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Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders

Navigating Identity Politics: Insight for Leaders
There is a phenomenon taking place where groups and individuals are shrinking rather than expanding their points of view, unwilling to consider someone else's perspective outside of their own social group—at work, in friendships, and within families. Political differences and polarization are threatening inclusion. And these rifts are happening in ...
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The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?

The Great Divide in Workforce Generations: Who Will Win?
Lately the generational divide has been a topic front and center, in conferences, the press, blogs... we are surprised, and a little concerned with the assumptions about each generation that is being offered up as the "capital T" truth. Millennials now make up more than half of the general workforce, which may explain why they are taking a large ma...
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Why Your Traditional Diversity Training Program is Not Working

Why Your Traditional Diversity Training Program is Not Working
Each year, organizations invest a lot of time and millions of dollars into diversity programs. I hate to break it to you, but the return on both the investment and expectations of traditional diversity efforts is falling terribly short. As a baby boomer, my career followed the new path of diversity. It wasn’t about inclusion at all. It was about numbers. The intent was good. The thinking was that if you change the numbers you would change the culture. Fortunately, we have learned so much and still have so far to go. Traditional programs are still not touching on some of the most critical issues that need to be addressed. In 2016, in a speech to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar, diversity consultant Verna Myers said, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being invited to dance.” Traditional programs are just an invitation to the party. They become hollow...
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Are Your Collaborative Efforts Falling Flat? Here Are 3 Rules for Success

Are Your Collaborative Efforts Falling Flat? Here Are 3 Rules for Success
As leaders, we like the idea of collaboration, we just don’t like to actually do it. Especially at the highest levels. We tend to feel the pressure of ‘the buck stops here.’ We’re unwilling to bring others into tough decisions. We confuse collaboration with consensus. We like the allure of thinking our decisions are the best for our organizations. The list unfortunately goes on and includes lack of trust, not wanting our opinions to be ignored, not wanting to share critical information, not having enough time...we convince ourselves that for all these reasons and more, collaboration may not be the best decision. And there is some support for this thinking. In his book Tipping Sacred Cows: Kick the Bad Work Habits That Masquerade as Virtues , Jake Breeden identifies automatic collaboration as one of these bad work habits. One example he gives is, “there is no greater danger to productivity...
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The Generational Divide: Recruiting Millennials and Boomers

The Generational Divide: Recruiting Millennials and Boomers
In this current landscape, the talent war is on. So we ask you: What are you pretending not to know about recruitment? We often hear from clients and partners about assumptions they have about talent. So Chris and Stacey came together to debunk four myths about recruiting millennials and boomers. Two common recruiting myths about millennials – debunked by a millennial. 1. Millennials want to only work with other millennials. I often hear people make comments about how millennials only want to work at places like Google, Facebook, and Uber, where the average employee age is below 30 aka millennial mecca. While it may be attractive in the way that it is for any other generation to work together, it is a gross exaggeration to think millennials only want to work with millennials. As a matter of fact, one of the core desires in most generational research is millennials’ desire...
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Isn't It Time You Scared Yourself to Death?

Isn
My dearest friend and colleague, Aimee wrote a great blog “ Where are you looking for change in your life? ” In it she wrote “no goals, no change”. It’s a simple thought, yet it’s so true. I have always had a “goal” to study another language, Spanish, and really never did anything about it until just recently. I collected my courage, had several fierce conversations with myself, and jumped off my cliff into a four week long immersion class in Spanish. So how do you know it’s a cliff?  You’ll spend the first week gazing at your reflection in the mirror at 4 am thinking what in the @#&*! am I doing? This will be followed by a litany of victimy thoughts like - I’m not smart enough, I can’t do this, I’m too old for this. However, I hung in. And after four weeks I can now say...
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Be Present

Be Present
Why is it so hard to be present? Just after I tweeted that I was going to really work on being present, I realized that I sent that tweet while I was simultaneously “listening to my husband” talk about weekend plans…so not a good start! This has been one of my biggest challenges for a long time. As a consummate multi-tasker, if I’m not doing at least two things at once I’m probably asleep. It’s a challenging week filled with crazy deadlines, commitments, and travel. And I haven’t let myself off the hook; I’ve been carrying around a copy of the challenge, repeating “Be Present” like a mantra. I’m still multi-tasking like crazy, and I think that’s fine as long as I remember that people aren’t tasks. For me that means I’ll put away my phone and turn away from my keyboard when talking with someone. I’ll ask to reschedule...
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Global Conversations

Global Conversations
I'm sitting in my hotel in Beijing after attending a client appreciation day for our new authorized provider in Greater China. It continues to amaze me, how if you dig just a little past our differences, we are so similar. While here in China, I’ve met many wonderful people and chatted about things like the US Occupy Wall Street movement, the lottery scandal in Connecticut, the financial market swings in Asia, the Euro, and inflation in China. All while sharing pictures of children of course! Miles away from where I call home, It was like I was talking with my neighbor over the back fence. Our worlds are so interconnected. Information can travel so quickly and be accessed so easily that time and space no longer dictate what is relevant to each of us anymore. From my hotel room in Beijing, I went from the wonderful experience of learning more...
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The Change Is Coming

The Change Is Coming
Last week I received an update from LinkedIn. Of my connections, 22% had changed jobs or changed companies in 2010. In our January newsletter , we asked our readers if  their company would increase their spending in hiring, new programs, or equipment in 2011 and 47% said that they would be hiring . So hold onto your hats (and your employees if you can)!  This is a great indicator that the economy is heating up. Movement has started, job and pay freezes are lifting, and your best employees are seeing employment options opening up everywhere. If you have a company where employees are engaged, managers are connected  with their teams at a deep level, and leadership training and development focuses on communication that is transparent, authentic and clear , you are in the catbird seat. If this doesn’t describe your culture, your best and brightest will soon be looking for...
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An Economic Downturn Is A Terrible Thing To Waste

An Economic Downturn Is A Terrible Thing To Waste
  I watched Susan deliver a Fierce Leadership keynote to a Keller Williams Realty leadership summit last Saturday and was struck by so many things she said, one of which was :   "An economic downturn is a terrible thing to waste."   What a thought! And as I’m sitting here, on fire, with so many things to do, I paused to think how lucky we are that our messages at Fierce are so immune to global economic downturns, and in fact are, in so many ways, an antidote.   Here’s to taking advantage of opportunities that present themselves no matter the circumstance.

Emotional First, Rational Second

Emotional First, Rational Second
I just read a book called Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori and Rom Brafman. It was a fun read and it brought home a couple of Fierce points; our emotions drive our decision-making and our context dictates the content of our lives . The Brafman’s show us time and again how we will cling to irrational behaviors that in hindsight seem silly or down right destructive. Is this just the human condition…or can we acknowledge that sometimes dark forces are at play and stop short of irrational behavior? I believe obeying our instincts doesn’t happen often enough and I believe that a quick check-in on the possible outcomes of the path we choose is important as well. The question is can they both be done at the same time? For more information about leadership and development training , visit our site ( https://www.fierceinc.com ).

Spouting Off

Spouting Off
At the risk of alienating myself from OD people around the world, I can’t help but spout off. I just got off of a discussion about capability indices and readiness assessments, and it's making my head hurt. It's amazing, what we will do in Training and Development to prove our worth! The idea of a capability index may be intriguing although I believe its complexity will send eyes rolling in even the brightest boardrooms. I also believe everyone is ready, but perhaps not willing, to become a better leader, but that’s another topic and a different challenge. Believe me, I'm all about measuring. And I believe that we all have plenty of metrics in place throughout our businesses. Partner with an operations/finance/sales/safety/IT person who has clear deliverables and the insight and desire to become a better leader; someone who understands the connection between conversation, relationship, leadership and results. Develop an...
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Sarbanes Oxley All Over Again?

Sarbanes Oxley All Over Again?
Here we go again. It was getting kind of sparse out there for the global consulting houses as Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) started winding down. No new systems to design, policies to write, audits to perform, secret 800 numbers to set up. We did our best to legislate integrity, police honesty and audit truth and honor. And where did it get us? The sub-prime lending disaster, Wall Street greed, financial collapse. But the good news (?) is that the financial houses will be busier than ever helping their surviving clients understand and comply with the new slew of regulations about to come down the pike. Should put SOX to shame. What are we pretending not to know? We can’t legislate honesty and integrity. We just find legal work-arounds. We need to start acting in ways that encourage candor, authenticity, and transparency. We need to reward people who speak ground truth in...
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