Recent Blog Articles

Change Management Isn't About Workarounds - Clear and Open

X Easy Ways To Blah Blah Blah

We love quick-fixes. Unfortunately, for the things that really matter, they rarely work. Think about your expertise. Think about your greatest achievements. Think about a change you’ve made in yourself. Did any of those things happen from implementing “X Easy Ways to Blah Blah Blah” that showed up in your inbox one day? Probably not.…

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Family Business Problems Simply Solved: It's Easier Than You Think! - Clear and Open

How To Make Family Business Problems Disappear

I get asked a lot about family businesses, and I’ve helped hundreds. Family business problems begin with an innocent mistake: the assumption that working with someone you love is easy. The truth is there are few things more difficult. Once you accept that you’ve inadvertently taken on an Olympic-level challenge, things can change. It’s actually…

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Engagement Fix For Employees You'd Never Think Of - Clear and Open

The Employee Engagement-Overwhelm Cycle

Prior to about twenty years ago, you didn’t hear much on the subject of employee engagement. Then a bunch of management consultants discovered it was a billion dollar problem. It’s my hope and prediction that in the next twenty years one of its root causes is recognized as widely. Employee engagement was revealed as a…

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Get Organized, Slow Down To Go Faster: A Counterintuitive Approach - Clear and Open

Slow Is The New Fast

Because metaphors involving sexy cars are always fun…. I’ve ogled the valet lots Newport Beach, CA, where Porsches are pedestrian, but the fanciest car I’ve ever seen was in a Home Depot parking lot in the sleepy town of Phoenix, Oregon. I didn’t know what I was looking at, the only writing on this polished…

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Management Metrics as a Vehicle for Cultural Change - Clear and Open

The Mirror of Management Metrics

What’s your relationship to management metrics? It’s normal not to be able to answer right away. You’ll find yourself somewhere on the spectrum of metrics-obsessed to metrics-phobic. It doesn’t matter where you are on the spectrum. What matters is that you can learn about yourself and your business or department wherever you are. People think…

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Better Managers Own Their Incompetence - A Simple But Not Easy Way - Clear and Open

Own The Weak To Get Strong

Many want to become a better manager, but don’t know how. Management is one of those things people feel like they should know how to do well, despite that it’s the most difficult aspect of business that most people receive little to no training for. Especially if you already are a manager, there’s an assumption…

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Foster Employee Engagement - Clear and Open

Evil Isn’t Helping Accountability

Our world of fiction is filled with evil characters who seek to dominate the world, immerse it in darkness, let loose destruction and mayhem, and do other “evil” things. While such stories can be entertaining, they contribute to an already less-than-responsible world and complicate accountability. Here’s how…. The vast majority of people have good intentions.…

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Leadership Coach Moment: What If Fear Wasn't The Problem? - Clear and Open

What If Courage Isn’t What You Think?

Paul was afraid, but that wasn’t the problem, as you’ll see. He needed to have a tough conversation with Sheila, an employee of fifteen years. Sheila needed to either change or leave. She was his wife’s best friend, one of his first employees, and surely had the best intentions. But her negativity was a poison…

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Business Coaching Made Simple With One Question - Clear and Open

Because Sometimes Normal Sucks

Over a decade ago a general contractor in serious trouble came to me for business coaching. Let’s call him Dave. His revenue was down two straight years. He broke even the year before, but nine months into the current year, his net profit was negative four percent. Burning cash by the wheelbarrow, he had five…

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Improve Company Culture From The Inside Out With Holistic Thinking - Clear and Open

Is It Plugged In?

The toaster won’t turn on. You fiddle with it for a minute or two. You start locally. But, when that doesn’t work, you think bigger. You move from content to context. First, you check if it’s plugged in. Then you go further out, “Hmmm, maybe the circuit is blown.” You do this all the time.…

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