If generations solve problems differently, how do they find solutions together?

A few years ago we were having a debate at the office about how to approach problems. That’s a wide statement, of course. But the conversation was not about how to solve any issue in particular. The discussion focused more on a certain template to our processes, and how that presupposed other things. How we identify problems, whom we assign the resolution to and why we choose one person over another. Like so many things, these decisions are partly determined by our generational perspective. But generations solve problems differently. So do older decision makers need an overall reset?

Need a supply of talent? If it’s time to hire, it’s already too late.

The movie Glengarry, Glen Ross famously features a scene where Alec Baldwin lectures a room of salesmen on how to convince prospective investors to buy the real estate they’re pushing. “A-B-C!” he screams at them. “Always be closing!” His point, of course, is that you should see every contact as an opportunity to make a sale. While that’s an aggressive tactic pushed by a ruthless boss, there’s a (much) softer point to consider when it comes to networking, especially in order

Smells Like Team Spirit: How to Unify a Diverse Team in the Workplace

Smells Like Team Spirit: How to Unify a Diverse Team in the Workplace

I’ve been asked more and more frequently how managers can be sure they are being sensitive and inclusive. In almost all cases, I get the question from well-meaning, but fairly stressed executives, often men, usually in their late 40s to early 50s. They have teams that include women, LGBT members, and international employees. ‘

While they all appreciate and actively look for diversity, they recognize their own limitations in being able to identify opportunities to celebrate and unify a diverse team with such different backgrounds and experiences. While more than 70% of executives are white men, the increasing diversity of

Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Workplace

Finding Middle Ground in a Divided Workplace

I was recently asked to give advice to a professional that was really struggling with the best way to succeed in a divided workplace. She asked:  “At my job, you can tell that employees are divided in many ways. I’m not the type of person to fall into groups because it’s what everyone expects or it’s how you get things done. So, how can I get ahead, as an individual, without compromising my character?”

A divided workplace is tricky business – here’s how to use your head and keep your soul:

It’s totally understandable why you’d like to be a grown-up and

How to Keep the X Factor — Five Skills Gen X Employees Need

How to Keep the X Factor — Five Skills Gen X Employees Need

If you were born between roughly 1965 and 1980, then you have a lot of great skill sets, but some have become rarely needed (reading a map) to rarely used (reading cursive) to downright quaint (writing cursive). What’s not debatable is that certain skills Gen X employees need are paramount to remaining competitive. As of 2018, Xers were expected to be 60% of the workforce. But you don’t want to just be in the game, you want to be at the top of it.

Here are skills Gen X employees need:

Leverage: inter-generational collaboration. In one study, Gen X employees scored highest

Diversity 2.0? Millennials Define Inclusion Differently. (Surprise.)

You know that Millennials have set themselves apart as having an alluring (maybe) but perplexing (certainly) distinction on almost every dynamic possible. You’d have to be under a rock in a cave on an island not to be aware of the deafening chatter on why – digitalisation, global economies, weather patterns (don’t put it past someone).

In any event, it would be fair to assign a heavy influence to the speed of change – their effortless navigation at a pace in which devices, social media platforms, and even hashtags can become obsolete with startling abruptness. Perhaps they don’t even think of

How tribalism can hurt your company: What to do before it’s too late

The world of business is competitive, there is no doubt about it. The goal of the game is making money: Driving growth and reaping profit. As the competition becomes more intense the stakes get higher and our emotions can often let us down.

In this competitive ‘dog-eat-dog’ environment an inherent human tendency will sometimes emerge. Employees can start to adopt an “us vs. them” attitude, even within the same company. Your teams will then start to compete with each other, and not in the good sense. Different parts of the organization may try to out maneuver each other, sometimes in front

Do you have what it takes to be an active follower?

At one point in the Disney animated film Peter Pan  the Lost Boys sing

 Following the leader, the leader, the leader.  We’re following the leader wherever he may go. Tee dum, tee dee, A teedle ee do tee day, Tee dum, tee dee. It’s part of the game we play.

Did you ever wonder if there are rules for following the leader?  In the game of business is there opportunity for a differentiated playbook when you are follower? Or, should you just ‘keep your head down and do as you are told?’

I was curious about this so I

My Year of Thinking Dangerously: A Professional Breakthrough

About 18 months ago I was feeling pretty good. My team at work was doing well and creating massive impact. We enjoyed the respect of both the business leaders and our peers in HR. Business schools and professional groups were seeking our input for lectures, case studies and guidance. I had more opportunities to co-author books, lecture and research than I had time for…and the headhunters kept calling. Not only were they calling me…but everyone on our team. Like sirens of the lake, each call promised the riches of fame and fortune.

It couldn’t get any better. As they say down

What I learned about leadership at the bottom of an African coal mine

I am only one of two corporate psychologists I know of who has worked at the bottom of a coal mine, let alone one in a remote part of Africa.  There I learned three important lessons about decision-making, teams, leadership and social impact.

I place a high value on rolling up my sleeves and getting out in the field to actually see customers and products in action. If I didn’t, I would become distanced from reality

I once had a client in the mining industry.  While working out in the field with some of the leaders, my colleague Bill and I had