Leading change starts with a compelling leadership vision for change. According to leadership expert John Kotter, a lack of leadership vision is one of the most common reasons why transformational change efforts fail.

A leadership vision isn’t just for large, CEO-led, companywide transformational changes. Leaders at all levels need to inspire people to change in order to overcome significant challenges and achieve important goals.

“Transformational” is always relative and defined by those most affected by the change. While an office reconfiguration at a branch office may seem insignificant and trivial to a CEO and his executive team, it’s probably considered transformational to the employees that work in that office. It’s up to the branch office manager to have a vision for that reconfiguration or the move is going to be met with skepticism and resistance. The change could take longer than it needs to without even achieving the desired results. (read more…)

Beware of bright shiny objects!

That could be a lesson contained in J.R.R. Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy when we see characters who find themselves in difficulty because they have strayed from their moral center.

Today, the term “bright shiny objects” is used in reference to organizations that cannot formulate a strategy, or if they do develop one, they fail to adhere to it. As a result such companies end up chasing after things that on the surface look appealing but upon investigation prove to be untenable.

Bright shiny objects are distractors. As such they belong in the realm of fables not in the corridors of management. (read more…)

RadioShack is on the ropes. What can be done to save it? (read more…)

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Since its formation in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has set standards to ensure optimal workplace safety and health. Such regulations can be found in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which outlines labor in the U.S.

In recent years, the agency has been releasing annual lists called “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards.” It’s a list dedicated to the most common OSHA safety violations in the country, based on the agency’s worksite inspections. The consistently leading violations: Fall protection, hazard communication, and scaffolding. We’ll discuss each below, along with what companies should be aware of.

Fall protection

The most violated standard — at least within the past decade — has been 29 CFR 1926.501, which addresses fall protection. In 2013, there were 8,241 violations, a 13% increase from 2010. Falls continue to be one of the most common causes, if not the most common, of serious work-related injuries and deaths, accounting for over 200 fatalities each year. (read more…)

One of the most important hiring decisions companies make is who to put into leadership roles. How well does your company do on this critical task?

The Gallup organization reports that organizations make bad leadership hiring decisions 82% of the time (!).

Gallup’s research indicates that managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. That huge impact on employee engagement translates into good or not so good performance, customer service, quality, profitability, and discretionary energy being applied to daily tasks.

The problem is that most companies have not defined what a “great boss” looks, acts, or sounds like. Without a set of “great boss” standards, companies put people into leadership roles who do not have demonstrated leadership or “people” skills.

Past individual accomplishment and technical expertise does not mean that the candidate will effectively manage and inspire others.

Gallup has found that great bosses have the following talents (demonstrated skills):

  • They motivate every single employee to take action and engage them with a compelling mission and vision.
  • (read more…)