Blog posts written by Eric Stutzman

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know it has been forced to change by government policy, and it will continue to change long after those policies have been revoked.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

Four Approaches to Accountability

Eric Stutzman

workplace accountability, workplace culture, organizational culture, leadership, management

[Excerpt from The Culture Question] Organizations can approach accountability in four distinct ways, as we explain with a model called the Accountability Grid (see image below). We’ve adapted this matrix from Ted Wachtel’s use of the Social Discipline Window, a conflict resolution tool. The four approaches are based on varying levels of both accountability and support: Ignoring: Avoiding problems we’d … Read More

How to Have a Successful Meeting

Eric Stutzman

We made a big mistake last week at one of our meetings, and we should have known better. On Friday, we met about a significant workflow problem, spent time problem solving, but failed to take meeting minutes. Several people took notes, but no one was officially designated as the minutes taker. When we tried to reconstruct what we had talked … Read More

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Eric Stutzman

accountability, workplace culture, leadership, management

Accountability is one of the pillars of a highly functional and healthy workplace culture. Simply put, accountability means that people take responsibility for what they say they will do and what they have already done. Accountability and trust walk hand in hand. When we do what we say we will do, we establish trust. When an employee commits to completing … Read More

How to Lead People Who are Older Than You

Eric Stutzman

young leader, leading older employees, age differences, leadership, workplace culture, leadership develeopment

Young Leaders Must Be Intentional about Influence At a recent leadership workshop I was facilitating, a young leader approached me at the break with a big question: “I just got promoted to a new position at work,” she said, “and I’m younger than most of the people I’m supposed to lead. What’s your advice for leading people who are older … Read More