Blog

CHRO – Become Your Organization’s Chief Culture Officer

Today’s Human Resources (HR) leader has a wonderful opportunity to make an important strategic contribution: Become your organization’s Chief Culture Officer. If your CEO already acts as the Chief Culture Officer, great. Then you can be his or her Chief Culture Execution Officer. But most CHROs aren’t that fortunate, and you may need some ammunition to persuade the CEO that focusing on building culture can be a source of competitive advantage: Researchers have found a “strong relationship between constructive organizational cultures and financial performance.” (Source: Eric Sanders and Robert Cooke, “Financial Returns from Organizational Culture Improvement: Translating ‘Soft’ Changes into

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Leading from Below

In our work with leaders across sectors and industries, we often get asked about how people can “lead from below”: how they can exert influence on the organization and its culture even when they do not have much (or any) formal authority, or when they work in middle management, or when they work for a bad or mediocre manager, or for a company with a toxic culture. The short answer: you can do much more than you think. Ronald Heifetz from Harvard has noted that, since we tend to conflate leadership and authority, even the idea of leading without authority can

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Personal Resilience and Self-Care in Hard Times

In times of great upheaval and uncertainty, we struggle to find ways to thrive despite the challenges. Much of this comes down to self-talk, self-regulation, and self-leadership—navigating our reactions to external events and ensuring that our inner voice does not undermine us amidst the difficulties. The toll of the pandemic is massive, from disease, suffering, death, and mourning to unemployment, financial stress, disruptions, and restrictions. The effects on our quality of life and inner state can be more profound than we realize. Stress, pressure, and fear—for ourselves and our loved ones—exact their price in insidious ways. But we humans are

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Sustainable Leadership on the 50th Earth Day

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day on which we honor our planet and recognize the importance of environmental stewardship and our mind-boggling interconnectedness. Since 1970, the world population doubled, from 3.7 billion people to 7.6 billion today. We have made great progress on some fronts, but not nearly enough. In our triple crown leadership model, there are three mains aims: excellent, ethical, and enduring. We define the latter one, enduring, as “standing the test of time and operating sustainably.” Sustainability can be defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to

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What This Pandemic Teaches Us About Business and Society

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew.” –Abraham Lincoln As an insidious virus spreads around the world, we are wise to stop and ask: what can it teach us? Much, I think. One question I am drawn to lately is this: what does the pandemic teach us about the role of business in society? “This moment is the curriculum.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn First, some context. For half a century, an epic

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Five Words that Changed Me as a Parent

There I was, a new father, my wife and I blessed with a beautiful young daughter, before our second daughter came along. I had been awed at her birth, feeling the world move. Growing up, I had always hoped to have a family and be a father. I knew it would be a tremendous responsibility to be in charge of someone’s care. I knew it conceptually and thought I understood it but really had no idea whatsoever—no clue—until I became a father and experienced how magical, and sometimes how trying, it could be. I recall one day home alone with

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