Archive for the ‘Change & Transition’ Category

Union / Management collaboration: What Creates Healthy, Fit Organizations Today?

What makes for a healthy, “anti-fragile” (adaptable, responsive) organization today?   These slides from my recent presentation to the Michigan Management Labor Association’s (MMLA) presentation on Wellness –A Healthy Engagement: Organizational and Personal Fitness provide insights on tools to help.  Wellness –A Healthy Engagement: Organizational and Personal Fitness from Deb Nystrom “The best way to predict […]


Beyond Resilience: Black Swans, Anti-Fragility and Change

Random, extreme events:  What to do in a world we don’t understand.  Is it possible to develop characteristics to emulate strengths in nature in becoming anti-fragile as described by former wall street trader, now academic, Nassim Nicholas Taleb?  Since I wrote this post, I also followed it up with a SlideShare and presentation on Anti-Fragile […]


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).   Explaining OD to the uninitiated is like describing […]


Two Tried & True Change Models – Evergreen for Agile Change

“There isn’t anything so practical as” a good model to help leaders, change agents and advocates explain what is happening in change and transition, paraphrasing Kurt Lewin.  An informed change leader can head off the deadly effects of compliance and indifference and increase true, community commitment with a good set of tools, facilitation skills and change research, informed by timely […]


Messing up a Change Implementation with Someone Else’s Learning Culture?

Netflix culture and their lack of need for leadership development is SO attractive, like the siren song of Greek myth.  It creates great press for Netflix, yet it is so un-duplicatable without the right staffing & culture values mix.   Once again, culture trumps strategy every time.  Helping culture to shift using smart, agile strategy […]


There’s No Such Thing as Leadership? Pull, Influence and “Open Space” vs. Power

How many times has the question been asked, “What is management vs. what is leadership?”   This question, which is actually about power and influence, seems as if it may never die.  A web search on the difference between the two delivers 176 million results. __________________ A web search on “what is management vs. leadership” […]


Agile Leader Learning for Sustainable Change: Steps through Sharp Rocks

You’ve probably experienced it, that uncomfortable feeling of letting go of something tried and formerly true without knowing what is coming next. Welcome to the Neutral Zone, coined by change writer William Bridges1 who helped us understand the human element in Change. In the 21st century, it’s important to  “unlearn” what no longer meets the needs of […]


Change and Endings: Letting Go and Acceptance before New Beginnings

Successful transition through endings is a necessary skill in the 21st century.  A William Bridges classic gives insights into helping endings succeed. <This post is part one of a two-part series on William Bridge’s Transitions change approach, with related change models and business examples.> Sometimes an ending is a major, transformative revelation for a business, such […]


Detroit & Vegas – A Tale of Two Cities as Our Comeback Kids

It’s always good to hear some good news about cities making a comeback.  Looking at Detroit and Las Vegas is a great way to explore how cities can envision a brighter future for us all.   View of the Detroit Renaissance Center from within the Detroit Athletic Club, 2012 In this case, Detroit makes a […]


A Two Step, Two Video Dance towards Loose – Tight Change & Innovation Leadership

If there is one thing that is buzzing in leadership circles in social media, it is that building an innovative, agile culture is key to remaining viable, surviving disruptive change, and thriving. Consider Loose – Tight leadership by rightsizing your grip. Grip the steering wheel too tightly and the result can be crushed creativity, stifled […]