Thursday, March 1, 2012

Blog Retirement

I have officially migrated all of my online activities to the new and improved Please visit the site when you can.
You can still cruise this site for lots of archived posts.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Communication Perspective

Last month a record civil penalty was passed down in the West Virginia mining case where 29 miners were killed last year. The federal regulators investigating determined that the disaster “was the result of a workplace culture that valued production over safety .” In other words, the highest value or context for Massey Energy Co. was profit. While there may have been other priorities and perspectives within the organization’s management, it was the elevated context of production…over…safety that ultimately influenced the numerous critical decisions (in this case safety shortcuts) that were made in the course of doing business in a competitive industry.

Taking a communication perspective leads to some important and profound questions, namely: Could this disaster have been avoided if the company’s hierarchy of value had been challenged and ultimately shifted in some way toward the increased importance of safety? What if there was greater institutional support for whistle blowers who, in this case, experienced retaliation and disciplinary actions to their efforts to resolve safety-related issues effectively?

As the individuals and communities most affected by this tragic episode continue to search for a path forward, the next turn could understandably hold revenge and anger above all other priorities. What would happen, however, if the highest context for the surviving family members and their communities was to shift the conversation from one of retribution to one of changing values in corporate America? What would happen if those powerful voices united in advocacy for priorities such as improving the quality of conditions and ensuring safety measures for employees remain above the profit line?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Most Common Change Barriers

Change Does Not Feel Relevant
When some kind of change initiative comes down the pike, it will usually be rejected if it does not directly connect with people’s needs
This change will not help me with my problems!
I have not been asked to participate in the process, so I’m not really invested in seeing it through!

Insufficient Margin
When a person experiences more demands than they have energy and resources to address them, new learning and performance activities cannot be implemented:
Help, I’m overwhelmed and can’t manage what’s already on my plate!

Anxiety or Distraction from Information/Communication Overload
Too much information, or too much communication around issues, resulting in confusion, frustration, or saturation.
We are too STRESSED to take on anything new!

Attempting to implement new behaviors and practices without changing the system that keeps the old behaviors in place:
We’re spinning our wheels because the same old issue keeps coming up!

Defensive Routines
Deflecting criticism, blaming other people or events, avoiding tasks, or behaving in ways that shift responsibility to others to prevent uncomfortable or embarrassing consequences:
There is somebody or something to blame!

Clinging to a Fixed, Positive Organizational Identity from the Past at the Expense of Current and Accurate Organizational Assessments
I wish it was like it used to be; that was so much better!

Too Many Changes over a Short Period of Time Leading to Fatigue and Resistance to Other, More Essential Changes
I’m done; I just won’t change any more!

Performance Whitewashing
Treating all goals and outcomes the same thus diverting energy and attention from the most critical priorities
I’ll put out whatever fire is in front of me, even though something more important may need to get done!

Friday, November 4, 2011

CMM Solutions - Top 5 in Sales

Just got word that the Danish translation of CMM Solutions has risen to #5 in the ranking of Top Ten Business Books in Denmark!