A Case Study: HR Takes a Leadership Role in Strategy

misalignment_pics_smallIn 2014, we had the privilege of working with an amazing client to help them through the massive organizational changes that were in the works. Covenant Woods is a continuing care retirement community that, in 2014, experienced a physical expansion that almost doubled the size of their physical space and resident population. At the same time, a long time CEO was retiring and a new CEO came aboard.

All this change was, to their Director of HR, a terrific opportunity to build a cohesive leadership team, and asked us to help.

We had the opportunity to reflect on our work in a podcast, hosted by Prana Business. Prana is our partner in improving strategic alignment within organizations, and we use their Line-of-Sight tool to measure alignment and create plans to strengthen and grow.

Listen to the podcast

You can also download the transcript here.

We thought you might find this case study helpful if you are looking to ensure that the work being done throughout the organization is actually the right work to move the organization forward.

Many thanks to Emily Robinson-Endert, Director of HR at Covenant Woods, for allowing us to showcase this project. Thanks also to Joe Clark, CEO of Prana Business, for hosting the podcast and for developing this excellent instrument.




On Lying

pinocchioIs there a continuum for lying? Perhaps the “little white lie” that saves someone from humiliation is on one end of the continuum. Perhaps lying for personal gain is on the other end. But how much personal gain? Is 10 million enough to make the lie egregious?

Our Right to Free Speech

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The First Amendment to the Constitution.

In the First Amendment to the Constitution, Congress gave the American people a gift. The Constitution allows us all to say our peace, even if it conflicts with our government. And embedded in that gift is the Fourth Branch of Government, defined by Wikipedia as “a group that influences the three branches of government defined in the American Constitution (legislative, executive and judicial). Such groups can include the press (an analogy for the Fourth Estate), the people, and interest groups.”

The Press. The Fourth Estate.

By the law of our Constitution, they can report even news that is in direct conflict, or is inflammatory toward our government. They can investigate and break stories to the American people that influence our attitudes about the government.

But they cannot lie. No, this is not a law enacted in our Constitution. It does not say that the Fourth Estate must tell the truth. Quite frankly, truth is a wee bit elusive these days in media reporting.  Here’s where my continuum enters the picture. What is truth, as shared by the media?

They walk a fine line, in what they say, what they don’t say, their tone of voice, their biased selection of experts to provide insight. Continue reading

My Plan Would Have Worked, if only….

arrow_strategy_400_clr_9440 2What a joy spending time with a young military officer over the holiday. An instructor who teaches the principles of warfighting to young, green lieutenants, he has some interesting stories about developing young leaders. Listening to his insight into “education and learning” it struck me that leadership development concepts are really no different for military or civilian leaders.

Basic officer training is the place that new officers try, fail and learn. Young kids right out of college don’t really like the “fail” part; it’s not a word that has been allowed in their vocabulary. They have spent 16 years of their lives striving to ace exams and earn good grades. Marines are selective, and they wouldn’t be military officers if they hadn’t learned how to be successful in school.

Mock battles are, in essence, simulated learning. The instructors create a realistic scenario, and provide roles, situations, and play the bad guys. The students use concepts learned in class to develop their operational plan, and the student leaders carry out the work of executing the plan. Continue reading