Don’t Underestimate the Power of Organizational Culture

Over the past three years I have had two opportunities to use the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) in conjunction with consulting work done with public agencies going through amalgamation. It has long been my observation that organizations pay far too little attention to culture when they engage in mergers,

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Listening Might Be Your Greatest Strength in Leading Change

I have been thinking about “tuning to the edges” of the system, after a wonderful discussion with Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes, the minister at Maple Grove United Church. Morar was a close friend of Brenda Zimmerman and was therefore an avid student of complexity theory. Who wouldn’t be after getting to know Brenda!

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3 Priorities for a Healthier Team

Research shows that the most dysfunctional teams are those with the greatest level of cognitive, sociological, ethnic, and personality diversity.

Conversely, research also shows that the truly highest functioning teams, and those teams that can adapt to rapidly changing environments, are those with the greatest level of cognitive,

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Smile; Sit Properly; Don’t Ask Questions. (On being a girl in a patriarchal church)

While we sat silently on the wooden pews, Taline, three years older, motioned urgently for me to untangle my legs. “It’s disrespectful,” she whispered sternly.

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Join us for a FREE Webinar on Leading Change


Here’s a rare opportunity to address some specific challenges you may be facing in the midst of change.

Our friends Michael and Dana Hanna, the creators of Business for Life Conference, have invited Peter Dickens to sit down with them and talk about change and 21st century leadership.

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Leading Through Storytelling

I love history and biodiversity. In fact, my love of history and biodiversity led me to complete an undergraduate degree in archaeology and Egyptology (the study of ancient Egypt) and to work many years at the Royal Ontario Museum.

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Managing Teams without Alienating Them

Picture a typical hourglass: wide at the top and bottom, tight in the middle. It’s a brilliant  way of measuring time. It’s also a terrible way to manage people, but it’s the way many managers want to manage their teams.

Consider this:

  • A manager is given a new assignment and promptly turns it over to his team.

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Thoughts on Country Music & Empowerment

I’ve never been a fan of country music. I’m more of an indie-folk-pop girl. But my taste for the twang has been awakened recently because two of my friends have started a country band – and they’re good.

No one could tell me country music was worth listening to.

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Inclusive Leadership May Be More Relevant Than Ever

There is a popular “truth” out there that, in times of crisis, we need forceful leaders to independently make decisions.

People will often cite examples such as an impending crash to justify the pilot making decisions on his or her own, on the basis that seconds count (which is true) and that the pilot alone has the fast-thinking ability to avoid disaster (which is not necessarily true).

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The Truth About God’s Plan for Your Life

A few days ago, I sat in on one of Peter Dickens’ leadership breakfasts on Leading Change. And I got an unexpected insight from a discussion that came up when Peter was talking about simple, complicated and complex aspects of life. Church people have long had this saying that “God has a plan for your life,”

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