Why we shouldn’t give up… and why we should ‘show up’ for 2017

February 8, 2017

My sign off on these newsletters is ‘paddle on’, in these demanding, turbulent, change filled times, inside organizations and outside them. My organizational travels over the past year and especially since the US elections have brought me in repeated contact with people unusually and uncharacteristically troubled about the state of the country and the world,.. read more

Lessons From Antarctica

April 13, 2016

Greetings.   I spent much of Wharton’s winter break getting to and from or being in Antarctica.  From 12/27/15 to 1/9/16 I flew over 15,000 miles along with 8 days and 7 nights of camping out on King George Island, hiking in slushy snow and mud, moving camp 4 times, building (and rebuilding) snow walls,.. read more

Leadership Through Transitions

March 10, 2015

    Anxiety runs high during periods of whitewater –people get anxious and leaders want to reassure.   When leaders work to steady the waters it is important to remember that a number of reassuring strategies can have negative middle and long term outcomes.  Consider the following strategies. First, avoid being specific in your assurances and.. read more

Getting The Story Right

May 7, 2014

 Leading Successful Change, chapter 2.What are the story or stories that you want to characterize your organization after the change you have in mind has succeeded? Develop them in order to define and to focus your efforts and those of your colleagues. Set the scene. Imagine your business  3, 5, 10 years in the future... read more

Find Safety in Numbers – Never Paddle Alone

May 6, 2014

From Your Job Survival GuideYou are responsible for your own safety, as you are responsible for your own security. That is the baseline. Flip the kayak, and most likely your paddle and your skill will bring you upright… or not. You cannot expect a superhero to swoop in and save the day. You provide your first.. read more

People are adaptable, so why is organizational change so hard?

August 9, 2013

The human being is a midsize omnivorous mammal that has invested large amounts of evolutionary energy developing a particularly large and complex brain. This brain enables us to scan our world in both simple and sophisticated ways and to fashion responses to it. We can work in the concrete and the abstract, and we can.. read more

Teaming for Today’s Run

August 8, 2013

Your real job is change which means that your real job centers on projects which means lots and lots of teaming. That alone would prove demanding enough, but in today’s fast-paced, whitewater world, the players change often so the teams change often too. Being a good team player has perhaps never been more important.   Yet,.. read more

Understand What Game You Are Playing

June 11, 2013

A team is not a team is not a team. Casually, we refer to teams. Correspondingly, we act as if everyone knows what constitutes as a good team. We sloppily refer to almost any grouping of people assembled to perform a task as a team, and then we speak knowingly about what makes a good.. read more

Why Change Initiatives Fail

June 11, 2013

We live in a world of permanent change – one in which, whatever job title you hold, your real job is in fact change. Yet, the majority of efforts to change organizations fail, often at enormous cost to these enterprises, their members, customers, and stakeholders. Why do so many attempts at organizational change fall short?.. read more

Leading Change

January 23, 2013

Change makes people anxious and edgy. The future grows more uncertain and people grow more uneasy. Fears mount. Rumors fly. It’s time for leadership. Change requires that leaders increase the amount of time that they spend with their people, simply walking the line. The presence of authority and access to it, to you, helps people.. read more