Think like an Entrepreneur: Be AntiFragile No Matter Where You Work

How do you  FRAME an approach to entrepreneurial change that helps you adapt to a business climate that is always changing?

I asked those attending a question, “How many of you have been in your same career for more than ten years or so?”  Two raised their hands.  Their professions were cosmetology and nursing.  Though there have been many updates in those fields, it is interesting that looking good, and being healthy and/or recovering from illness, stands the test of time.

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Curing ONE of the Seven Deadly Diseases of Management, Performance Appraisals

Entrenched habits tend to persist, mostly invisible, until poets, reformers and provocateurs start writing, talking and asking questions. They challenge us to reexamine long-standing practices that no longer fit our current world and what’s on the horizon.

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A History of Performance Appraisals: Letting Go to Power New Culture

Performance ratings are part of ancient, really ancient, history.

Photo SIn Yu Partial

Are we ready yet to let go of individual performance appraisals (reviews, evaluations) to fully embrace achievement-oriented, team cultures?

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Beyond Resilience: Givers, Takers, Matchers and Anti-Fragile Systems

“Our focus on removing or minimizing randomness has actually had the perverse effect of increasing fragility.”   How can we work through this  paradox in organizations?  Assistant Professor Adam Grant’s recent works provides insights. As a follow-on exploring the concept of anti-fragile systems that I blogged about earlier, consider the power of Dr. Grant’s recent work on Givers, Takers and Matchers, described in his book and in his recent article for McKinsey, Givers Take All: The hidden dimension of corporate culture.   

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Creator, Challenger, Coach through Change: Getting out of the Drama

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Being creative can be tough when bad news abounds.  Yet taking the creative, challenging coach role through turbulence is a hero’s journey that matters greatly as we recover and build anew.

What does it mean to be a Trusted Change Advisor in today’s turbulent times?

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Beyond Resilience: Black Swans, Anti-Fragility and Change

Random, extreme events: What are our options when we confront events we don’t understand?  Is it possible to develop characteristics to emulate strengths in nature in becoming antifragile as described by former wall street trader, now academic, Nassim Nicholas Taleb?  

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“When you are fragile, you depend on things following the exact planned course, with as little deviation as possible.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Here are some insights into Taleb’s approach, especially relevant today:

Nassim’s credentials:

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3 Things That Cause Ethical Breakdowns in Workplace Culture: Timing a Reminder is Everything


Tensions among senior staff in universities seem to be making the news on a regular basis. Examples include leader strife at Rutgers (blame), Penn State (cascade failure to deal with a crime) and University of Virginia (abrupt leadership goings and comings.)

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Using Jung to Clarify the Power of Introversion and Extroversion in Coaching

Learn how to move out of the shallows of those old introvert & extrovert labels.

What’s best used as a combo with other aspects of personality?  Introversion and Extroversion.  

The famed psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, is one of the few that has added clarity to the oversimplification or archaic use of introversion & extroversion in modern times.   Assessments of the past, like the Myers Briggs Type IndicatorTM have helped many people better understand Jung’s complex explanations about personality so that they are more accessible and useful in the world.

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Seven (7) Ways to Respond to Bullying and a Queen Bee

Are you experiencing prolonged harassment?  It may be that you may have just encountered a bully, or, when adding gender into the mix, experiencing an adult “mean girl.” As the number of women in the workforce and in leadership increases, stress in leadership roles has naturally affected women, as it does men,  and can include gender-nuanced displays of ongoing aggression.

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Business Entrepreneur Storytelling at Entre-Slam with Deb

Entre-Slam is an entrepreneurial story telling competition held in Ann Arbor. Storytelling is powerful – and is a key leadership tool.  Telling my story was also a great way to illustrate storytelling as important to change and communicating complex ideas, including my history in organization development (OD).  

Deb, Entre-Slam in Detroit
Deb’s most recent Entre-Slam in Detroit, Fall 2013

Explaining OD to the uninitiated is like describing “Business Intelligence” or “databases” to optometrists, professional athletes or golf pros.  Really, why should they care without a good story?

In my situation, this was a signal to myself to enter the speaking circuit.  I also wanted to place in the top three, so I did something rather unusual for a story telling slam – a rap.  I had a lot to memorize in a short time, so I prepared for this.   The theme was also useful to my professional focus on change; it was Arising from Failure.

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