Gus Lawson

130 Flips | 18 Magazines | 1 Like | 3 Following | 1 Follower | @gus_lawson | Keep up with Gus Lawson on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Gus Lawson”

Your Strategic Plans Probably Aren’t Strategic, or Even Plans

It happens all the time: A group of managers get together at a resort for two days to hammer out a “strategic plan.” Done and dusted, they all head home. But <i>have</i> they produced a plan with a strategy?<p>At the start of my public seminars on strategic planning I ask attendees, who rank from board …

Management

Many Strategies Fail Because They’re Not Actually Strategies

Many strategy execution processes fail because the firm does not have something worth executing.<p>The strategy consultants come in, do their work, and document the new strategy in a PowerPoint presentation and a weighty report. Town hall meetings are organized, employees are told to change their …

Management

Stop Using the Excuse “Organizational Change Is Hard”

During nearly every discussion about organizational change, someone makes the obvious assertion that “change is hard.” On the surface, this is true: change requires effort. But the problem with this attitude, which permeates all levels of our organizations, is that it equates “hard” with “failure,” …

Overcome Resistance to Change with Two Conversations

Across industries and sectors, the track record for organizational change is bleak. Research finds that anywhere from 50%–75% of change efforts fail. And for those that do succeed, many don’t achieve the goals of the original vision. Why is change so hard?<p>Usually, figuring out the right answer is …

Increasing Email Response

• <b>Perfect the subject line.</b> Skip the cute and focus on the action.• <b><br>Tell the recipient why you chose them.</b> Say specifically why you sought this person …

Homework

Why You Should Make Time for Self-Reflection (Even If You Hate Doing It)

When people find out I’m an executive coach, they often ask who my toughest clients are. Inexperienced leaders? Senior leaders who think they know everything? Leaders who bully and belittle others? Leaders who shirk responsibility?<p>The answer is none of the above. The hardest leaders to coach are …

Stop Setting Goals You Don’t Actually Care About

At the start of 2016, I asked myself one question: “How can I make achieving my professional growth goals effortless?” I found the answer was elegantly simple — by focusing on alignment goals.<p>Many people fail on their professional development goals for the year because they take on a lot of goals — …

It's Time To Rethink The 'Employee Engagement' Issue

It’s time to rethink the concept of “employee engagement.”<p>The days of the annual engagement survey are slowly coming to an end, to be replaced by a much more holistic, integrated, and real-time approach to measuring and driving high levels of employee commitment and passion.<p>We know this topic is …

Think Strategically About Your Career Development

In a world where the average employee sends and receives 122 emails per day and attends an average of 62 meetings per month, your boss or HR leadership simply doesn’t have the time or bandwidth to properly think through how best to deploy your talents moving forward. Instead, we have to take …

Your Leadership Development Program Needs an Overhaul

Most companies make big investments in leadership development, rolling out intensive internal programs for high potentials, sending key leaders off to expensive executive education programs, or hiring personal coaches for those moving into key positions at the top of the company. But in our …

The 4 Types of Ineffective Apologies

When I was growing up, one of my favorite television shows was <i>Happy Days</i>, and my favorite character on that show was Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli — or “The Fonz” — who was the epitome of cool. He could tap a vending machine, and free sodas would appear. He could change music on a jukebox just by …

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This research has left me levitating with excitement. I'm dumbfounded by what positive psychology can do. But this is taking it to a whole new level. <i>What Marcel, tell us!</i><p>OK, here's the scoop. Shawn Achor, Harvard-trained happiness researcher and <i>New York Times</i> best-selling author of <i>The Happiness</i> …

Happiness

Don’t Waste Your Time on Networking Events

Large, traditional business networking events are a time-honored institution. They have been a staple of aspiring and successful professionals for so long that most networking advice focuses not on <i>whether</i> you should attend, but on how to make the most of these events when you <i>do</i> attend. In theory, …

Networking

What Great Listeners Actually Do

Chances are you think you’re a good listener. People’s appraisal of their listening ability is much like their assessment of their driving skills, in that the great bulk of adults think they’re above average.<p>In our experience, most people think good listening comes down to doing three things:<p>Not …

Public Speaking

Warby Parker is getting better results by reducing managers’ control over workers

The problem Warby Parker faced was not unusual nor particularly complicated: How could the trendy eyewear company make better use of its computer programmers’ time?<p>To solve that mundane quandary, the company could have hired an outside consultant, or reorganized its engineering department.<p>Instead, …

Warby Parker

How to Maintain Your Professional Network Over the Years

Everyone knows it’s important to build a network. But once you’ve made a connection with someone, how do you maintain it over the long haul so that you can call the person when you need help (e.g., a job reference or a professional favor)? How frequently should you be in touch with your contacts? …

Wells Fargo and the Slippery Slope of Sales Incentives

In early September Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $185 million fine and return $5 million in fees wrongly charged to customers. The settlement stems from the bank’s employees allegedly opening more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ permission. The CEO of Wells Fargo, John …

A Guide to Cold Emailing

Cold emailing is harder than most communication for two reasons. You have no relationship with your audience yet, and you lack non-verbal feedback, so you can’t modify your approach in real time. As a result, most cold emails fail.<p>But they <i>can</i> work well. People have built careers and launched …

A CEO’s Personality Can Undermine Succession Planning

Once upon a time, there was an enlightened organizational leader who spoke candidly about his upcoming retirement. “I am afraid about the next phase of my life” he would say, continuing “I’m not sure what my life is or will be without my job, without my career. How will I spend my time? How will I …

How To Say “This Is Crap” In Different Cultures

I had been holed up for six hours in a dark conference room with 12 managers. It was a group-coaching day and each executive had 30 minutes to describe in detail a cross-cultural challenge she was experiencing at work and to get feedback and suggestions from the others at the table.<p>It was Willem’s …

3 Reasons Your Strategy Meetings Irritate Your Team

Used well, strategy meetings provide clarity and momentum. They align a team around key decisions and create positive energy.<p>Used poorly, strategy meetings irritate people. They waste time and energy, or worse, strengthen entrenched points of view creating frustration and resignation.<p>In my work …

Know the Difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM DISNEY INSTITUTE

<b>By Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute</b><p>The term “customer experience” is ubiquitous in business these days. In fact, focusing on the customer experience has become the single most important way for an organization to achieve success—often becoming its key differentiator and …

Customer Experience

As Boomers Retire, Companies Prepare Millennials for Leadership Roles

Vikram Ravinder was a little nervous as he faced the board members of Chicago nonprofit Bunker Labs in a conference room in early December. The …

BAE Systems

Strategy and Execution Are the Same Thing

In a recent article, Paul Leinwand, Cesare Mainardi, and Art Kleiner presented some survey findings underscoring the well-established fact that few leaders (only 8%, according to their study) are good at both creating good strategies and putting them into practice. But they seemed to almost …

Trick Yourself into Breaking a Bad Habit

Let’s face it — we all have a career-limiting habit. Whether it’s weak interpersonal skills, a tendency to procrastinate, or good-but-not-great technical prowess, one of the biggest impediments to our upward mobility is a habit we struggle to change.<p>A few years back, my colleagues and I studied …

Reduce Passive-Aggressive Behavior on Your Team

The majority of teams I work with have a conflict problem: They have too little conflict. They seldom express dissent, diversity of opinion, or frustration. Instead, they act passive-aggressively toward one another, leaving themselves in a quagmire of unresolved issues. As a team leader, you need …

Resolving the Paradox of Group Creativity

Researchers have been studying creativity for more than 150 years, yet it still remains elusive. We’re not much closer to understanding what it is exactly that sparks unique ideas. One reason for this lack of insight may be that so much research has looked at the wrong things. Until quite recently, …

Optimizing Each Part of a Firm Doesn’t Optimize the Whole Firm

Most people found the General Motors ignition switch scandal appalling. Not only did the defect result in over 100 deaths, but it turned out that fixing the problem would have cost less than $1 per car. For many, it was a horrible indictment of corporate greed. Profits, it seems, were valued more …

Why Organizations Don’t Learn

Virtually all leaders believe that to stay competitive, their enterprises must learn and improve every day. But even companies revered for their dedication to continuous learning find it difficult to always practice what they preach.<p>Consider Toyota: Continuous improvement is one of the pillars of …

A Simple Formula for Changing Our Behavior

“Whoa! What are you doing?” I asked aghast.<p>I had just walked into my daughter’s room as she was working on a science project. Normally, I would have been pleased at such a sight. But this time, her project involved sand. A lot of it. And, while she had put some plastic underneath her work area, it …