Four Categories of Articles

You Can’t Do It Alone . . .
& You Don't Have to Many leaders have the notion that it is lonely at the top. Like so many things, if you believe it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact is no one has ever accomplished anything of …
Get to Critical Mass Support with System Mapping
Creating change in human systems such as teams and organizations is a matter of developing a critical mass of support for the change goal. Of course, developing that critical mass may involve working through whatever resistances there are and resolving …
Seven Areas for Changing an Organization’s Culture
Changing the culture of an organization or the norms of a team is not easy. Any organization's culture not only resist change, but seduce those who would change the culture into behaving in accord with the current one. Here are …
How to Make Sure Your Strategic Plan Gets Implemented
A good strategic plan serves as the focal point for how an organization manages itself and business as it moves toward both long and short-range success. It provides… Direction for aligning an organization's staff and activitiesCriteria for organizational decision-making. All …
Leadership = Some Place to Go and People Willing to Follow
Great leaders are going someplace extraordinary and lots of people follow them! Leaders in most organizations know where they want to go. Keeping followers aligned and in sync to get there, however, can be frustrating. Here are seven areas to …
Quick and Easy Consensus Decision-Making
Consensus decision-making has the reputation of being very time-consuming. It needn’t be if the steps outlined below are followed. The failure of most supposed consensus procedures result from failing to ask those objecting if they are willing to accede to …
Six Ways to Cure the Dysfunctional Team Blues
The CEO is frustrated! She is the CEO of a major health care organization and, like many other organization leaders, believes in teams. She has project teams, functional teams, cross-functional teams, process improvement teams, etc. A few of those teams …

Organization Development Articles

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. . Creating Teams Safe for Egos & Emotions An important key to having great teams and organizations is their sense of safety. Their members do not fear censure should their all-too-human egos and emotions become evident. They feel free …
You Can’t Do It Alone . . .
& You Don't Have to Many leaders have the notion that it is lonely at the top. Like so many things, if you believe it, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The fact is no one has ever accomplished anything of …
Get to Critical Mass Support with System Mapping
Creating change in human systems such as teams and organizations is a matter of developing a critical mass of support for the change goal. Of course, developing that critical mass may involve working through whatever resistances there are and resolving …
Resolving Conflict & Negative Synergy in Teams & Organizations
A few months ago, I was working with five faculty members of a university sociology department. They were having difficulty getting along with each other. There were lots of conflicts and negative judgments were abundant. I interviewed each one. They …
Seven Areas for Changing an Organization’s Culture
Changing the culture of an organization or the norms of a team is not easy. Any organization's culture not only resist change, but seduce those who would change the culture into behaving in accord with the current one. Here are …
The Secret Sauce for Making Teams Work
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead She was pissed! She couldn't make her team work. As the new leader of a …
How to Make Sure Your Strategic Plan Gets Implemented
A good strategic plan serves as the focal point for how an organization manages itself and business as it moves toward both long and short-range success. It provides… Direction for aligning an organization's staff and activitiesCriteria for organizational decision-making. All …
A Practical Definition of Organization Development: Revised
Not too long ago I was having dinner with a client in the midst of a project that was going well. At some point my client looked up at me and said, “I’m glad you’re not one of those OD …
Quick and Easy Consensus Decision-Making
Consensus decision-making has the reputation of being very time-consuming. It needn’t be if the steps outlined below are followed. The failure of most supposed consensus procedures result from failing to ask those objecting if they are willing to accede to …
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You used all of your skills to move your team from being dysfunctional to one with a high level of productivity, full engagement of all team members, and they even had some fun together. But will your success last? Will …
Six Ways to Cure the Dysfunctional Team Blues
The CEO is frustrated! She is the CEO of a major health care organization and, like many other organization leaders, believes in teams. She has project teams, functional teams, cross-functional teams, process improvement teams, etc. A few of those teams …
The Why, What, & How of Organization Development
An upated and restructured definition of organization development
It Takes Dragons
People ask me why I use a rather fierce looking dragon as my Center for Human Systems’ logo. Dragons are known throughout the world in all climates, cultures, and eras. There are dragons with horns, claws, breath of fire, great …
OD Is Not A Recipe!
Lean, Six Sigma, Prosci, and other formulized change management methodologies all offer an orderly set steps to take—a recipe for ending waste, improving productivity, and otherwise accomplishing desired changes. There are, of course, several recipes from organization development practitioners that …
Give Your Clients What They Need, Not What They Want
A CEO of a medium-sized hospital asked me to train his front-line patient-facing staff in how to be pleasant to patients. The head of IT department asked me to facilitate “an advance” for her and her staff. She pointedly told …

Conflict Resolution Articles

Resolving Conflict & Negative Synergy in Teams & Organizations
A few months ago, I was working with five faculty members of a university sociology department. They were having difficulty getting along with each other. There were lots of conflicts and negative judgments were abundant. I interviewed each one. They …
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How we misuse the differences that we might learn from.
Managing Team Conflict
Cynthia Phillips, Ph.D., Guest Author Purpose of this Paper Describe the nature of conflict in teamsDefine types of conflict and describe how each manifests in a teamIdentify reasons why team members struggle with conflictDescribe how a team leader can manage …

Dragon Principles

Conscious Use of Self #3: The Three Keys to Self-Mastery
Self-Mastery and conscious use of self have a broad purview. We use ourselves with everything we do, think, feel, and believe. Most of the time our automatic behaviors and thoughts serve us well. No mastery is needed. However, when we …
The Ways We Waste Our Time and Energy: Conscious Use of Self #2
Time is a resource. And leaders never have enough of it. There are staffs to be managed, customers to coddled, finances to figured out, superiors to satisfy, and the partner and kids at home to be pleased and loved. The …
Conscious Use of Self #1: The Foundation of Leadership
When life isn’t working for you, when you aren’t getting the results you want, when your followers are stumbling around as you are; what to do? These situations happen to us all. At these times, we most need the power …
It Takes Dragons
People ask me why I use a rather fierce looking dragon as my Center for Human Systems’ logo. Dragons are known throughout the world in all climates, cultures, and eras. There are dragons with horns, claws, breath of fire, great …