Expert-Written Articles
To Guide Your Proficiencies

Organizational Culture, Climate, and Accountability: A Gordian Knot

There’s been a lot written recently about culture. A shocker to me was the New York Times article by Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace” (Aug. 15,2015). The authors write that: the company is “conducting a little-known experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers, redrawing the boundaries of what is acceptable.” Employees are encouraged to rip apart colleague’s ideas (to make them better), challenge everything, secretly report on their peers to their bosses. Competitiveness and rivalries are encouraged. All this in search of competitive advantage.

Creating a New Culture of Accountability

Employee accountability has been a concern of management from the beginning of businesses to the modern day. Henry Ford tried to solve the accountability problem by simplifying jobs so employees only had one or two tasks. He just wanted employees to “do the job in front of them.” Today, simple jobs have been automated and knowledge workers fill the ranks of many companies. With this shift has come empowered employees who are expected to make important decisions and perform a wider range of tasks. Discretion and accountability have become performance issues. Management teams are seeking ways to better hold their employees accountable. This document offers some ideas on how to do that.

Increasing Accountability in Organizations

Managers have wanted to know how to increase accountability forever. Many different approaches have been tried. Managers have been told that their employees need to rise above victimization and their circumstances and take action and ownership. They’ve been told that it’s what you say and how you say it that makes people accountable. They’ve been told to set clear expectations up front. They’ve been told to specify. To tell people what is wanted. And still, accountability is a problem.

How Does Training Fit into OD or Is It the Opposite?

The purpose of this article is to articulate my thoughts on the differences, and similarities between OD and L&D. I’ve found that many people confuse the two. For example, there are trainers who feel they are doing OD. OD practitioners who do training, and HR people who do both + HR. In truth, there is a lot of overlap, but in my opinion, they are different disciplines.

The Power of Brand

This article is about branding and brand. It’s a small part of successfully marketing yourself, but a vitally important one. Maybe it’s the most important factor in being successful as an independent consultant.
There are some 200,000+ consultants in the United States competing for the attention of prospective clients. To be successful you must differentiate yourself from the masses. Let’s face it, just about everyone who calls herself or himself a consultant is not all that different than the others. You may have a PhD, a MA, or 20+ years of experience. So what? It wouldn’t be too terribly surprising to learn that there are 50,000 competitors who can claim the same or better qualifications.

Stories and Storytelling for New Trainers and Consultants

This article was written for a person I was mentoring. She was an aspiring trainer and felt that her lack of experience was a detriment because she didn’t have stories to tell. It’s true that newbie trainers, managers, consultants and others lack personal stories that can be used to help make teaching points. That does affect their credibility.
New trainers, consultants, coaches, etc. need to have a good collection of stories that reinforce or make your points. To get them, you have to be proactive. You have to go get them.