Tag: leadership

Blinded by Human Nature and Compliance

We all like to think we’d act quickly and effectively to stop ongoing, illegal, dangerous, or unethical acts once we had notice or a whiff of knowledge of improper behavior. That’s one reason why the apparent inaction of many in the face of allegedly cruel, sadistic, and criminal conduct at Penn

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The Bonfire of Silicon Valley – Kleiner Perkins on Trial

Last month, a California jury ruled in favor of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, a leading venture capital firm, rejecting Ellen Pao’s claims of sex-based discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. As I followed the case, I wondered how Kleiner’s principals would have evaluated a possible investment target whose senior leaders were

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Anchor Away. Brian Williams’ Six Month Big Shot Leave

On February 10, we learned that Brian Williams had been suspended by NBC news for six months without pay following the revelation that he provided false information regarding a 2003 wartime incident in Iraq. His case made as much news as many of the stories he and his colleagues regularly

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Is Managing Grumpiness the Key to Managing Risk?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that financial service leaders are examining their cultures and employee attitudes on a range of issues to limit and manage risk. The reason for this examination is these business leaders recognize that statutory regulation and vigorous whistleblower provisions may not be enough to halt dangerous acts

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Wrapped in a Tiffany Blue Box®

Imagine . . . . Imagine someone you care about extending her hand toward you.  In her hand she holds a small, robin’s egg blue box wrapped with a white ribbon. “Here,” she says, “it’s for you.” What feelings would that beautiful little blue box evoke?  Anticipation?  Excitement? Gratitude?  Curiosity? For

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Ebola and Workplace Learning

One patient has died.  Two healthcare providers have been infected with the ebola virus in Texas.  It’s too early to know for sure what happened, but somewhere there is a “learning” issue that needs attention. Last night, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital announced that it had given its staff mandatory training and that

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Engagement Starts With Them

A recent Gallup survey found that 70% of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” and are emotionally disconnected from their workplaces. These findings are troubling because high levels of engagement translate into better productivity, creativity, retention, and reputation, the not-so-secret-sauces of excellence and competitive advantage. The report includes suggestions on

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What Did the Mare Hear?

On a visit last month to the Northwest Montana Fair in Kalispell, I stood in the horse barn watching a teenage girl attempt to pull her mare into a stall. With sweat forming across her forehead and her feet sliding across the straw-covered boards of the barn, she pulled hard

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Implicit Bias – Explicit Results

Humans make quick decisions. We react reflexively to strange, threatening, and potentially life-threatening situations. It’s part of how we survive. Less dramatically but more frequently, we have routine interactions where we meet someone and later realize we’d gotten a “good” or “bad” impression about that person. Maybe this “feeling” translated

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Why Culture Trumps Compliance

On July 30th, the Wall Street Journal reported the following on a recent meeting of the New York Fed: “Thomas Baxter, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the New York Fed, stressed at the outset of his remarks that he was only speaking for himself, but he pointedly critiqued company culture,

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