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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 [...]

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: [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

More than 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 (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 Edgar Schein of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has written modules on leadership and organizational culture. Professor Philip Kotler – a distinguished Professor of [...]

PMG is a medium size company specializing in the manufacturing of automotive parts.  New management was recently hired to lead the organization into the next phase of the company's development.  After a review of the business, the leadership embarked on several strategic change initiatives. How could the management be better prepared to guide these initiatives in an effective manner? Taking the Fish out of the Water A fish does not know what water is until it is taken out of the water.   Similarly, leaders and managers in organizations often do not see the water around them either – until [...]

Getting started with Peer-to-Peer Learning

Getting started with Peer-to-Peer Learning

The Peer-to-Peer learning process combines state of the art management content with the benefits of social learning. This approach provides a cost effective way to develop people and is easy to implement.  Employees can either have a face-to-face experience in your organization's meeting rooms or participate in a Peer-to-Peer Learning module virtually with other colleagues online. Your business can take the following three steps to introduce this process into your organization: 1. Test it with a team   If you are intrigued by the concept of the Coaching Ourselves approach by Henry Mintzberg - try it out.  Select a team for a 90 minute [...]

Push vs. Pull: the key characteristic of digital maturity It is becoming increasingly clear that mastering digital disruption is primarily an organizational culture issue not a technology issue.  The results of a 4 year study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Deloitte clearly spells this out. Digital maturity is the new paradigm which will increasingly be the focus of organizations' efforts to master digital disruption.  Digital maturity is defined as "an organization's ability to compete effectively by taking advantage of opportunities enabled by technological infrastructure, both inside and outside the organization." Digital maturity is all about organizational culture.  One [...]

A digital offering which inhabits the same dimension where culture lives – its community One of the key activities of any organization is timely and fact-based communication about what is occurring in an organization – whether it be in a time of crisis, change or celebration. Commonly an individual or dedicated staff carries out this responsibility on behalf of the leadership to disseminate information to its employees. The use of specific channels of communication tools mirror the uniqueness of each organization and its culture. But is this classical communication sufficient to foster an organization’s culture which needs to foster nimbleness [...]

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 [...]

Keystone Habits in Organizations - A Success Story

Keystone Habits in Organizations - A Success Story

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 turned 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 [...]

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 [...]

From time immemorial, leadership has been associated with learning. Put simply, leaders are always learning.  The caliber of any leader is revealed in the way they deal with uncertainty and/or novel situations. Especially during these moments, leaders must learn as much as possible about the environment which they are encountering. Their capacity to learn and adapt is closely correlated to the quality of their ability to lead. "Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other."                                                   [...]

Solving the Challenge of Sustainable Learning in a Business Setting: Introducing Peer-to-Peer Learning Peer-to-Peer Learning is a flexible and agile concept which consists of bringing four people together with an experienced Learning Enabler for a 90 minute learning session.  The content of these Peer-to-Peer sessions draws from a growing library of more than 100 modules on topics which have been written by a select group of the world's leading business experts.  When special company topics are required, custom-designed Peer-to-Peer modules can be developed by Ensemble Enabler to meet a company's distinctive needs. All Peer-to-Peer modules can be  made accessible to [...]