Former POW Shares Thoughts On Surviving And Thriving In Difficult Times

The last few months have fundamentally changed the way many people live their lives day-to-day. Over the last few weeks, in particular, I have noticed an increase in a variety of what might normally be considered “unhealthy” behavior during my interactions with people.

Some individuals seem to be taking one of three paths as they attempt to make sense of their new realities and as they come to grips with being thrust into a reality where they have limited control and where the situation is rapidly changing-

  1. Finding false hope. These people keep finding a date that they hang their hopes on when things will “return to normal”. The challenge is that every time one of those dates comes to pass and things have not returned to normal, they pick a new date, each time seeming to lose a piece of themselves.
  2. Losing hope altogether. These people really seem to be struggling. They seem consumed with every news story and conspiracy theory that they come across. They feel like the sky is falling and they are beginning to (or have) lost hope that things will get better.
  3. Finding resilience. The rest seem to acknowledge their new reality and face facts without losing hope that things will get better (a concept articulated by Admiral James Stockdale called the Stockdale Paradox). They don’t hang their hopes on the next date that things will be fine and they don’t fall into a pit of despair. It is these folks who seem to be best adapted to survive and thrive in environments where they have little control.

Read More…

CEO Spotlight: Dispelling Myths About Military Veterans In The Civilian Workforce

Every so often, I dedicate my writing to a topic that is near and dear to my heart- raising awareness of employment trends and challenges for military veterans who are transitioning out of the service and back into the civilian world of work. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference on this very topic at Amazon’s headquarters, hosted by Deloitte and other organizations dedicated to hiring veterans in their organizations as well as organizations that exist to directly provide transition support. 

Part of the day’s events included a presentation by representatives from LinkedIn who shared their latest Veteran Opportunity Report, a study using the massive data and insights available to the digital networking platform. What is important to acknowledge is that LinkedIn’s positioning as a powerhouse of professional networking puts its teams in a unique position to understand this topic in great detail. If you are interested in learning more about this untapped talent pool, I encourage you to download their report for yourself. In the meantime, here are some highlights that might surprise you. 

The quick stats:

  • Veterans remain with their initial employers 8.3% longer than their nonveteran counterparts
  • Veterans are 39% more likely to be promoted than their nonveteran colleagues
  • Veterans are 160% more like to have a graduate degree or higher as compared to nonveterans
  • Veterans with bachelor’s degrees have 2.9X more work experience than their peers

Read More…

Podcast: Organizational Culture Consulting: Turning Data Into Action

gothamCulture Podcast

In this episode, Chris Cancialosi interviews Dylan Flavel Managing Director of Melbourne based Spring Point.

Consulting sometimes gets a bad reputation which seems to come from the root issue of “overdiagnosis.” That means consultants spending way too much time assessing the situation and leaving little focus or budget to help their clients making tangible change. Dylan talks about how now clients are hiring consultants to quickly turn data into action. He also discusses how to find the right consulting firm for your organization.

Released: March 27, 2020

Podcast: Customer Experience: Exceeding Your Customer’s Expectations

gothamCulture Podcast

In this episode, Chris Cancialosi interviews David Hicks, CEO of TribeCX.

People’s expectations of brands have increased, seemingly on a daily basis. Customers (and colleagues) expect a consistent high-quality experience no matter what kind of organization you work for. David discusses how to integrate customer experience into your company’s strategy and how to measure the ROI through metrics.

Released: March 25, 2020

Show notes: Dave refers to a book about how Net Promoter companies thrive in a customer-driven world The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld.

Podcast: Executive Coaching: Impacting Performance at all Levels of Leadership

gothamCulture Podcast

In this episode, Chris Cancialosi interviews executive coach, Dave Bushy, of Boston Executive Coaching.

Over the last 20 years, executive coaching has stepped into the foreground as a way of providing hyper-focused development support to key leaders in organizations. Now, organizations around the world are beginning to see for themselves the impact that executive coaching can have on performance at all levels. Dave describes the difference between coaching and training, the evolution of coaching, and how technology will affect coaching in years to come.

Released: March 25, 2020

Show notes: Dave refers to a favorite book of his titled Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

The Network Gap and its Impact on the War for Talent

Network

As much as you may believe in your heart that two, equally qualified people should have equal opportunity to thrive professionally, the fact is, this isn’t the reality in many cases. There is a wealth of research that supports the notion that the strength of a person’s network has a significant impact on their ability to successfully manage their careers and to gain access to opportunities that others may have access to.

LinkedIn, the premier professional networking platform has utilized their massive wealth of user data to understand how a person’s network not only supports their long-term success but what factors contribute to (or stifle) a person’s ability to develop healthy networks throughout their lives.

Meg Garlinghouse shared these insights in her article on the LinkedIn Official Blog

  1. Where you grow up. LinkedIn users who grow up in areas with a median income above $100k are 3x more like to have a stronger* network than other users.
  2. Where you go to school. Users who attend top schools are 2x more likely to have stronger networks.
  3. Where you work. Users who have work experience at a top company are nearly 2x more likely to have stronger networks.

This ‘network gap’ presents a reality that can hinder career opportunity for some simply based on factors that are partially, or completely, out of their control. Read More…

Learning To Work In New Ways Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic

remote work

The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak an official pandemic. Subsequently, the U.S. stock market looks like a more epic roller-coaster than Space Mountain, Americans are making a run on toilet paper, and citizens are beginning to feel the pressure of cancellations of a wide variety of gatherings. While the situation is certainly dynamic and messaging around the situation seems to be constantly evolving, many business owners are coming to grips with a world of work that spans from mildly inconvenient to completely debilitating.

Businesses that rely on in-person customer purchases (restaurants, sports venues, concert halls, etc.) and their employees, many of whom do not have the benefit of being paid when they are not working, seem to be facing what could be a cataclysmic fate made worse by the fact that many large U.S. employers are forcing employees to work from home. Thankfully, my own two companies largely utilize remote work models so my teams are well-versed in working out of their homes. In situations like we face currently, I realize that we are the fortunate ones and that there are some lessons we have become accustomed to that may be of value to those of you who are struggling to adapt to a new, remote way of working together. Read More…

Organizational Agility And Resilience – Two Critical Sides Of The Same Coin

Agility and Resilience

In a world where longstanding business models are being disrupted (many at the hand of a staggering rate of technological advances), you won’t get ten paces without hearing terms like agility and resilience being thrown around. This dynamic has seen the rise of brands like Amazon/Whole Foods, Netflix, and Uber as well as the demise of others like Kodak who failed to see and respond quickly enough to changes in the market. If you’re reading this and thinking that this isn’t something that applies to you, you’re sadly mistaken. Even historically stable industries are being disrupted in ways that require the ability to adapt and transform in order to thrive.

The belief that organizations must master the ability to innovate and drive new products and services to market in order to beat out the competition has contributed to the focus on agility as a critical success factor. These organizations must “fail fast”, quickly learn from mistakes, and adapt to changing market conditions in order to outperform their competitors in the long-term.

Read More…

The Future Of Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing

CrowdsourcingI am a believer in the power of exploration. It is often in the seemingly random corners of life that we find opportunity, brilliance, and possibility. In an effort to open the door to possibility for myself, I spent some time with the producers and participants of Crowdsolve Seattle– a first-of-its-kind event bringing together law enforcement, a variety of experts, as well as several hundred “regular people” from around the world who share an interest in true crime and a passion to contribute in a meaningful way.

Designed and produced by the team at Red Seat Ventures,this event extends upon the team’s prior work producing CrimeCon, a variety of events throughout the year that attract flocks of true crime fans from around the globe. “CrowdSolve came mostly out of attendee feedback over our first three CrimeCon events. Fans told us they wanted to go much deeper into a single case file for the entire experience,” says Kevin Balfe, co-founder of Red Seat Ventures.

CrowdSolve uses a process known as crowdsourcing, an open collaboration process intended to help solve problems, has gained a great deal of popularity in the last decade. Application of crowdsourcing principles have been introduced to a wide variety of situations ranging from medical research, to navigation (think Waze), and even how you book travel accommodations through Airbnb. Crowdsourcing offers an opportunity to bring together large groups of diverse individuals to solve problems with the assumption that diverse groups bringing a variety of opinions and backgrounds can make higher quality decisions than a small group of “experts”. Read More…

The Art Of Unlearning What Works

typewriter

As an organizational psychologist and a firm believer in continuous development, I have often found myself in the position of advising people on creative ways to keep learning throughout their careers. I have worked with clients seeking to become “learning organizations” – where individuals and teams are continuing to figure out what works through learning in order to outperform their competitors. Research, experiment, succeed, fail, learn, improve, repeat.

As someone who has dedicated his professional life to the topic of organizational culture, I realize that groups of people, over time and through collective experience, figure out what works and what doesn’t. Doing so allows them to begin to bake into their organization’s systems and processes methods for repeating successes and minimizing failures (or they cease to exist). Doing so allows members of these organizations to routinize processes and behaviors that lead to success so they can utilize their mental capacity on other things. Easy enough in theory.

The real challenge presents itself when the old ways of doing things that once yielded success stop working (or stop working as well as they once did). It is during these times that I often get people reaching out to me to help them figure out what to do in order to right the ship before things go too far afoul. In all of these situations, some common realities have bubbled up that are important to acknowledge.

Read More…