Blog

See our experts’ latest contributions on consulting, execution, growth, simplification and other key topics in today’s industry-leading blog posts.

10.29.13  Ron Ashkenas

The Dangers of Denial

Great leaders tell it like it is. In other words, they focus on reality, no matter how painful or unpleasant it might be, and then figure out what to do about it. In contrast, less effective leaders sometimes avoid hard truths, argue with the data, and delay tough …

10.28.13  Wes Siegal

Align, Convene, and Organize: Facilitating Behavior Change is the Key to Success in Accountable Care Organizations

Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are healthcare systems that the government incentivizes to improve the health outcomes and costs for treating Medicare patients. The approach is being widely adopted, and is being copied and adapted by private insurers, too.

10.17.13  Ron Ashkenas

Nice Managers Embrace Conflict, Too

Most people want to be liked: It’s one of the fundamental tenets of human behavior. Because of that motivation, many of us have an unconscious desire to avoid conflict.

09.24.13  Ron Ashkenas

Why More Direct Reports Make Life Easier

Although it may be counter-intuitive, one of the most powerful changes you can make in your organization is to increase spans of control – a simple shift that can liberate employees, streamline the hierarchy, simplify processes, and reduce costs.

08.06.13  Ron Ashkenas

Don't Make Decisions, Orchestrate Them

Is the role of the manager to make decisions, or to make sure that decisions get made? The answer, of course, is both – but many managers focus so much on the first role that they neglect the second.

07.23.13  Ron Ashkenas

Don't Neglect Your Power to Bring People Together

Out of the many ways that managers get things done, one of the most underused is what I call "convening authority": the ability to bring people together to share information, build alignment, or solve problems.

07.10.13  Ron Ashkenas

The Problem with Executive Isolation

A client of mine recently experienced a jarring moment akin to a scene straight out of the old Broadway musical "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." She was getting ready for a meeting with her CEO. After pulling together her materials, she was asked t…

07.03.13  Ron Ashkenas

Great Leaders Use the Power of Dreams

Buying a lottery ticket has an extremely low chance of paying off. Yet many people, at least in countries where it’s legal, do it anyway. In the United States alone, it’s estimated that almost half the population plays the lottery; and last year Americans spent an …

06.26.13  Ron Ashkenas

The Hidden Side of Meetings

Managers at every level almost universally complain that many of their meetings are a waste of time. It's an old story, repeated over and over: "We didn't have an agenda." "We didn't manage the time well." "We didn't have the right people to actually make any decis…

05.22.13  Ron Ashkenas

Three Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Hierarchy

We may talk about eliminating hierarchy, but most organizations still have one. Frankly, it’s very hard to mobilize limited resources and diverse skills without someone taking charge. That’s why hierarchies have existed for thousands of years – from the days of the…

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