Is Your Organization In the Learning Zone?

Over the past few years, I’ve spoken with a lot of organizations about the importance of psychological safety. A 2012 study by Google showed that psychological safety is far and away the most important factor of a team’s success, yet many organizations lack the psychological safety required to be successful.  A few years ago, I worked with a client that was going through some major changes and employee morale was at rock bottom. As I began speaking with employees one theme stood out, employees didn’t feel safe speaking up. There were a number of reasons for this, including the fact

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work…Unless the Team is Dysfunctional

This week, I had the great pleasure of facilitating in-person training with a group of junior managers who are working diligently to improve team and unit dynamics among their direct reports. They quickly identified the teams they lead that are functional vs. dysfunctional, and we had some deep discussion about why some teams work and some don’t.  Patrick Lencioni is a subject matter expert on organizational health and team dynamics, and his model of the “5 Dysfunctions of a Team” is embedded in most training about how and why teams work or don’t. The foundation for the model is Trust,

Growth Mindset in Career Development

We’ve been talking about having a Growth Mindset for the past few weeks. If you missed it, check out the series kickoff blog here: What is Growth Mindset?  This time of year, we often get the opportunity to work with high school students looking for guidance related to the next steps after graduation. Career development for students looks like career exploration and exposure. That should start way before the final two years of high school, but it is definitely a priority for most students (and their parents) as secondary education draws to a close. The number one recommendation I have

Is Your Recruiting Strategy to Screen People In or Out?

I was taught how to recruit, well really screen people for jobs, before I even graduated college.  Working for a large insurance company as a summer intern between my junior and senior year, I was given a glimpse into the world of corporate recruiting.  It really wasn’t recruiting. Everyone on this corporate “recruiting” team was welcoming to me and they divided the selection process up amongst the “recruiters” to show me how it was done.  I was taught that the process of selection, “recruiting” as they called it, was screening people out, not in.   Yes, we needed to make a

Training and Developing Growth Mindset

Two weeks ago, Taylor kicked off our new series on Growth Mindset: what is it?! Today we’re exploring a growth mindset in training & development.  The Neuroleadership Institute (NLI) defines growth mindset as …the belief that your skills and abilities can be improved, and that ongoing development is the goal of the work you do. However, creating a growth mindset culture isn’t just about having optimistic employees, but creating a space where employees strive to learn, enjoy being challenged, and feel encouraged to develop new skills. Let’s look at a case study of NLI’s work with Microsoft.  A few years

3 Keys to Meeting Thrive Needs

“Certain ideological systems and work environments are broken. In this age, it’s up to change makers, risk-takers, and the faithful to repair or start fresh when our contexts aren’t bearing fruit for the common good.”  Michaela O’Donnell, PhD in Make Work Matter It’s the end of January 2022 as I write this and I’ve already had about half a dozen requests since the beginning of the year to speak on or facilitate sessions related to workplace retention. Whether you want to frame it as the great resignation, the labor participation rate, COVID still wreaking havoc, or nobody wanting to work

Building the Bridge Between Survive and Thrive in the Workplace

Oftentimes getting from one place to another requires a bridge to cross. A connection point between two things that seem unconnected or so far apart they can’t be reached by conventional means is necessary.  These “bridges” are often grounded in both sides of what they are trying to connect. They are meaningless and useless if they don’t have two sides for anchoring.   So is true of meeting survival needs and getting to “thrive” needs in the workplace. Relational needs are the bridge. Relational needs have roots and support in both survive and thrive and they provide a way between the two. 

Why Encounter Groups Work

One year ago this month, Mary Ila published “4 Exercises to Enhance Your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts” and featured the Encounter Group Model. This blurb stuck out to me the most:  “When we engage in these types of activities, we get to know people. We build relationships. And when we know people it makes it much harder to hate them, or people that are ‘like’ them.’” Since then, our team has partnered with a client to pilot Encounter Groups with about 50 people in an organization of thousands. And it’s working.  We define Encounter Groups as “a group of

Learning from K-12 Educators

“Naturally, everyone must find a way to earn a living wage, but the paycheck should not be the only motivation. Employees who are confident in their abilities and somewhat comfortable in their workplace can be highly productive. Please note that my sentence said ‘somewhat comfortable.’ We must become a bit uncomfortable to grow professionally.”  This is a quote from a K-12 Career Counselor in our latest Continuing Education Class for Facilitating Alabama Career Development: Assessments & Resumes. For the last couple of years, our team has been working with K-12 career developers throughout the state of Alabama, and one big

7 Ways to Complete the Stress Cycle

We’ve been looking at all things workplace wellness throughout the fall, seeking to provide insight to ourselves and our clients about how to create workplaces where people can thrive.  A lot of the impetus is put on individuals to manage their wellness and stress.  This has its place but is also up to organizational leaders to help create systems and structures that give people the ability to survive and thrive at work.  This will impact how they also thrive in all aspects of life given that people do not live and operate in silos.  A thought-provoking book that is geared