Blog Archives

The 5 Minds of a Manager

McGill professor Henry Mintzberg’s, one of the leading thinkers on management and strategy, suggests that effective managers operate with 5 distinct mindsets, mostly simultaneously:

“There are five ways in which managers interpret and deal with the world around them. Each has a dominant subject,

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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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5 Things Every Leader Should Give Up for Lent

There’s more to Lent than giving up coffee and “social media fasts.” During a discussion with a group of leaders for a leading change workshop last week, the topic of Lent came up and we spent a few minutes marveling at some of the meaningful, controversial – and crazy –

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Leading Organizations, Episode 2: Why Control is Over-Rated

Our leadership of complex organizations has to go beyond intricately detailed strategies and linear expectations of growth if we expect them to thrive. More and more, leaders are finding that understanding organizations as living organisms, rather than machines, helps them describe and navigate the realities of their world today.

Every Organization Has a Life of Its Own

Unlike machines,

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Leading Organizations, Episode 1: How the Right Metaphor Changes Everything

20th century novelist Robert Shea once described organizations as powerful “machines constructed of people.” We’re probably all familiar with that metaphor. This post is about how the machine metaphor has failed companies the world over and how a new way of understanding organizations could mean the difference between success and obscurity.

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Meetings, Bloody Meetings: 3 Vital Questions You Should Be Asking

This week I’m doing a series on meetings and how we can have better meetings by applying ideas from complexity science. Together we’ve been tackling one central question:

How do we approach meetings in a way that reflects the complexity with which leaders are dealing?

The following ideas are only conjecture and have not been subject to rigorous testing,

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Meetings, Bloody Meetings: Want to Lead? Do Less!

This week I’m doing a series on meetings and how we can have better meetings by applying ideas from complexity science. Together we’ve been tackling one central question:

How do we approach meetings in a way that reflects the complexity with which leaders are dealing?

The following ideas are only conjecture and have not been subject to rigorous testing,

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Meetings, Bloody Meetings: Don’t Make Decisions

This week I’m doing a series on meetings and how we can have better meetings by applying ideas from complexity science. Together we’ve been tackling one central question:

How do we approach meetings in a way that reflects the complexity with which leaders are dealing?

The following ideas are only conjecture and have not been subject to rigorous testing,

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Meetings, Bloody Meetings: Having Meetings that Don’t Suck

Years ago, John Cleese did a hysterical take on how to run a meeting (I’ve embedded the video at the end of this article). What’s fun to see today is how the ‘charge’ against him is based on his failure to take control of the meeting, have a clear agenda,

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What We Get Wrong About Leading People

In our last entry, we talked about the failure of leadership and ascribed some of the fault to the fundamental mindset or worldview of many leaders. We suggested that many leaders try to lead as if their church or organization was modeled after some sort of machine.

This is a very modernist view of leadership and organizations,

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