Training is Not Enough

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading
Reading time: 2 min.

Training can help us grow ourselves and our organizations. It is great for creating a common understanding across people, introducing tools and approaches, and opening minds.

But when we get back to our desks after training, we will quite likely to revert to old ways. And it will have been an expensive miss. We need more than training to effect change in ourselves and our organizations.

To keep our minds open, apply those tools, and turn that understanding into new, better ways of doing things, let’s go beyond the event of training. We can

  • Tune the training to reflect our culture, support our strategy, and honor our individuals. Lack of integration with our culture and strategy damages the credibility and usefulness of the training. The context must make sense. Lack of flexibility and room for individuality fosters resentment and resistance.
  • Set standards. Over-communicate why we are making this change, how the training helps, what standards of behavior we want to see, what results we expect, and how each person contributes to those results.
  • Spread out the learning and break things into chunks. Many training events are jam-packed with great information and insights. This makes sense when we think of training as a rare and expensive event. But when we pack too much into a training event, we can’t absorb it all. Instead of holding training events, let’s build the habit of regular learning.
  • Coach. Enlist managers to remind people of the context, the reasons, and to help people apply the training to their work in real time. This is, by far, the most powerful growth tool. Train the managers first. Coach them to coach others. Then train the others and have their managers coach them.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Robin Hastings cc


Tilting the Balance Towards Change

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

We change when the benefits minus the pains of changing are greater than the benefits minus the pains of not changing. Not because someone said so. Not because we should.

We don’t change–even when we desire the change–because we are over-valuing the benefit of staying or the pain of changing.

To help ourselves and others make a desired change, we can draw out the benefits and pains of both options on a page. Then we can ask where we may be over-valuing. Or, more powerfully, “How we can look at it differently to tilt the balance towards change?”


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: T cc


For Big Change, Ignore the Naysayers

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

If we want to influence a big change, we need not spend much time trying to convince the naysayers, the haters, the opponents. They will change or not. And they are only a minority.

Instead, we concentrate on the lovers, the crew, the vanguard. They are also a minority. But once they are inspired, we can help this minority create win-win buy-in from the once indifferent majority.


In your corner,


PS: Of course, the opponents will try to sway the neutrals their way. Your sustainable, secret weapon is the win-win: “let’s find a way for us both to have our interests met.” The opponents will likely use fear tactics that alienate.


Today’s photo credit: Lainey1 cc



Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Change can appear so hard that we often will do anything to avoid it. Stagnation happens inside organizations from this fear of change. Come to think of it, stagnation anywhere indicates we are telling ourselves fearful stories about what might happen if things change.

Once we do change, we can feel lost, be unsure of ourselves, and want to turn back to the way things were.

But change is only hard because we believe the stories we tell ourselves about how the change threatens our happiness, growth, and freedom. We can raise our buzz. We can tell ourselves better, believable stories anchored in a better, richer, more delightful future of our choosing.

Then, watch out! Once we so reframe change, we will seek it out and do it well.


In your corner,


PS: We will also coach others to change. Having gone through it ourselves, we will better understand them, their situation, and how they can proceed.

Today’s photo credit: David King cc


Express Train to Results

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 1 min.

Selling or influencing or leading change can be like riding the local train making all stops: it takes a long time. Often too long. We waste way too much time because we think we need to get our ducks in a row, know the answers, prove ourselves, and be perfect so that others will listen, agree, and act as hope they will.

None of that is necessary. In fact, it gets in the way. All the effort we put into making our case prevents us from taking what is the most expedient and sustainable path: getting clear about the high-level results we want to see, listening, being vulnerable, and seeking win-win solutions.

Welcome aboard the express train.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: alantankenghoe via photopin cc


All Change Demands Thought and Action Both

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Some of us are action junkies. Some of us are devotees of the Think System.

Yet whenever we want to make a change, we must do both the inside work (thoughts) and the outside work (actions). Thought without action leads to spinning. Action without thought leads to frustrating results.

So our thoughts about the future must be clear, compelling, and as complete as possible. And our actions must flow–inspired by that vision–without pushing or fearful delay.

Ready, steady, go.


In your corner,


PS: While we personally win by focusing on both thoughts and actions, teams that run on good-feeling, aligned vision and concerted, natural flows of activity benefit tremendously.


Today’s photo credit: tom_bullock via photopin cc

I'm all ears.

To Change Someone’s Mind

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

In order to change someone’s mind, start where their mind is now. Should we start with our position–by convincing, educating, lobbying, telling, fighting, begging, tricking, arguing, ordering, or whining–they will raise shields. We must, instead, ask good questions and listen. They must first agree that we have heard their thinking before they will let us change it.

And, no, we don’t get free pass here if we are parents, bosses, employees, partners, citizens, or nations.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc

How You Must Change When Leading, Selling, and Influencing

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Sales and Influence, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

Leading, selling, and influencing are basically the same noble activity: having all who matter think and act in ways that benefit all who matter: win-win-win-win-etc.

Of course, “all who matter” includes you. You are included amongst the winners. And your thinking and actions must be included, too. As a leader, seller, and influencer, allow your thinking and actions to change in ways that benefit all who matter.

In your corner,



An Unexpected Shortcut Through Others’ Bad Behavior

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Much, if not all, of the bad behavior we see in others comes from fear, uncertainty, doubt, worry, anger, and remorse. (We can call all that, “fudwar.”) Fudwar and the behaviors it sponsors are habitual. That’s because fudwar feels really bad. And, at some point long ago, they adopted those behaviors we see now as a way to manage.

Reminding ourselves of others’ fudwar gives us a shot of compassion. Never underestimate your power to change everything for the better with only that shot of compassion.

In your corner,


PS: Seriously. No planning, no decisions, no actions required. Just a sort of being there with them and your shot of compassion. Weird? A tad. And a darn effective shortcut through the mess of fudwar.

PPS: Yes, of course we have our own fudwar, too.


Today’s photo credit: BaconStand via photopin cc

puffy dance

The Dance of Change

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1 min.

“What got you here won’t get you there.” – Marshall Goldsmith.

“There is no need to change. Survival is not mandatory.” – W. Edwards Deming.

“Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.” – Laurence J. Peter

“Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.” – Francis Bacon

Wisdom through the years tells us we must foster change in ourselves as leaders (with or without title) and in our organizations. Lack of change is fatal to what we most want.

Yet change need not be as difficult or as fraught as we make it. As soon as we recognize change as the only possible vehicle from our current “here” to our desired “there,” we can relax. We can focus on our desired “there” and how good it feels to anticipate it’s arrival. We can take whatever is the next best step on the way from “here” to “there.” And we can repeat this two-step dance until the change is complete.

Let’s dance.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: B Gilmour via photopin cc