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Cancel culture may have identified the covert (and often, overt) bias that pervades society, but has it stopped the opportunity for healthy discourse? In this article, John Murray reminisces on days gone by where healthy discourse and personal differences could be voiced freely without fear of discrimination or disdain.   It is tough to get a majority of Americans to agree on anything these days, let alone an overwhelming majority. Wait! Here’s something: “Political discourse in America has devolved and become…
  Shelli Baltman shares a post from an intern at her company that gives all team leaders, bosses, and managers insight into introverted employees and how to help them integrate.  As someone who’s always been the quiet person in the room, I never could have imagined that I would end up in an organization like The Idea Suite. An unconventional innovation agency teeming with energy, enthusiasm, and passion, we unlock the creative potential of people and businesses through innovation –…
Kaihan Krippendorff shares a post that draws attention to current societal shifts and the role that today’s technological innovations play in this post-modern world. In two of our previous trend pieces, The Future of Work and Future Organizational Models, we reviewed how traditional systems of hierarchy are being dismantled in the workplace. But this trend extends far outside the office. It’s touching all aspects of how we form communities within society and how and why we gather in groups. Stay-at-home…
  In this article, Amanda Setili explains why it’s necessary to dig below the surface of agreement to avoid the issue of last-minute naysayers. Imagine a high-level team whose members represent different stakeholders. It might include representatives from a wide range of disciplines, divisions, companies or even communities. At first, they are all enthusiastically working together to define a common path forward. As “consensus” nears, some members quietly begin to lose their enthusiasm. They start to wonder whether the direction…
  Amy Giddon takes a look back at the past year to provide friendly insight and advice on how to make life better in five easy ways.  2020 has been a year like no other. As we’ve grown weary, depleted, and drained, the power of kindness to transform a moment, a day, a life has only grown. When people are asked to recall a kindness they received, they often recall a time when they were at their most fragile and…
  Aneta Key shares a fun, and fast, survey that reveals the things people do while in a virtual meeting. Fill in the survey to access the results.  We have all been guilty. Multitasking. Oversharing. Faux pas. See a list of 25 things people do while on virtual meetings. (Secretly) confess your virtual meeting sins and instantly compare your transgressions.   Access the survey, Virtual Meeting Confessions, on the Aedea Partners’ website.   …
  In this article, Amy Giddon reveals what her team discovered when they asked the public about courage. What we learned when we asked 250 people about their fears. ‘Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.’ — Brené Brown We’re having trouble seeing each other these days. It’s always been hard to show up in our full complexity and contradictions, and now we have social media further tempting us to filter and edit our stories. We fear…
  David A. Fields offers timely advice on how to reconnect with decision makers after a long period of no contact.  Every decision maker who’s regularly in conversation with your consulting firm is a high-potential source of projects and revenue. But if you’ve been out of touch with a prospect, restarting the relationship can feel awkward. The script below will help. An “A1” in your contact list is a decision-maker who has a strong relationship with someone in your consulting…
  Robyn M. Bolton explains why it’s important to cultivate emotional intelligence and move out of a ‘bad neighborhood.’ ‘If you spend a lot of time in your own head, you’re spending time in a bad neighborhood.’ I was deep in a bit of worry and self-doubt when my friend uttered that sentence. Immediately, my mind conjured an image of falling down building, boarded up doors and windows, overgrown yards, and empty streets (basically downtown Cleveland in the 1980s). ‘Man,…
  Nils Boeffel explains what can go wrong with a digital strategy and shares tips on how to develop a successful digital strategy.  Everyone is talking about digitalization, but many people and organizations get it wrong. To them it means throwing technology at things, hoping that they will get better. What is it really, what does it mean, and how do you think about it and implement it? Last year I led a digitalization workshop at a company where they…
  Amy Giddon shares insight gained on social media through an App developed by her company that was designed to improve the social media experience by cultivating a better connection.  We created Daily Haloha to be a positive collective experience of reflection and connection. At a time when connections are frayed and our spirits dampened, we were struck by how participatory art and story sharing projects could uplift and unite us in a moment of shared humanity. We were inspired…
  Belinda Li shares an article that explores the meaning of ‘social’ in social enterprise. When I tell people our consulting firm has a passion for helping social enterprises, I’m sometimes met with the question, ‘what do you mean by social enterprise?’ Or I might get a knowing look, yet the response is, ‘oh, so you do social media!’ or ‘oh, so it’s about social networking!’ Hmm… I suppose that’s not totally unexpected. After all, not many people know about…
Umbrex is pleased to welcome Stefan Faust with < F A U S T >.  Stefan spent 2,5 years at McKinsey, as a generalist consultant, then became a partner at a leading communications consultancy. Followed by 15 years of experience in the banking / wealth management sector, focusing on strategy, programme management & coordination, transformation & change and marketing & communications. He lives in Zurich / Switzerland and practices and teaches yoga and meditation. He is a certified coach and…
  Eric Hiller recently published the first article in a series for Industry Week. This week, the article  focuses on how an executive (and other people who are not cost experts) can understand what the cost management team is communicating. We have all been in a meeting where miscommunication happens. One of the biggest challenges when dealing with analytics in business is that the more powerful the analytics, the harder it is to explain to other people not involved directly…
  Jared Simmons shares three quick tips that can improve relationships and move your career forward. When you’re trying to build strong working relationships, sharing what you are hoping to achieve and get out of the work can be extremely helpful. What you get out of work is different from the project or meeting objectives. It’s not your departmental or functional mandate. It’s the professional development nugget that comes along with the entire working experience. Perhaps you’d like to show…
  Robyn Bolton explains why Visual Thinking (VTS) sessions improve creative problem solving and critical thinking skills and provide major benefits to executives. “It was quite a sight! A dozen senior executives from a big, conservative financial services firm, all sitting on the floor in front of a painting, talking about what it could mean and why they think that.” On a typical dreary November day, and Suzi and I were sitting in the café inside Boston’s Museum of Fine…
  On June 17, Barry Horwitz  will be giving a webinar with a colleague, CL Tian who runs a digital marketing firm called PINKOA.  The webinar “Shifting Focus from Surviving to Thriving:  Strategy and Tactics.” The webinar will be hosted by TechNetworks of Boston and includes a free virtual Nonprofit Roundtable session. Sign up for the webinar, Shifting Focus From Surviving To Thriving: Strategy And Tactics, on the TechNetworks of Boston website.    …
  Aneta Key shares a new video in her series on video conferencing. This week: brevity. During the recent series of workshops about online meetings, I realized that as we reimagine how we lead meetings online, some fundamentals are unchanged.  So, I give you the second video of what may become a series on the topic with simple ideas that apply for any type of meeting.  Enjoy and share with colleagues who may benefit from it.   Included in this…
  As more people get used to working remotely, Paul Millerd shares valuable advice and fourteen tips that should not be followed. I’ve either put these tips into practice in my own life or can confirm that other people have. People rarely talk about these practices in public because there is a certain amount of shame and embarrassment about telling people you work less.   Advice on working remotely Paul shares include: The morning routine Asynchronous communication The bi-modal workday…
  Jared Simmons explains why simplifying assumptions could be the key to unlocking value faster and freeing up your knowledge workers to innovate. I learned the power of simplifying assumptions early in my career. As an engineering student, I watched my professors fill boards with Greek letters and symbols, exponents and integrals, constants and variables. Then, in the last 10 minutes of class we worked a real problem together. The first step of solving the real problem was always to…
  Recently, there has been much discussion about the value of play for helping creative ideas flourish, but Kaihan Krippendorff shares examples of play at work and provides 10 ways to inject play into your organization.  In the 1830s, an artist and tinkerer, Samuel Morse, directed his curiosity to a question few had considered before. Numerous scientists and inventors across the globe were working on the problem of how to communicate across long distances more quickly. At the time, information…
  With so much press about how our technological habits create disconnection, Hugo Bernier explains how technology also gives people the tools and access to build connections. I work crazy hours. To top it off, I commute a total of 3 hours every day. When I get home from work, I’m usually exhausted.  One of my guilty pleasures is to play a video game with my kids. When they were younger, we’d play one of the many Lego games on…
  Jesse Jacoby taps into a common pain point in today’s business operations — the vague or misunderstood email — and provides an easy solution to overcome the problem.  Connecting with coworkers, clients and customers has never been easier. Gone are the days when we had to drive across town to chat with someone in a different office. When we run into a challenge or have a question regarding our work, we have a plethora of communication tools at our…
  Pitching all the reasons why your company, service, or product is better is often received with a lack of response. David A. Fields explains where the miscommunication lies and provides a solution to the problem.    You know a rain barrel full of reasons why your consulting firm is better than other firms that do what you do. Among the reasons, of course, is you. Your experience and ideas and unique perspective. Hence, when Bethany Buttonwerk asked you why…
The subscription business is based on long-term relationships with customers. Robbie Kellman Baxter shares ideas on how to build strong relationships that work for both your personal life and in business.   Over the holidays, I started thinking about what my work on The Forever Transaction and The Membership Economy has taught me about building long-term personal relationships, which ultimately are way more important than any subscription. As dig in on our 2020 to do lists, and focus on our…
Susan Drumm provides four steps to ensure you will get honest feedback from your team. Do you think you can get your team to give you honest feedback? Like no-holds-barred honest?   Many of my clients tell me they struggle to get real feedback from their direct reports and I’m not surprised. Does this story sound familiar? One of my senior clients recently received the results of his 360 report and was surprised to learn that his team felt they weren’t being…
Robyn Bolton shares five techniques that can help you understand your toughest customers in this post recently published on Forbes. Let’s be honest, we love talking to people who just ‘get’ us. I believe this is because we often must hold a number of conversations with people who don’t ‘get’ us. In business, the people who don’t understand us are the ones we desperately need: Our customers. Many might not understand why your products or services cost so much, why your…
This post from Jeremy Greenberg’s company blog identifies five lessons that CEOs can learn from Howard Stern. Howard Stern has been one of the most controversial entertainers since he hosted his first radio show over 40 years ago. Love him or hate him, he has enjoyed a successful career thus far – building his brand into an empire worth over $600 million as well as transforming the landscape of terrestrial and satellite radio. Stern’s success can teach us a lot…