7 Tips for Dealing with Unwanted Change in the Workplace

I previously worked for an organization that was expanding rapidly. As a result of this expansion, many large-scale changes were taking place, including team restructuring, leadership layoffs, and new initiatives. Many of us had no idea a change was coming until it was already being implemented, so we didn't always understand why the changes were b...
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Conversations Across Cultures: 4 Key Insights from Successful Global Leadership Programs

When working with global clients, we often come across unique scenarios that illustrate how Fierce training is being integrated into organizations' larger leadership development strategies, and how rollout is being implemented on an international scale. One of our clients, an established global manufacturing company in the automotive industry with ...
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Fierce Goals, Fierce Purpose: Tapping into the Soul of Your Organization

In my role here at Fierce as EVP of Sales & Marketing, one area I've recently been placing a lot of thought and strategic focus on is purpose . One reason for my focus in this area, aside from it being a subject that's very near and dear to me, is that our company goals are quite ambitious this year. Among all of the drive, change, growth, coll...
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Leading Business Problem #1: Losing Time and Money

In our latest eBook , we offer Fierce insight into six leading business problems companies are facing today, the impact of these problems, how you can identify them, and how to solve them. The first leading (and common!) business problem we highlight is a loss of time and money . If a company has never experienced a sudden drop in revenue, they may...
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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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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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Why it Pays to Support Employees’ Personal Development

“Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours.” –Unknown Imagine one of your employees jamming out on a guitar, lifting weights at the gym, or reading a textbook. You may not make an immediate connection between these behaviors and revenue, results, or workplace culture. But can these types of activities influence business for the better? You bet your britches they can. Personal and professional development go hand-in-hand—whether it’s directly related to work or not, each impacts the other. Growth is growth, and all kinds of growth contribute to happiness. Research shows happy employees are more creative, energized and successful , and happiness increases productivity by 12% . When employees know you care about their growth, they respond. It builds trust, commitment, and a host of other benefits that impact the bottom line. Let’s break it down. Here are some big benefits your organization stands to gain by supporting employee personal development:...
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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

“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

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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10 Types of Corporate Innovation Programs

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by The Huffington Post and describes the ten types of corporate innovation programs. With technology increasing at an exponential rate and new startups with bigtime financial backing popping up left and right, it is difficult for larger, well-established companies to keep pace. As much as technology helps us work faster and smarter, it can also be very disrupting, requiring companies to either change and adapt quickly or be left behind. To help cope with this ever-changing business environment, companies are looking to invest more in programs that aim to drive innovation and shift traditional business models. Most companies try to install several different types of programs and tactics to accomplish this, and there is not one formula that works for all organizations. Per Jeremiah Owynag, Forbes contributor and Partner at Altimeter Group, a research based advisory firm, some programs being deployed include: 1....
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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” 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.

Great Managers Can Fix Broken Performance Management Systems

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Gallup.com and discusses how high performing managers can fix broken performance management systems. A Gallup study on The State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders revealed that companies hiring managers based on their talents and fit for the role see “a 48% increase in profitability, a 22% increase in productivity, a 30% increase in employee engagement scores, a 17% increase in customer engagement scores and a 19% decrease in turnover.” So what are these high performing managers getting right? They focus on building engagement and employee growth through developing their strengths – not correcting weaknesses. When an employee’s strengths are leveraged, they are more engaged because they are contributing at a higher level. This leads to higher retention rates and happier employees. Additionally, great managers understand the human element, and how to motivate by building genuine relationships with their...
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Why Businesses Should Rethink the Annual Performance Review

This week’s Friday Resource was originally published by Forbes and provides insight into why businesses should ditch the annual performance review in favor of a more agile on-going performance conversation. The article focuses on Adobe’s need to shift their performance review process in 2011 after having significant changes to their business model by introducing cloud-based software and real-time services. These changes did not translate to how Adobe was evaluating performance, supported employee growth and fostered a team environment. Common pains with the yearly review process were that both managers and employees alike dreaded preparing for and delivering the review, and in the months following, Adobe saw an increase in voluntary attrition. The antiquated yearly review system was actually hurting the company and hindering their employee’s personal growth more than helping. There were three key areas that needed to be changed: The annual review process Evaluating past performance Comparing employees against...
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The Best Way for New Leaders to Build Trust

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published by Harvard Business Review and explores the best ways for a new leader within an organization to build trust with their newly appointed team. Building the complete trust of a team is never an easy feat for any leader within an organization. It becomes even more difficult when you are new to an organization and have to earn the trust of an established team. This has to be the number one priority for any new leader, and they need to address it on day one. In his article, Dougherty explains that meeting with as many individual contributors to the team as soon as possible and gathering as much information is a crucial starting point. This differs from the approach many new leaders have, which is to come in and produce answers to ongoing problems immediately –without gathering the necessary information first. During these...
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Leadership Tips: Create Opportunity for Your Support Staff

This week honors Administrative Professionals . According to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), there are more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals working in the United States. A recent OfficeTeam and IAAP survey of more than 2,200 administrative workers showcased that only 43% of support staff feel their full range of skills are being used, and only 7% of support staff feel they are completely utilized. That means 50% want more opportunity. One of the easiest ways to create growth opportunities is to delegate. Many people view delegation as a way to get rid of menial tasks (what we call dele-dumping ), instead, think about delegating as a way to grow the skill set of a colleague. Think about what is currently on your plate. A couple years ago, I read a piece by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the Inc. CEO Project, he argues that the...
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The Business Logic of Sustainability

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on  Ted.com  and explains the business logic behind sustainability. In 1973, Ray Anderson read “The Ecology of Commerce” and it changed the trajectory of his business. As the CEO of a carpet manufacturer with petroleum intensive processes, he was in a unique position to make a difference and challenge the status quo of the “take/make/waste” industrial system. He decided to embrace technology to improve sustainability efforts and found that there was also a compelling business case behind this approach. Anderson died in 2011, but his legacy and sustainable impact lives on through the Ray C. Anderson Foundation . Through Anderson’s efforts, his carpet company has doubled profits while decreasing its greenhouse gas emissions by over 82%. Anderson’s achievements indicate a few things: If a petroleum intensive company can make dramatic environmental strides, while simultaneously increasing profits – any business can do the same....
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Roselinde Torres - What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Ted.com and uncovers the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future. A recent leadership study conducted by The Conference Board found that 4 of the top 10 challenges that CEOs face are focused on leadership. Yet, many organizations lack a well-developed leadership pipeline. CEOs know their organizations cannot retain highly engaged, high-performing employees without effective leaders who can manage, coach, develop, and inspire them. So I ask: How do we address the every-widening leadership gap? First, we need to start by distilling the characteristics of great leaders.         Read the complete transcript here.

3 Don'ts for Leaders Who Want to Grow

If you watched the Grammy’s on Monday night, you probably heard Taylor Swift’s speech where she said: “I want to say to all the young women out there: There are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going you’ll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there.” While the Kanye controversy makes that quote extra juicy, there is truth to what she is sharing for leaders. Your job as a leader is to build people up. To give others credit and not worry about the people who are wishing you ill. If you want to grow, here are three things...
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A Fierce Chat with Salesforce: Tips for Engaging with Prospects in the Age of Over-Connectivity

  In the very fast-paced and competitive world of sales and marketing, it can be tricky to find solid footing. It can be even trickier to make sure you stand out from your competitors.   Which brings us to our main point: You need to find new ways to connect with prospects and customers. Don’t stress about it, just pick up the phone to connect! That’s the great advice of Stacey Engle, Vice President of Marketing for Fierce, who recently explained why talking can prove to be better than texting. Tell me about your business and the solutions it offers customers?   Fierce is a global leadership training company that transforms the way companies communicate and connect with their employees and customers. We partner with our clients to build conversational skills that create more candor, engagement, and accountability. Our vision is to better the world one conversation at a time....
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How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways

This week’s Fierce resource was originally published on Fast Company and explores how leading companies combat workplace stress. Countless studies show that stress not only affects our mood and general outlook on life, it can also adversely affect our health. According to the Behavioral Science and Policy Association , overwhelming work-related demands up the odds of having an illness by 35% and long work hours have shown to increase mortality by nearly 20%. No one wants to live their life in a constant state of unhappiness. Yet, when we search for ways to eliminate our stress, we are typically offered the useless advice we have heard time and time again. “Focus on the positive.” “Eliminate the stress in your life." Let’s be honest, these options are either impossible or are completely intangible. In How Google and Others Help Employees Burn Off Stress in Unique Ways , companies are adopting unconventional...
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