organizational growth – Perspectives & Possibilities

Tag: organizational growth

Title: New York City's daily carbon dioxide emissions as one-tonne spheres. | Author: Carbon Visuals | Source: carbonquilt | License: CC BY 2.0

The Constitution as Culture Audit

One of my favorite tasks as an organizational psychologist is to design, administer, and evaluate culture audits. The design process is the most important part because it entails asking the people in an organization to create norms and values of their own choosing. In focus groups, I ask people to share what they believe are the desired and required norms for their organizations, i.e. what kind of work environment would they find most exciting and Read More

Photos by Mike Wilson and Ky0n Cheng

Inspiration and Aspiration

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.”  —Khalil Gibran, The Madman I once worked for a company that aspired to be a $10B corporation. I said to the executives at that time, “That may be a good goal but it surely isn’t a compelling vision, and it does nothing to inspire me.” I left the company after two years. Part Read More

"A Humument p190: Silence & Stars" | Artist: Tom Phillips| Source: www.humument.com | License: © Tom Phillips

Nouns and Norms

I have always loved new ideas and embraced them enthusiastically. I have read an enormous amount about a ton of concepts, and I have accumulated a large repertoire of nouns in my vocabulary. But nouns require action verbs to make them real.

As Bucky Fuller said, God is a verb.

Author: Insomnia Cured Here on Flickr | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/3087375315

Gauging Gurus

As Lao Tzu suggests, “when a person crowns himself as a guru, he is not.”

We should always be able to ask and answer: At what level are the people we entrust with power operating? In this post, I share my guide to evaluating leaders, gurus, and practitioners.

[ C ] Chuck Close - Dalai Lama (2005) | Credit: cea+

Helping or Hurting

It’s Day One after the election of 2016. I feel sick and scared. Who better to suggest a remedy for our spiritual malaise and existential crisis than the Dalai Lama? In a recent article in the New York Times (November 4, 2016), the Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks co-authored a column: “Behind our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.” It seems like an odd couple to me, but their message is profound. They point out Read More

Photograph of Rick and Bobbitt

Three Types of Trust

I’ve been married to the same woman for 46 years, and I can say unequivocally that I totally trust her. I trust her to do the right thing, I trust her to not throw me the under the bus (even though I have given her many opportunities), and I trust her to stand up for people in need of special help. When she makes a statement, I know it is based on sound research; she Read More

Health, Helping and Healing

As I get older, I realize that most problems and opportunities are multi-dimensional. There are many sides to every issue and many layers to every person. Things seem more complex, nuanced, and grey these days…

Credit: annajasinski on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Thinking and Believing

Believe me—Daniel Kahneman got it right: we are more likely to find stories that support our beliefs than seek out evidence in the pursuit of truth. Kahneman is a professor emeritus at Princeton University who wrote the best selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. His work is focused on the psychology of judgment and decision-making for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. His findings challenge the assumption of human rationality. Clearly, Read More

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The Three Dimensions of Leadership Development

Everyone has an opinion on leadership. Amazon offers over 300,000 books with “leadership” in the title and about 4 new books per day are published by aspiring gurus or established academics. It seems like leadership commands as much curiosity as religion. Why is that? I think there are three reasons. First, readers are looking for different solutions for their particular needs. Some want to learn the secrets of a one-minute manager. Others want an in-depth Read More

Title: one size – fits all | Author: Cees Wouda | Source: ceesjw on Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Labels, Limits, and Levels

Dr. Bill Anthony, the highly respected, world-renowned, executive director of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center at Boston University, initiated classes with new students by throwing the DSM into the waste basket. This dramatic statement was intended to communicate to people entering the mental health field that labels limit our ability to see the potential and possibilities of another human being.

Credit: Ryan McGuire | License: CC0

Selecting Coaches

Forty years ago, I wrote my doctoral dissertation on the selection of counselors for public high schools. I didn’t write it to create a career-defining, landmark study. I wrote it to check off a box for the completion of my doctoral degree in counseling psychology. Little did I know that the profession of coaching and counseling would explode in the next century. Now, practically everyone either has a coach or is a coach. The question Read More

Title: Sensitivity | Credit: .m.

Leadership Lexicon

Leaders sometimes wonder why no one is following them. In most cases, the reason is because the leader does not possess all three essentials of effective leadership: Character, Commitment, and Competence. Leaders must be honest and ethical at their core, or people don’t follow. Leaders must also be committed to developing themselves and others. If people are not convinced of the leader’s commitment to their growth, they will not help the leader grow—and they will Read More

Creating Organizational Soul

After publishing Corporate Culture Change, the Corporate Culture Sourcebook, and Ethical Leadership in the late 1980’s, I was retained by Lotus Development Corporation (now known as Lotus Software) in Cambridge, Massachusetts to help them align their culture behind a new network-centric strategy to better differentiate their company from its arch-rival Microsoft.

Photo of skyscraper (Credit: John Salzarulo)

Ethical Leadership

One more time. In 1987, Barry Cohen and I wrote the book Ethical Leadership. We published the first version of the book when greed was still in its relative infancy and millionaires (much less billionaires) were still relatively rare. It thus preceded the economic boom of the 1990s, a decade in which market values escalated to what was then outrageous levels. In finance, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the Read More

"Bell telephone magazine" (1922) | Credit: Internet Archive Book Images

Leadership Myths and Realities

Over 25 years ago, Barry Cohen and I published a book titled Leadership Myths and Realities. Since that time we have held a variety of senior leadership positions and have continued to study the Art and Science of Leadership. This post will review the 10 myths and realities we wrote about in the late 80s, discuss their current relevance, and suggest any new myths and realities that have emerged. To be clear, myths usually contain some degree Read More

Integrated Educational Reform

If educational reform is going to be successful, we need to start with trust and healthy conflict. In my view, commitment is not the major issue. I don’t see a lack of teacher commitment as the biggest problem. To me, capability and culture are far more potent variables in the success equation.

Photo of Machu Picchu by Rick Bellingham

The History of Great Ideas

Great ideas have been piling up in history’s graveyard for 3,000 years. They are left unattended and largely forgotten. When these ideas are first introduced, they are usually met with laudatory excitement and abundant enthusiasm. Then, the ideas are gradually diminished and distorted through this four step process: Trivialization, Bastardization, Privatization, Commercialization

Credit: Mksaunders

Corporate Spirit: Oxymoron or Possibility?

Spirituality is coming to the workplace thinly veiled as mindfulness, awareness, and stress management. As the veil gets lifted, the questions arise: does it belong, can it co-exist with profitability, and what are the dangers?

Does spirituality belong in the workplace? It depends…