Words Mean Everything

Posted Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comMost change leaders are highly aware of the need to manage their messages. Unfortunately, even when helped by outside consultants with green shoes (I couldn’t resist!), most leaders rarely put into practice everything we know about engagement, communication and managing emotions during times of change.Why?Because dealing with the human […]

Going Deep

Posted Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Learning, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.com Change can be a moving target.  When observed solely from the surface, navigating the waves of organization transition can feel like an unpredictable thrashing of human emotion that disrupts smooth sailing toward our desired objective.But that’s really just a problem with our perception.  It represents our failure to understand […]

Stop Hiding Behind Jargon

Posted Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comOne of the surest signs that change leaders don’t know what they are doing is the excessive use of jargon.  It’s easy to spot.  Just listen for words like strategic, alignment, partnering, values, sustained, vision, execution, branding, methodology, governance, scalable, global, integrated, empowerment, enablement, or any other intelligent-sounding, yet […]

The Assumption of Interdependence

Posted Posted in Change Management, Collaboration, Leadership, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comMy view of organization effectiveness starts with two important assumptions:We are interdependent, and as a resultWe need to collaborate.Interdependence implies that people need to cooperate in order to accomplish what they want.  In the workplace, managers need employees to accomplish results that lead to department or organization success.  Likewise, […]

The Dangers of Corporate Fundamentalism

Posted Posted in Change Management, Collaboration, Creativity, Culture, Leadership, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comFor the last few months I set aside writing to do some listening, research and thinking.  I wanted to better understand a trend that over the past few years, influenced in part by 9/11 and most recently by the pressures of a struggling economy, seemed to be reaching a […]

Gaining Support for Change

Posted Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Learning, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comI’m sentimentalSo I walk in the rainI’ve got some habitsEven I can’t explainI go to the cornerI end up in SpainWhy try to change me nowWhether voiced with the fragile anguish of Fiona Apple or the charming cockiness of Frank Sinatra, these Cy Coleman lyrics express the unapologetic resistance […]

Going the Last Mile

Posted Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comMacArthur Foundation “genius grant” winner, Sendhil Mullainathan, uses behavioral economics to show us that convincing people to change behavior is about much more than giving people data and information.  His work examining the topic of persuasion has made a remarkable impact examining some critical social challenges in India and around the […]

The Practice of Adaptive Change Management

Posted Posted in Change Management, Leadership, Project Management

By Erik Van Slyke, Managing Director, www.erikvanslyke.comAs Ron Heifetz states, “people in authority are under tremendous pressure to provide easy and decisive solutions to problems.”  This is true for government leaders, business executives, and project managers.  Unfortunately, some problems don’t have easy technical solutions.  They are what Heifetz refers to as adaptive challenges, and they […]