven’t seen it yet, the movie is about a school superintendent and his assistant who embezzle millions of dollars from the district. The theft is bad enough, but the way the school board handles the situation makes things even worse. Often times organizations make… Read More »Learning a Lesson from Bad Communication
It’s time to ramp up your communication. Right now. To everyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have answers for all the questions. It doesn’t matter how you do it. What matters is that you’re making a critical connection. If you’re a manager, your employees are wondering what is happening at the top of the organization. Is strategy changing? Are jobs impacted? Are paychecks in the pipeline? If you know… Read More »Now Is Not The Time To Go Dark
The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article about “filler phrases” used by the democratic candidates at this year’s debates. Just for the record, Joe Biden leads the pack with an average of 5.6 “filler phrases” for every 1,000 words he spoke. So what’s a “filler phrase”? It’s things like “the point is”, “let me just say” or “here’s the deal”. They’re a few words that appear to be the foundation… Read More »What’s Your Filler Phrase?
We are supposedly living in an era of enlightened leadership. After all, we’re bombarded by books giving us insight into how to do it better. Whether it’s Good to Great or the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, we finally have the knowledge and tools that leaders lacked just a few decades ago. So why are we still doing it badly? It’s likely because we can’t unlearn centuries of training simply by reading… Read More »You’re Making Decisions Faster Than You Realize!
One of my favorite movies is Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John Candy. It’s the story of two hapless travelers trying to get back to Chicago for Thanksgiving. Without giving too much away it involves canceled flights, broken-down trains and burning cars. It’s your basic holiday nightmare. Of course, it ends wonderfully and will leave you thankful for your Thanksgiving meal with family. In one scene about midway through… Read More »Here’s an Idea: Have a Point!
The Nuix Black Report is not the kind of thing you read before you go to bed at night. Its subtitle is “Decoding the Minds of Hackers”. The Black Report is an amazingly comprehensive survey of people who are professional cyber break-in artists. Fortunately, most of them are on the right side of the law. They work for companies who offer their hacking skills to test a client’s cyber security.… Read More »Turning Employees from liabilities to warriors in the cyber security battle
A friend of mine has a great story about why leaders need to be cautious about what they say. He was stationed on a military base that had a golf course. My friend noticed that one day a massive dirt mound appeared. He didn’t think a lot of it until he happened to be chatting with the base engineer who explained the back story. Seems the base commander randomly mentioned… Read More »Why Leaders Need To Watch Their Words
Innovation isn’t just about ideas. It’s about communicating those ideas. We hear it everywhere these days, how innovation is not an option. It’s the only way to survive. Companies like Amazon and Apple are alive because of it. Sears and Montgomery Wards are not. So what’s the key to innovation? A recent study by Hanna Kremer, Isabel Villamor and Herman Aguinis makes a series of recommendations about how to keep… Read More »Want to innovate? Concentrate on your voice
Face it, we live in a hectic world. Things are happening faster than ever before. That’s especially true for communication. It’s almost hard to believe that there was once a time when people would work on a project and then send it out for a review that would sometimes take days or weeks. Even e-mail now seems slow compared to Slack and other collaborative tools that allow for instant input.… Read More »Communicating at the Right Speed