Blog

13
Jan

The Commitment Ladder (A Short Course in Increasing Employee Engagement)

A mentor of mine, the late Gordy Myers, was a master of organizational change. Over the years he watched leaders create change plans that presumed the people impacted by the change would be on board or get on board quickly. Rather than get dazzled by the plans or the bright future ahead, Gordy was a “commitment” guy. Knowing that change

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6
Jan

Listening For Truth From Power

Last month I saw an article about a courageous flight attendant in the UK who noticed ice on the plane’s wings as it began take-off and alerted the pilots at the last moment, potentially saving the lives of everyone aboard. As the article makes clear, what made this act courageous was that the flight attendant spoke “truth to power,” potentially

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7
Jun

What Is Bailing and Bruising Costing Your Organization?

If there’s been a theme to the conversations I’ve had with clients this year, it’s the growing cost they’re experiencing related to this bail-bruise dynamic. For one client, it undermines their inclusion and engagement efforts, effecting their ability to retain and compete for talent. With another, it undermines their innovation efforts. For a third privately-held company, it is complicating an

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7
Nov

Why Training Fails (And What To Do About It): Part II

I’ve been in the training business for a long time and have seen many reasons training fails – the design is weak, the content isn’t relevant to the audince, the delivery isn’t effective, the timing is bad, the wrong people are selected, the training isn’t reinforced… The list goes on. While those are surely important considerations in creating successful training

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24
Oct

Why Training Fails (And What To Do About It): Part I

The ultimate goal of training – and leadership for that matter – is to develop employees’ performance. The better people perform, the better the organization performs. When thoughtfully deployed, training is a great lever for improving performance. The problem is that it is rarely thoughtfully deployed. There are many places training can go wrong – the content may not meet

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3
Oct

Developing Strengths BETWEEN People

If there’s one quote that sums up what my life’s work has been about thus far, it’s this one from incomparable Peter Drucker: “Management is about human beings. Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their strengths effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”There’s so much in those few words. As leaders and L&D professionals, how do

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30
Jul

What Makes Someone An Extraordinary Communicator?

Last year I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Paul Jones, CEO of Magneto Communications, a training firm that helps people be more efficient, effective, and influential in the way they write. Paul’s blog includes interviews with thought leaders on the topics of influence and communication. I’m honored to have been included. Here’s an abridged version of that interview:Paul Jones: Who,

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16
Jul

The Risk of Everyday Communication

Ten or so years ago I got a call from a global consulting firm that specializes in risk management. They help clients around the world manage financial risk, cyber security, corporate misconduct, and fraud potential. So why were they calling Ridge? To help manage a risk they observed in their own organization: everyday communication. I had never thought about communication as

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20
Jun

How Listening Overcomes “Bad Apple” Behavior

A few years ago I tuned into This American Life, the radio show and hugely popular podcast hosted by Ira Glass. Just as I turned it on, I heard Glass conclude a story this way: “If listening is all it takes to overcome bad behavior… If listening is more powerful than meanness, sloth, or depression… It’s like a trick from a

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7
Jun

Preparing for Difficult Conversations

Confronting performance problems, giving tough feedback, being candid about smoldering conflicts, delivering bad news: these are the impending conversations that keep you up at night, or that you wake to in the morning. They occupy your mind while you’re trying to do other work. You wonder, “How am I going to bring it up?” Your mind makes movies about what

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