How do I make sure they’re committed? Launching organizational change

Q: Why did so many dance with Matt? I learned about gaining commitment the hard way. (The same way I learn just about everything.) Some years ago, I had an inspiring vision for the work some of my colleagues and I were doing. Well, I was inspired. To communicate this vision, I rented an empty […]

Hong Kong Snapshot: Feeling the bow

Every expert on cross-cultural communication I’ve run across warns Westerners NOT to bow to their Asian friends and colleagues. It’s a deeply felt, nuanced form of communication in Asia. How low, how long, to whom – all are thickly layered with meaning. Westerners, the authorities warn, will simply never get it right.

Get a question you can’t answer?

At On Your Feet, we’re big believers in saying what’s real. (Life is complex enough already, right?) When we get a question from an audience that we can’t answer, we just… uh… say we don’t have the answer. And then do our best to help them find it. That said, Jonah Lehrer, contributing editor at  Wired […]

That was then, this is now

By being unrealistic and crunched for time, I recently discovered a new way to start a follow-up meeting. The session had been rescheduled several times. Stragglers were making us late and, frankly, I was getting irritated. Because I’m a champion eavesdropper, it was easy to overhear that the team’s memory of our last meeting was dim […]

Getting beyond yes

Often, when I ask clients how they make decisions, I hear, “Oh, we mostly use consensus around here.” Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Eight times out of ten, these are the same people who also note that group decisions often get reversed, people say one thing and then do another, or that their team spins and […]

Your inner immune system

Imagine you have a colleague who gets all fired up around focusing more effectively on “the critical few.” He wants to clarify desired outcomes, delegate more, support small failures as learning, and challenge thought process and logic instead of details. Suppose he wisely recognizes that this behavior change will not only create value for his […]

Physical telephone

Recently, we did some exciting work with James and Athena Pond, whose Transitions Global has done amazing work around the world helping teen victims of sex trafficking rebuild their lives. In light of the seriousness of their mission, the following warm-up exercise that we used might seem silly or trivial, but we found it to […]