Why Our Connections at Work Matter

Eric Stutzman

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] When our children begin school, we anticipate that they will make friends, and we are sad for them if they don’t. When they become teenagers, we hope they will identify with healthy peer groups, and we worry about them if they fall in with the wrong crowd. When our parents grow elderly, we worry about … Read More

How to Talk About the Elephant in the Room

Eric Stutzman

conversation, conflict, leadership, sensitive topic, discussion, conversation, mediation, executive leadership, workplace culture, difficult conversation

I’ve facilitated a fair number of high-stakes conversations over the years and am always struck when organizations ask me to lead a discussion about the elephant in the room. Rather than needing help with a conflict or to identify specific problems, they are simply asking me to start a conversation about a problem they are all aware of but can’t … Read More

Why Reading Together Is Important

Eric Stutzman

reading together, reading, business, leadership, management, workplace culture, book club

Those of us in leadership at ACHIEVE have often found our thinking propelled by what we read. In fact, we often exchange good books with each other to sharpen our thinking and work. Many of our innovations in marketing, management, and the services we offer have been informed by the books we have read. As many of you know, we … Read More

5 Tips for Fostering Psychological Safety in Your Workplace

Wendy Loewen

psychological safety, workplace culture, leadership

This past week I read an article by leadership scholar, Amy Edmondson, on learning behavior in work teams. It struck me as both simple and profound. Although it was written in 1999, it seems particularly relevant today. Edmondson’s research points out that most organizations are not adaptive in new situations – they simply wait for things to return to the … Read More

How to Plan for a Bright Future

Eric Stutzman

future, looking ahead, planning, development, innovation, workplace culture, leadership, management

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a tsunami of changes to sweep across our world. The working world as we know it has been forced to change by government policy, and it will continue to change long after those policies have been revoked. We are living at a singular moment in history where we must make a choice between three options … Read More

How to Lead in Uncertain Times – Looking Beyond the Coronavirus

Eric Stutzman

uncertain times, future, prediction, leadership, workplace culture, coronavirus, covid-19, pandemic

What does it mean to lead through uncertainty? Amid global concerns regarding the coronavirus, leaders everywhere are impacting their communities and workplaces with their responses. Some responses are not helping while others are. We all take cues about how to behave, and even how to feel about things from the people around us, especially from those whose influence shapes our … Read More

Workplace Culture and Customer Service – Don’t Blame the Lettuce

Eric Stutzman

customer service, frontline workers, leadership, management, employee, workplace, organization development, workplace culture

I recently had an unsettling customer service experience when I went to pick up some dry cleaning. The employee behind the counter could not find my garments. Instead of apologizing or saying she would look into solving the issue, she muttered under her breath, “I hate working here.” Then she said things like, “I don’t know what they were thinking.” … Read More

How to Learn as a Leader

Eric Stutzman

leadership, leaders, professional development, management, workplace culture, learning

At the heart of people-oriented leadership lies humility. We don’t ever arrive! To be effective as leaders, we need to be growing and learning continuously. With all our responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to work on our own development. It is common for many of us to focus on production, profit, and the worthy goal of developing employees, but these … Read More

Beyond Carrots & Sticks – A New Look at Discipline

Eric Stutzman

leadership, incentive, management, workplace culture, motivation

The ways in which leaders do or do not deal with problem behaviors have lasting impacts on their workplace cultures. Leaders must learn to respond quickly and thoughtfully to problem behaviors as they arise. When they do this well, they convey a spirit of care and accountability to the rest of the team and reinforce healthy workplace culture. Unfortunately, even … Read More

How to be Innovative: 3 Big Ideas

Eric Stutzman

innovation, workplace innovation, creativity, how to innovation, workplace culture, leadership

I used to picture innovation as something mysterious that would happen in a scientist’s lab. But after working at a highly innovative company, I have learned that it is quite the opposite. In fact, the process of innovation is straightforward. We plan for it. But first, let’s be clear that creativity and innovation are not the same thing. What is … Read More