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High Functioning Teams

imagine a better future

Are You Leading To Maintain The Status Quo Or To Create A Better Future?

As organizations transition to a post-pandemic era, forward-thinking leaders realize that managing the status quo is not leading toward a bright future. Leaders must get their teams future-focused, change-oriented and dedicated to their own growth again or risk losing their most talented people to better opportunities. Leadership is a routine practice requiring managers at all …

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a team that looks like family

The Overlooked Secret To Retention: How To Build Familial Teams

When we were forced to leave the office and take our work home, a lot of leaders were concerned about the productivity and accountability that might be lost from this new working environment. However, we learned that people were much more accountable and dedicated to their jobs while working from home than was ever thought …

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miscommunication in the workplace

Five Sources Of Miscommunication In The Workplace And How To Mitigate Them

Effective communication is important in any relationship, especially in the workplace where customers and employees depend on it to be successful. When there is a breakdown between individuals, we most often assume that communication is at least part of the root cause solution.  Style inventories, team-building activity programs and communication workshops are commonly used for …

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virtual training can improve culture

Are You Optimizing Virtual Training To Shape Your Culture?

Two years into the pandemic, most organizations have pivoted to provide virtual training due to imposed work-from-home orders and the resulting general shift to remote work. While these organizations have done a good job within the constraints, many have fallen into a sub-optimal new normal as their emergency pivot has become ingrained and habitual without …

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New Change Management for a New World

A New World Needs A New Approach To Change Management

What Is Change Management and Why Is It Important? Change management is an overhaul of company systems to create a more updated and efficient, and accountable work environment. Change Management is a hot topic among organizations in today’s quickly changing world where we have to keep up with consumer and stakeholder demands, public safety policies, ever-increasing …

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The missing piece

The Missing Pieces In Team Building

For decades, corporate team building has consisted of style inventories, communication skill building and teamwork games like ropes courses, trust falls and escape rooms. While these activities might bring a team closer together as friends and are certainly fun activities, they have little if anything to do with actually building job-related teamwork.  Building effective teams …

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Two women look at a computer together

Why Representation Is More Powerful Than Inclusion Alone

Employee inclusion at all levels is a critical factor for organizational success. Because of the increased speed and urgency with which organizations are forced to adapt to a continually changing business environment, respond to new customer demands and effectively compete with the competition, employee inclusion is more important now than it’s ever been. Old ways …

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Professional Teams get better results

Why Most Business Teams Are Amateurs, And How To Become Professional

In my 35 years of consulting with business teams to lead breakthrough change efforts, I’ve learned one surprising thing: Professional business teams act like amateurs! If you want to learn about high-performing teams, pay attention to teams that have to perform well together. The success of sports teams, dance companies and music groups depends on their teamwork, …

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A manager and their direct report work together to achieve results

Three Steps To Drive Results Without Micromanagement

No one really likes micromanaging, yet it is a popular management strategy at almost every level. Most managers who micromanage express that the best way to ensure success is to take control. While that may sound reasonable, it ultimately doesn’t work. The Problem With Micromanagement Micromanagement is an organizational disease similar to silos in that …

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Team returning to the office

Six Things To Consider When Making Plans To Return To Office

One of the biggest questions leaders have today is how to best handle the opportunity to return to the office after a year and a half of enforced work-from-home conditions. Do we go back to the office? Stay remote? Do some mix of both? Uncertainty still abounds, safety concerns are still high and we all …

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Diversity is a key to business success

Five Meaningful Ways To Support Diversity, Equity And Inclusion In Business

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a stated value for many companies, but making meaningful changes to support DEI often proves more difficult than simply claiming it as important. Below are five meaningful ways to support DEI in any organization. 1. Educate yourself and take personal inventory. Power dynamics in organizations most often mimic power …

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6 Best High Performing Teams Books

High-performing teams are the goal of every company. A team or whole organization that is hyper-focused on its goals, achieving exceptional business results, usually consists of people with specialized skills and complementary expertise. They work together at the highest levels to consistently outperform their competitors.    If your team couldn’t currently be described as high-performing, fear …

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5 Workplace Miscommunication Examples (& How to Avoid Them)

For a business to be successful, it’s essential that its employees effectively communicate and work together to ensure that tasks are done correctly. But language is a complicated art, and miscommunication can always occur, even when people are trying to make themselves as clear as possible.  But while miscommunication can’t always be avoided- especially in …

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5 Best Examples of High-Performing Teams

For most business owners to have continued success, they need to employ individuals they believe can help further their company’s growth. However, even with dedicated personnel, it can still be challenging to find the right fit. Building a successful team is more than just putting talented people together and saying, “Here, figure it out.” It …

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Program Management

Program Management: Guide to Roles & Responsibilities

Have you ever tried to decide what to eat for lunch with a group of friends? A group of people with varying opinions trying to decide what to eat for lunch can be an unfruitful exercise in chaos, discord, and wasted opportunities benefiting no one involved. Instructional parallels to efficient business practices can be found …

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High functioning teams are accountable to each other

7 Habits of High Functioning Teams

By Mark Samuel – Organizations are only as successful as the teams who move them to success. The difference between being a high-functioning business team and a low-functioning business team is the difference between achieving breakthrough success and producing stagnant results. It’s the difference between experiencing team harmony and getting stuck in interpersonal conflict. It’s …

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Virtual workshops are effective and fun

The Best Virtual Team Building Activities

By Mark Samuel – While many companies are starting to plan their journeys back to the office, many are making coming back to work optional for their employees and some organizations are simply staying virtual. In my 35 years of helping organizations build high-functioning teams, I never once thought virtual team building was possible, let …

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Business Teams Meet Frequently

Business Teams 101: Definition, Building, & Execution

By Mark Samuel – What is a business team? A business team is any team that works together for a common goal, typically for a business organization or company.Business teams aren’t any different from other teams like sports teams or musical groups. When looking at Organizational Development around how to effectively operate as a business …

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high performance teams take ownership for a common outcome

Common Knowledge About High Performance — Debunked!

By Mark Samuel – In the field of organizational consulting, there are certain principles about achieving high performance that are considered common knowledge. I received my master’s degree in organizational development, and when I began my career as a consultant, I applied the principles and practices I’d learned in university and from mentors exactly as …

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Transform your business with what you've learned

2020 Made Us Pivot; 2021 Could Transform Your Business

By Mark Samuel – If you want to transform your business, you must be willing to risk the unknown.The year 2020 was filled with unexpected and unprecedented challenges that most of us were unprepared for, requiring us to pivot as we attempted to adapt to our new conditions. My business was no exception.I started 2020 …

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Offense vs Defense

Offense vs. Defense: One Has Significant Benefits in the Workplace

At work, offense is being proactive. It’s what we call “playing big.” Defense is “playing small” or being reactive. Offensive vs. Defensive are terms that we’re familiar with when talking about football, video games, or other sports. However, these strategies are also applicable to the workplace–but not in the ways you might think. Continue reading, and …

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Team Relationships: How to Understand & Improve Them

By Mark Samuel – We’ve all experienced team relationship breakdowns, especially at work in our teams and organizations. We try to address those team relationship breakdowns by implementing teamwork and trust-building exercises, style assessments and communication processes. But so often, those relationship breakdowns don’t experience any permanent shift. Why is that? This article will help …

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Building Trust in the Workplace requires teamwork and communication

10 Best Tips for Building Trust in the Workplace

By Mark Samuel – When trust in the workplace breaks down between individuals or teams, relationships suffer — poor communication, hiding, defensive posturing, blame and other forms of aggressive and passive-aggressive behaviors ensue. The assumption is that the basis of that mistrust is in those relationship challenges. However, those are only the symptoms of mistrust, …

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Choosing priorities is an important part of business

Removing the Confusion About Business Priorities

By Mark Samuel – The word “priority” can often be a point of confusion for leaders and employees at all levels within an organization. Some of the common comments I hear include “We have too many priorities,” “We make everything a priority,” “We decide on a few priorities, but don’t stick to them” and “We …

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7 Tips for Creating Rapid Breakthrough Change

By Mark Samuel – What does Breakthrough Mean? A breakthrough is a change that uplevels both understanding and behavior to create an entirely different experience. In business, a breakthrough change is one that takes your organization to the next level to improve culture, increase profit or get out of debt, or create teams that perform …

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Team Habits transform Business & Culture

Team Habits: The Missing Link for Business Transformation

By Mark Samuel – Most team consultants talk focus on individual habits, styles of communication, and personal accountability, but hardly anyone ever mentions team habits. “I felt like I was banging my head against a wall the last two years. We’ve implemented team building programs, Agile processes, and competency-based training, but while a few pockets …

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The Master Choice: The Dichotomy of Goals and Purpose

By Mark Samuel –  The conversation around goals is a familiar one to all of us. You can read up endlessly on tips and tricks for creating realistic goals, identifying short-term versus long-term goals, measuring goals and pretty much anything else having to do with goals. This conversation is important because goals are a necessary …

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Remove obstacles instead of solving problems

Are You A Problem Solver Or An Obstacle Remover?

By Mark Samuel People solve problems in order to achieve success in their business, create a more satisfying relationship or grow to their next level of excellence. Who is a good problem solver? A good problem solver is someone who can think quickly and creatively in a crisis situation. A good problem solver doesn’t get …

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Is Tracking Performance Getting You Results?

By Mark Samuel A few years back, a client of mine implemented a Performance Management System to assist managers in coaching their direct reports. The company spent nearly one year customizing the system to work for their organization, culture and business. That is a lot of time, money, and resources spent on developing their employees. …

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Are You Focused on Assessing Your Past or Clarifying Your Future?

by Mark Samuel In a recent meeting of global company executives, I was asked about the difference between traditional change management and a B STATE approach for getting breakthrough results. They wanted to know how we achieve such consistent business results and culture change success in only 6 months. “How many days per month are …

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Moving from Current State to Breakthrough State

While most leaders know what the change is that they want to accomplish, few understand how to make those changes happen, especially when there is pressure for massive change in a relatively short period of time. Months are wasted in large scale assessments to determine what currently needs changing. Then, strategic and change management plans are developed with sophisticated …

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Is Your Team Stuck? Three things you haven’t tried yet.

by Mark Samuel When your team just isn’t stepping up to produce the results you desperately need, months can be wasted in assessment to determine the cause and how to change it. Often even more time is then invested in strategic planning sessions, project plans, KPIs, balanced scorecards, and training — all in an effort …

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