Category Archives: Undiscussables

Ambiguity, Organizational Stress and Leading Well

Back in the late 1980’s when I was doing recon­nais­sance into how well peo­ple were speak­ing up in orga­ni­za­tions, there were two main behav­iors by lead­ers that peo­ple told me caused them to become care­ful about express­ing them­selves. One was abra­sive behav­ior by lead­ers — shout­ing, crit­i­ciz­ing, insult­ing or oth­er­wise under­min­ing peo­ple. The oth­er leadership […]

Transactional Work and Adopted Passivity

The notion that work rela­tion­ships can be either trans­ac­tion­al or trans­for­ma­tion­al has been around for a long time. Trans­ac­tion­al work rela­tion­ships are rela­tion­ships where the focus is on the trade of time, effort, or results for mon­ey. Work is a con­tract and the terms are pri­mar­i­ly about the tasks and the rewards. Trans­for­ma­tion­al work relationships, […]


It’s often the thing need­ed most but, giv­en how busy we are, it’s the last thing we give time to: eval­u­at­ing how our time and ener­gies are being used. Are we work­ing on the right stuff? In the right way? Do we have the right peo­ple in the room? What is our real sta­tus? Our […]

How to Have a Strategy for Change

Think of “strat­e­gy” as hav­ing a per­spec­tive, an agen­da if you will, about how things could be bet­ter. When I’m help­ing a man­ag­er think about what those things are for a depart­ment in a more or less tra­di­tion­al hier­ar­chy, I like to employ a kind of sys­tems map that illu­mi­nates dif­fer­ent aspects of the work […]