Category Archives: company culture

Yes, and…

Have you ever thought of using improvisational techniques (explained below) to improve the communication, the engagement and culture of your company? Vistage Speaker Chris Nielson brought them to my groups this week with great enthusiasm and success. Once engaged it is easy to connect, but how to engage? >

Demographics win!

We have always been effected by demographic shifts, but they usually don’t come quickly. So we don’t notice until they have crept so far that they stare us in the face. COVID changed all that. Trends changed rapidly and many are permanent. >

Your “team one”

It made sense when Patrick Lencioni said it, and it made sense when I read it in The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team 20 years ago, but it still is not common business practice. Your executive leadership team – the CEO and your peers,  must be your “team one”, not your division or your direct reports. Whew! >

Don’t “wuss out”

On Friday, I attended a Vistage webinar featuring Patrick Lencioni, the writer of 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, The Ideal Team Player, and The Motive. Lencioni has a new assessment he has developed called “Working Genius“. It is a great tool for assessing the “right seat on the bus*” for your team members. Assessment requires communication with the team member: letting them know regularly whether they are performing to your expectations. Lencioni said one of the biggest failures of many leaders is that they “wuss out.” I burst out laughing.


It’s spooky

Halloween decorations went up in my neighborhood mid-September. Finally, we have arrived to the BIG DAY, and thank goodness! The witches and spiders and pumpkins in my yard are beginning to look a bit tired and bedraggled. >

Leadership advice from Colin Powell

General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke to my 3 Vistage groups this week and the take-aways were fantastic. Well actually, it was a pre-recorded interview with Vistage CEO Sam Reese that we watched at home and discussed at the meetings. But still, the take-aways were excellent! >

When new competitors emerge….

What do you do when new competitors emerge? It used to be that the U.S. was the largest manufacturer in the world. It has been many years since Asian countries- first Japan then China became major competitors. Many US companies moved their manufacturing off shore to take advantage of cheaper labor. Then companies started to outsource customer service to other countries, then software development. Now with the changes to how we work since COVID, many companies have been working from home for over 17 months. Not just some of the work has been done away from the office, ALL of it was. Guess what?  We have created new competition to the way we used to work and many of our team members have no intention of going back. How do we turn that to our advantage? >

Going back to the office

Every Vistage group is having the same discussion: how/ who/ when to go back to the office?  Those who never stopped going in –  the essential in-person company leaders roll – their eyes. They have been masked up and in the office/field the whole time, but what about the rest of us???? >

Recruiting – not hiring

When the pandemic began last year, and many parts of the economy hit a hard stop, I warned that how we treat our team members will long be remembered. They may not leave us in the moment, but the opportunity would come with the recovery. In case you hadn’t noticed, that moment has arrived.

Contacted on LinkedIn, or by recruiters they have never met, our best team members are being hunted and offered really sweet packages. And, when they get hired away because they can’t turn down a 20% increase in their pay (after all they have kids who will go to college if school finally goes back to in-person), you will have to pay their replacement more than your current 10 year employees with more experience. Argh!

What to do? First of all, say thank you. Seriously. Personally thank your team. Individually if possible but if you are communicating by video, look right into the camera and say thank you to your team for getting you through this crazy year. Acknowledge the parents (especially the Mom’s) who heroically kept our families and our companies going. Acknowledge the loss of family members and health that many suffered.

Double down on your great culture. Hopefully, all of the work you did in the last year to focus on your core strengths, to communicate well with your team whether in person or at the work place, to listen deeply to them and to customers, will make you an extremely desirable place to work. So, if a few team members are recruited away, you will be able to replace them with great talent.

Start recruiting now by creating or reinforcing a company presence on LinkedIn that shows who you are. Make sure your website is attractive to potential recruits. Remember, if they are now remote employees, they can work for some other company in another time zone. If you ever were in the driver’s seat on hiring, that has disappeared. If I haven’t scared you enough, read this article from Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage. And, if you company executive, and are not in Vistage, ask yourself, why not?