Team Retreats Worth Attending? Yes!

Team Retreats Worth Attending? Yes!

Let’s just cut to the real question: Why should leadership invest in a retreat?

The quick answer is, they shouldn’t - unless it is going to be a meaningful experience for everyone with well-defined outcomes.

The deeper answer is this: We live in an incredibly busy culture and work environment. This busyness means that lots of things get done. It also means that lots of things get left undone. Important conversations get put on the back burner. Things expressed in yesterday’s conflict get overtaken by today’s crisis or new deadline. Expectations become ignored or dismissed. We lose track of why we’re doing this work.

And, as the old Irish saying goes, “Expectation is just resentment waiting to happen!” The workplace begins to feel stressful, uninspiring, and even pocked with negative conflict. It’s exhausting.

Enter the definition of “retreat:” a quiet or secluded place in which a group of people can reset and think clearly…

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How to Create Meetings Worth Attending

How to Create Meetings Worth Attending

Have you ever heard someone say they just love to go to meetings? Nope, I haven’t either. Here is why: You can find pages of advice on running an effective meeting - managing the agenda, the time, side-conversations, papers and reports, pre-defined objectives, concise action steps. Efficient logistically to be sure, but … where is the “human” piece?

The essential purpose of a meeting is to bring a team together to interact, bounce around ideas, discuss, and glean valuable results toward achieving a common goal. If that group is not encouraged to engage and participate, then ideas and interactions don’t surface, and the meeting becomes simply reporting and rehashing.


This is when I ask the question: “Why did you hire this creative, expert talent if you’re not using it?”

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Team agreements: A key to high-performing, happy teams

Team agreements: A key to high-performing, happy teams

Whether it's an operating agreement between startup founders, a safe communications agreement within a team, or ground rules for a project committee -- every team has agreements around how they will work together.

For most teams these agreements are unspoken, unwritten and un-negotiated, nonetheless they become the rules of behavior and are binding on team members. They are "the way things are done around here." They may not be in the policies and procedures manual, but it doesn't take long for new team members to figure out what is rewarded and what is punished.

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Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Workplace Conflict: How to Make It Good for Business

Instead of avoiding conflict which only makes it more destructive, welcome conflict in your workplace as a tool for creative interaction, innovation, and employee engagement. Well-managed conflict is good for business!

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Creative Tension in the Workplace: Who needs it? You do!

Creative Tension in the Workplace: Who needs it? You do!

Creative Tension Zone is where huge ideas emerge, innovation thrives, and empires are built! The most successful workplace teams know how to manage constructive conflict to encourage creative tension. What every leader needs to know about leveraging the power of conflict in a team.

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How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

How Conflict Can Help Your Workplace Team

“Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation.” ~ Mark Batson Baril

Conflict - probably not the first item on your business-building success list, right?  However, conflict is a natural occurrence in your workplace and can either catalyze positive experiences that boost growth, or negative experiences that have been known to break a company. So, time to put it on your list!

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The Leader’s Guide: How to Use Constructive Conflict as an Innovation Generator

The Leader’s Guide: How to Use Constructive Conflict as an Innovation Generator

This is the second in our series of Leader’s Guides on harnessing the power of conflict. Conflict, when well managed, can breathe life and energy into workplace relationships that inspire more productivity, creativity and innovation.

I talked in the previous article, The Leader’s Guide: The Key to Boosting Employee Engagement in Your Workplace: It’s Not What You Think, about what conflict is - a natural occurrence in a workplace that can either be a positive or a negative experience. And that a leader who sees conflict as a useful tool rather than a negative thing to avoid, helps increase employee engagement and the vibrant exchange of ideas that take your business on the innovation and growth path.

So how, as a leader, do you start to create the kind of organizational dynamics that harness the power of constructive conflict?  Read on...

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The Most Effective Innovation Generator You've Probably Never Heard of

The Most Effective Innovation Generator You've Probably Never Heard of

Many businesses rely on innovation for success. There is a lot of literature on how to encourage the creative thinking that inspires innovation, but you won’t often hear this tip: Welcome conflict into your teams! Yet this is exactly what I’m enthusiastically promoting. It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? Most leaders are busy looking for ways to avoid fights and disputes, not invite them.

Conflict is a natural part of human behavior and...

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Google Re-Breaks the Code on Team Dynamics

Google Re-Breaks the Code on Team Dynamics

A recent article by Charles Duhigg in the NY Times, revealed and confirmed some of the most interesting findings I have ever seen around team dynamics and high performance. If you read nothing else about team dynamics this year, I highly recommend finishing my short synopsis in this post, and, popping over to the full article What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team.  It will be worth every minute, I promise.

Over the past five years Google engaged in a special project (Project Aristotle) that was tasked with breaking the code on how to build a perfect team. They have a huge workforce, a great number of teams, and methodologies to measure and analyze results that are second to none. They originally set out to see if they could predict what types of personality types and experience could be matched together to build a high performing team. The results of all that work…

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Tight Rope Walking 101: High Potential Startups Balance between Creative Tension and Destructive Conflict Every Day

Tight Rope Walking 101: High Potential Startups Balance between Creative Tension and Destructive Conflict Every Day

I have put together and delivered a workshop at several business incubators recently.  I have fun with it because I really enjoy watching the faces of the participants when a piece of information answers a question they have been struggling with for years. What is that question?

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