Social Change and Employee Empowerment: Why Leaders Need to Embrace the Times

Social Change and Employee Empowerment: Why Leaders Need to Embrace the Times
Our recent Fierce survey revealed that conversations around current social movements, including #blacklivesmatter, #metoo, and #TimesUp, are happening. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not happening at work. The survey also revealed that while employees still experience and witness discrimination, there has been a shift the past year ...
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How to Bring Everyone Together During Company Restructuring

How to Bring Everyone Together During Company Restructuring
In the world of enterprise, restructuring is the new norm. Organizations today are experiencing so many ebbs and flows, from accelerated growth and acquisitions to selling off parts of the company to create new, smaller companies. A "restructure" can impact all levels of the business, for better or worse. Whether it's creating larger or smaller tea...
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When Fast Business Growth Creates New Challenges for Leadership

When Fast Business Growth Creates New Challenges for Leadership
While growth and change are exciting for a small or medium-sized business, rapid expansion is usually accompanied by potentially problematic challenges, both for the organization's culture and its leaders. If your small company grows by, say, 120% (the average first-year growth for startups according to Equidam ) and your current number of employee...
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Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?

Mergers and Acquisitions: Why Provoke Learning Around This Topic?
With stock prices higher than ever and interest rates still low, the past two years have been ideal environments for companies to invest their growing cash reserves to purchase another company. After surveying 1000 CEO and venture capitalist investors, Deloitte's annual Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Report predicts 2018 is another year of cont...
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A Close Look at Our 2018 Business Predictions: What to Expect, and How Leaders Can Prepare

A Close Look at Our 2018 Business Predictions: What to Expect, and How Leaders Can Prepare
Whether in our private lives or business, if there's one thing we know for sure, it's that change is inevitable. Each year we explore past and present trends as well as the ever-changing needs of individuals and organizations to forecast what we can expect to see as these changes unfold. As the current year comes to a close, we're turning our gaze ...
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5 Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life

5 Ways to Embrace Change at Work and in Life
This week’s Friday resource comes from Inc . and offers 5 ways to welcome change when it arises in the workplace and in our personal lives. Avoiding the unavoidable is a fight we can’t win. Change is unavoidable—and continual. The antidote for the negative feelings we have when change arises is to embrace it. What we are able to see when we give up the fight is that most changes are positive in the long run, and they have a purpose that can serve our personal growth and the growth of organizations. Changes often occur as a means of improvement and as the result of something “not working.” Per Rhett Power, Head Coach and Inc. contributor, here are some ways to let go of resistance to change: 1. Change is Inevitable and Embracing Change Encourages Development “Because we repel change, we sometimes go through life without ever living up to...
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Do You Love or Loathe Change? How Workplace Change Can Strengthen Your Organization

Do You Love or Loathe Change? How Workplace Change Can Strengthen Your Organization
“You get the journey and you get the stress. At the end, you’re a different person. But both elements are part of the deal.” –Seth Godin Change can be surprising, scary, and uncertain. It is also a catalyst for new ideas and opportunities to be seized. It opens doorways to step into, even when what’s on the other side isn’t clear. It summons courage and builds strength, character, and lessons we can harness. In our personal lives, the workplace, and the world at large, change is constant. There’s not one form of media where this isn’t on display any moment of the day. No matter where you go or what you do, change will find you . If you’re a leader who wants to create a culture where change is viewed as a healthy element for growth, the first step is to embrace change yourself. Acknowledge it, hold an accountable...
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Leadership Tips: Embrace Change

Leadership Tips: Embrace Change
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything . — George Bernard Shaw Change is hard. We all know. And we all have different tolerances for it, based on our experiences. I am the daughter of a Naval Officer, and growing up I lived in 12 houses before I was 18 years old. My friends joke and say that I was a “change manager” before I ever went into the human capital space. The thing is – change was always hard – even when I had a lot of it. We are deeply wired to stay in our comfort zone. However, I know I grew a lot, because I was continually uncomfortable. I had to be okay with being vulnerable and open to learning new things and making new friends. I remind myself of that. Where can you embrace variation in your life?...
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American Workplace: Changing at a Dizzying Pace

American Workplace: Changing at a Dizzying Pace
This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Gallup and shares data from workplace studies on the rapid pace of change in the workplace. Change has always been a constant and prevalent force within the business world. It is woven into the very nature of business. Yet, something feels different about the torrid pace in which change is occurring now. Technology and shifts in organizational structure have required businesses to reconsider how they manage their people and their work. With flexible work hours, the traditional 9-5 is no longer the norm as virtual teams interact via email or video conferencing. Ed O'Boyle and Annamarie Mann, Gallup, attribute much of this change to Millennials assuming the majority of today’s workforce. “They want their work to have meaning and purpose. They want to use their talents and strengths to do what they do best every day. They want their jobs to fit...
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6 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace

6 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving—we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it—but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr Change in the workplace can create a ripple effect of distress throughout an entire organization. Unwanted transitions may include big budget cuts, sudden layoffs, company relocations, or the introduction of different programs or processes that come with undesirable drawbacks. These types of changes are necessary at times, but depending on the circumstances, they can weigh heavily on employee morale and even affect an organization’s reputation. As unsettling as it can be at first, change is often positive. But on occasion, an organization may begin heading in a direction that compromises its values or mission. While the hope is that leadership will make decisions that...
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Leadership Tips: Use the Power of Change

Leadership Tips: Use the Power of Change
Last year, I was in New York at the Conference Board’s Annual Change and Transformation Conference. Although it was almost a year ago, the core themes discussed have proved to be true in the workplace: Constant change is the new normal. We have many beliefs about change, and at the end of the day, we as humans don’t particularly like change. It’s uncomfortable. The issue is that we don’t truly understand change and how we react. Warren Parry, Managing Director at Accenture Strategy, shared research that was completed over the last 15 years about 250 change initiatives in more than 150 organizations. What struck me was two particular myths that he debunked about change. The first myth is that too much change, too fast, is destructive . According to their research, the highest-performing organizations really excel in change. Typically, high-performing companies have more frequent change taking place. The second myth is...
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Leadership Tips: Prepare for Change

Leadership Tips: Prepare for Change
A survey from Deloitte on change reports that 68% of participants agree that “change is continuous and embraces all areas of life and activities.” If you fall into the other 32% of people who either partially agree or don’t agree, we have news for you— you can’t escape change, and it’s an unavoidable part of life. You can’t change change. It's also a big part of what you may want for yourself, including growth and progress. In the workplace, much is changing, particularly around diversity and how we approach our careers. Millennials have replaced baby boomers as the most prevalent generation in the workforce, and women are earning higher salaries and holding positions in leadership now more than ever before. Technology will continue to evolve and play a larger role in our daily lives, and collaboration is becoming a bigger part of decision-making processes. Read some interesting predictions on the...
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Change is the New Normal

Change is the New Normal
Change is the new “normal” for organizations and leaders alike, from structural change to leadership change to industry disruption. And yet, data shows that 70% of organizational change initiatives fail. Why? Because we order people to change rather than engage them through conversation. We engage their heads and not their hearts. So how can leaders today not simply “manage” change, but rather excel through it – and lead their teams to do the same? Join Beth Wagner, Master Facilitator, as she unlocks 3 Fierce strategies that will help you, your team, and your organization thrive in times of change. Register here.

Leadership Tips: Life is Curly – Go with It

Leadership Tips: Life is Curly – Go with It
“Life is curly. Don’t try to straighten it out.” – Susan Scott This year will not go as you have it planned right now on January 4, 2016. In 2016, you will have triumphs you didn’t expect, setbacks you didn’t anticipate, and new people enter your life. You may have the same challenges, and you may not. You may have the same job responsibilities, and you may not. When things are out of your control this year, you will choose how you feel about what happens. And, more importantly, you will choose what you do after. For stability seekers, the notion of the unexpected and changing can be disconcerting. For the thrill seekers, it can be exciting. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you live on, you are responsible for the outcomes. This week’s tip is to accept that your plans will change and go with it. “Going with...
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Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes

Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes
This week's Fierce Resource comes from Forbes.com  and was written by Kristi Hedges. As strategy planning sessions are on the horizon for 2015, here are some tips to Build a High Performing Team in 30 Minutes . When is the last time you brought your team together to evaluate what processes are working or not? If you can't remember the last time you had open conversations about how your team is functioning, you may be in the dark on what is positively or negatively impacting your team. What is the most important conversation you will have with your team in the next month? How often do you check in with the whole team to measure satisfaction? "Changing team behavior, once ingrained, is no small feat. A lot of social nuance goes into creating the culture of any group, and once it’s established, can be hard to affect . Cultures rest on spoken...
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The “How Does This Affect Me” Conversation

The “How Does This Affect Me” Conversation
If your organization is undergoing a major change, like a new CEO for example, know that a common question running through the minds of your entire company is: How does this affect me? Of course anytime there is variation within an organization, this question is front and center. It can be even scarier with the change of a senior leader. Why? Because it is all about the relationship, and a new leader means that an important relationship within your organization is unknown. This fear, if prolonged, can lead to less productivity and disengagement. The key to managing change in leadership is providing space for conversations. Often new leaders focus their time and energy on the bottom line by having all the conversations about strategy, vision, and ROI. While these are all very important topics and deserving of those resources, if your employees feel like they don’t know what type of...
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Leadership Tips: What is the Next Step in Your Succession Planning?

Leadership Tips: What is the Next Step in Your Succession Planning?
If someone within your company, who holds a top leadership role, left tomorrow, do you know what skills and strengths you’d need to look for in order to replace him or her? Perhaps more strategic, do you have someone internal you’re grooming to take the job? When you talk about succession planning, it can create some negative feelings from current leaders. Who wants to feel like the next generation is nipping at their heels to replace them? However, this week’s tip is about helping to reshape that perspective. An easy thing you can do right away is to have conversations about the tangible and intangible issues that cause succession planning to be ignored. Run a beach ball meeting to gather perspectives and find out how to make the process the best for everyone involved.

Leadership Tips: Engage in Conversations for Change

Leadership Tips: Engage in Conversations for Change
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom”. - Martin Luther King, Jr.   On Monday, in the United States, we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day while simultaneously swearing into office, for a second term, the first ever African-American president. In honor of Dr. King, this week’s tip is to engage in conversations for change. Dr. King was a visionary, someone who dreamed about the world becoming very different than it was. His ability to create change came from his courage to be honest and engage in conversations that were confrontational, authentic, and hopeful. This week honor Dr. King by engaging in conversations that are both reflective and help to spur change. To quote Fierce founder Susan Scott: While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of...
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Where Are You Looking for Change in Your Life?

Where Are You Looking for Change in Your Life?
I almost removed the slide that said  No Goals = No Change . That’s all it said.  It seemed so obvious to me that I felt it hardly needed to be said.  I was teaching a class for new supervisors and managers, and it was part of the curriculum. I was focused on getting to the “meatier” stuff. And then, I started thinking about times in my career that I had found myself stuck or started feeling bored with the day in and day out aspects of my work.  I always got myself “unstuck” by focusing on positive goals for my future.  I took on new projects to make the work I did more interesting. I tackled some old issues that had gone unresolved. I talked with my boss about future opportunities for growth.   I set goals. Because if I didn’t, I was certain to stay stuck. No Goals =...
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Leadership Tips: Be Open to Change by Having Conversations

Leadership Tips: Be Open to Change by Having Conversations
Change is a visceral word. It can mean so many different things to each person. There are piles of books dedicated to helping handle the transitions that life throws your way. However, when you boil down what we need to do when change occurs - it’s communicate better. This week’s Fierce tip is to be open to change by engaging in conversations. What can make change scary is the uncertainty that surrounds it. In order to make sure the transition is a smooth one, you need to bump up the quality of the conversations - not necessarily the amount of them. When change happens, people tend to focus on the  logistical details that need to be sorted out. Too often, the emotions around the transition are pushed to the side. This doesn’t help anyone. Don’t discount what your needs are in the situation. Be proactive and tackle this tough challenge...
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The Role of Emotions in Change

The Role of Emotions in Change
“Overall, she did alright… she gave me lots of tools and motivation but she failed to do the most important thing. She didn’t get me to emotionally connect.” – Jillian Michaels, personal trainer The other night, I was watching The Biggest Loser (yes, I am a fan) and during this particular episode the tables were turned. The contestants were placed in the role of trainer while their trainers played the role of obese, issue-laden contestants. One challenge was to coach “TV’s Toughest Trainer”, Jillian Michaels , through mental struggles as she mirrored each contestant’s own negative self-talk. I was struck that one of her biggest beefs with the contestants was in their failure to have her emotionally connect. Turns out all that barking and yelling isn’t just about being mean! Who knew? Rather, it’s to create the opportunity for change by surfacing the emotions swirling around their issues. In our...
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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.