Six Ways to Be Ready for a Campus Shutdown

Sometimes higher education truly has its collective head in the sand. Institutions have left themselves vulnerable to collapse during a long-term campus closure, despite increased risk from extreme weather events and other unexpected catastrophes. I talked with representatives from across the county to understand their preparedness for an extended campus closure. Their responses illuminate the need for creative, innovative approaches to campus and workplace policies.

Giving Up Control to Build a Learning Culture in a Healthcare System

A case of strategy development through participation in a large, complex organization.  Few other industries have the potential to impact life and death as much as the healthcare sector.  Healthcare organizations that don’t provide sufficient attention to learning, improvement, and growth put their patients’ safety and well-being at risk. A team I led facilitated an 18-month process to enhance learning within a 40-location healthcare system with over 12,000 employees that faced unprecedented changes due to internal and external pressures.  The CEO wanted to make learning “everyone’s business,” as opposed to trainer-centric.  The… Read More

Dreaming of the Perfect Marriage: Learning and Organizational Strategy

Data suggest that leverage points exist to change employee perceptions. Few chief learning officers (CLOs) disagree they have a mandate to ensure that learning initiatives align with organizational strategy.  A great deal of research exists about how to align the two.  However, what does it look like for employees to connect their learning and development with an actual organization’s strategy? The term “line of sight” refers to how well an employee can see and understand the connection between their work and organizational strategy.  If employees can see a connection between their daily… Read More

How to Respond to Employee Activism

Many employees want to do meaningful work and they want their employer to either support or align with their values and identities.  When that doesn’t happen, employees generally have three choices: leave the organization, try to bring change within the organization, or just shut up and deal with it.  The last option is probably the worst  for the employer because it leads to lowered employee engagement. I recommend providing a relief valve that allows for employees to express themselves when they rise up against a decision or organize themselves to advocate for… Read More

Picking the Perfect Location for an Off-site Retreat or Meeting

I recently co-facilitated a strategic planning session at a beautiful location in the Sonoma Region of California.  When I arrived, the venue appeared to be perfect: serene grounds and attractive well-maintained facilities.  However, the venue had never been used for a business retreat or meeting.  It normally serves as a wedding venue.  When I walked into the large room for the meeting, I thought “this is perfect.”  The room had expansive windows with lots of natural light, high vaulted ceilings, and hardwood floors.  It looked like an ideal location for a retreat…. Read More