May is the month of new beginnings. Just ask any recent graduate with a freshly minted diploma clasped tightly in hand.

They’ve slogged through the salt mines of advanced programming, navigated the carbon bonds of organic chemistry and agonized through weeklong problem sets in engineering. They’ve labored to understand the relevance of Cicero’s speeches to modern political rhetoric, and poured through thousands of pages of literature in search of an insight from Shakespeare or Thoreau that they could apply to the world they will inherit. And they are now at last, free — launched out into the exciting and very scary world of becoming contributing members of a society that is both characterized by its many flaws and heralded for its fine points.

In the course of pursuing a degree, however, these future leaders have spent much of their education learning about other people, other places and other things. The journey to truly understanding the legacy that they will compose and leave to others some 40 years from now is just getting underway. (read more…)

In 2015, companies spent a record-setting $2 trillion on acquisitions, a majority of it in the technology, health care, insurance, and banking industries. In 2016, we’ve already seen two market-shaking deals go through: Charter Communications’ $55 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable and Comcast’s recent $3.8 billion purchase of DreamWorks Animation. 2015 was notable for the DuPont-Dow Chemical announcement and brewing giant Anheuser-Busch’s bid to take over SABMiller.

Mergers and acquisitions are enticing, especially to organizations looking to expand during uncertain economic times. They hold the promise of an expanded customer base, a larger global footprint, instant product diversification and an easy route into new markets. However, M&A is usually anything but smooth for the employees on the ground floor, and can wreak havoc on engagement by besetting them with worries about job security, relocation, retraining, and sweeping policy changes.

The problem with change

Although human beings are hardwired to go out and make change, we are, by nature, resistant to change. (read more…)

Food retail news and one culinary news story made the top five most-read stories this week in SmartBrief on Food & Beverage, with a story on ALDI‘s new higher-end store prototype taking the top spot. The Germany-based discount supermarket chain is trading its no-frills style for a neater look and cafe that will sell fair-trade coffee and fresh smoothies. Almost 1,900 stores will be converted to the new prototype over the next three years.

Runner up was a culinary story on a new type of caramel, and third was news that Hormel Foods will acquire nut butter brand Justin’s for an undisclosed sum.

Rounding out the rest of the top five stories was Whole Foods‘ announcement that the first 365 store set to open in California in a couple weeks will include a robotic kiosk called teaBot. The kiosk is one of several tech touches the retailer will launch with the new concept, including a wine app called Banquet created especially for the store. (read more…)

When I founded CaseFleet in early 2015, I wasn’t a first-time entrepreneur. While we continue building CaseFleet software to help litigation attorneys prepare their cases for trial more effectively, I previously started a law firm in 2011 with one of my law school colleagues.

We succeeded in growing the firm from just two attorneys to a respected employment-litigation firm with associate attorneys, staff and a substantial profit margin. Starting a law firm straight out of law school was brutal and required working a lot of nights and weekends to make it a success, but that challenge pales in comparison to the challenge of founding and running an early-stage SaaS startup. CaseFleet is now a year old, has a strong product and is acquiring new paying customers each month.

I’ve learned a tremendous amount in the past year about business and myself, and I’d like to share a few lessons that could prove extremely helpful to other entrepreneurs and founders. (read more…)

At the heart of modern Dimensional Leadership, a powerful multifaceted leadership model created by Karen and Henry Kimsey-House, rests our crucial relationships to the unfamiliar. I see this everyday in my role as an inclusion and accessibly consultant with CTI as well as in other I coach.

The way in which we engage with the unfamiliar not only determines our own freedom, a sense of self-efficacy, but it also determines our team’s capacity to find integration and cohesion in the face of new and unique challenges.

In my experience, there are three key factors in bridging a vibrant and mutually empowering relationship to the unfamiliar. They are: name it, embrace it, and invite others.

None of these can be done in isolation, and all are key components to fostering environments where each person can move fluidly, between various dimensions of leadership.

recite-yq3hbuName it

Naming it begins by leading from within. (read more…)