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Focus on Culture! In his initial run for President, Bill Clinton is famous for reducing his campaign message to campaign staff to one simple sentence: "It's the economy stupid!"  During his presidential campaign, there were many competing issues to engage with such as foreign affairs (the first Iraq war had just ended and the Soviet Union had just been dissolved), healthcare, trade policy, attacks on his character - to name only a few.  However, he told his campaign staff that the only issue which really mattered was the economy. With the support of this fixated focus , he was able [...]

In today’s digital world there is an increasing spectrum of ways to connect with each other digitally: virtual groups and teams, communities of practice, zoom meetings to name just a few. As a result, it is difficult to imagine work getting done without harnessing the power of networks in our organizations. However, when it comes to organizational culture, companies have a tendency to under utilize the power of their networks. The abstract nature of culture may be one reason why this dynamic component of culture is underestimated. Transforming a culture is a difficult enough challenge for CEOs and leaders in [...]

We have encountered the enemy and the enemy is us A four year research project conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte has just come to an end.  For a period of over four years, more than 16.000 people were surveyed about their experience with digital disruption and the adequacy of their organization's response. The results are in. "The true challenge of mastering digital disruption (and a major part of the solution) is enabling people.   Companies can effectively navigate the challenges of digital disruption by undertaking initiatives which are far more organizational and managerial than technical." Source: [...]

Any promising change initiative begins with identifying the projects focus and clarifying its goals.  Digital transformation is so all-encompassing that companies often find it difficult to adhere to these fundamental best practice principles for change management initiatives.  Part of the dilemma is that various misconceptions prevail about digital transformation:  What exactly is it? How and when can it be achieved?  Diverse views on the matter crop up and inevitably lead to a lack of alignment across the organization. Ensemble Enabler has developed a special modular learning initiative consisting of 6 core topics to support organizations to address the digital transformation process [...]

In today’s world, just about everyone has a smart phone and therefore the possibility of connecting with others in a myriad of creative ways. Tech companies offer all kinds of collaborative software including real time messaging, file sharing, video meetings, etc. Without a doubt, all of these features have an impact on the culture of an organization. However, most of these software offerings are targeted for individual or team use. What is needed to support an organization’s culture is a digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives, one which is a systemic digital offering. This was the [...]

Disruptive Digital Strategy or Strategy Disrupted?

Disruptive Digital Strategy or Strategy Disrupted?

Through the impact of the digital revolution, change is occurring with increasing speed in all aspects of both our business and personal milieus. Why would these accelerated developments not have an impact on how business strategy is approached as well? Digital transformation has indeed changed the classical paradigm of strategy. Like everything else in the digital age, the world of strategy is in a state of disruption. This shift is particularly noticeable to me due to my hands-on-experience working for two of the best known strategy consultants in the world. During those years, I was applying what I had learned [...]

Circa 100 different topics offered through the CoachingOurselves module library Ensemble Enabler is proud to be a certified provider for CoachingOurselves© – the company which was inspired by Professor Henry Mintzberg of McGill University in Montreal. This Peer-to-Peer Learning concept was launched in 2007. Over the years, CoachingOurselves© has developed an extensive library of content for use in Peer-to-Peer Learning sessions in conjunction with world renowned experts and business leaders in their fields. For instance, Professor Philip Kotler – a distinguished Professor of Marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago – has written modules on [...]

Virtual Peer-to-Peer-Learning connects employees

Virtual Peer-to-Peer-Learning connects employees

In times of crisis and rapid change, exploring new ways to foster group learning is fundamental. Research has determined that o ne of the most effective ways to promote learning takes place in small groups.  A  study from Eastern Michigan University  confirms this assertion. It investigated different learning methods for students who were learning statistics.  The study determined that students improved their scores through collaborative learning (learning in small groups) by up to 23 points on tests based on a scoring system from 0 to 100 as compared with with traditional lecture learning. Collaborative learning is acknowledged to work extremely well [...]

Peer-to-Peer Learning is an innovative approach to employee development The use of Peer-to-Peer Learning enhances a company’s development programs in a myriad of ways. At the same time it also improves  organizational effectiveness.  Any business or organization can achieve the following goals through the use of Peer-to-Peer Learning by:  1. Providing development opportunities where none (or few) existed before 2. Enhancing existing development programs 3. Supporting the effectiveness of existing competency models  4. Promoting inter-organizational networking  5. Bolstering change initiatives and  6. Turbo-charging internal communications Your employees can use Peer-to-Peer Learning to work towards these goals either face-to-face on-site in [...]

When considering a new employee development program, all companies need to understand the investment for a Peer-to-Peer initiative in their organization. This investment is determined by the desired extent and reach of an employee development initiative. Peer-to-Peer Learning offers a powerful and cost effective approach to foster agile learning in your organization. Since a Peer-to-Peer-Session takes place either virtually or on-site in a company's meeting rooms, no expensive venues are needed. Moreover, no experts or speakers need to be engaged since the content expertise is directly delivered in the Peer-to-Peer modules themselves. What is Peer-Peer Learning? Peer-to-Peer Learning is an [...]

Lifelong Learning Knowledge is accumulating at an ever increasing pace in today's world. As a result, fostering lifelong learning is regarded as essential for a company's on-going success. Individuals need to continue learning throughout the course of their working lives. Companies support their employees' learning journey by offering a broad spectrum of courses and training programs as part of their management development programs. Normally such formal courses and training programs are based on an established template which are carried out repeatedly. External experts with specific know-how are often engaged present this knowledge to the participants. This top-down approach may provide [...]

What can business learn about silos from octopus traps?

What can business learn about silos from octopus traps?

In the wheat growing areas of the world, grain is stored in large towers known as silos. Each silo rises high into the sky, independent of the other silos. Multiple silos are usually required. This colorful metaphor that has become commonplace to describe separation and lack of coordination in organizations and in society which is not necessarily understood across the entire world. Silos are not to be found in rice based economies. When in 2005 the newly appointed CEO to Sony – Howard Stringer (an Englishman who had led Sony’s North American operations) – made his first strategy speech in [...]

Focusing on the future Feedback is an essential element of good leadership and high performance teams.  Individuals cannot function in a vacuum.  They need to know what they are doing well and what they need to improve. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith - a well known management educator and coach notes that feedback has a fundamental limitation.  Feedback by its very nature looks at the past instead of looking ahead towards the future.  This makes feedback potentially static and undynamic.  The past cannot be changed. It is in the future that possibilities for development reside. To address this fundamental flaw in feedback [...]

Companies are utilizing novel approaches to deal with complex issues:  such as an energy company aspiring to improve internal communications, an organization dealing with an aging workforce or a pharmaceutical company targeting to create a learning environment within its marketing department. All of the above mentioned issues are multi-facetted. Communication within a company includes top-down and cross-functional communication, bottom-up and inter-departmental communication, performance reviews and feedback, etc. – not to mention the myriad of instruments available to support this communication. Most attempts to deal with such issues revolve around tried and true methods of analysis. A team is given the [...]

Keystone Habits

Keystone Habits

I recently read a story which merits retelling . It is a powerful story about how an unwavering focus on a specific value can help to turn a company around. The year was 1987. The company was the A luminum Company of America otherwise known as Alcoa. The business results in the last few years had not been good. A new CEO was being brought on board to see if the ship could be tumed around. That new CEO was Paul O’Neill – a former government bureaucrat. The investment community did not know too much about him, so when he [...]