For internal communicators, a gift—and an invitation to deliver

Are you an internal communications professional who aspires to do great things for your company and its employees? Then wrap your hands around the wonderful gift that is “The Next Level: The Business Value of Good Internal Communication”—and wrap your head around its insights and recommendations. It’s a great opportunity: Study the report, assess your situation, inject … Read More > “For internal communicators, a gift—and an invitation to deliver”

Leadership: The letter Serena Williams should write

Here is a letter that I wish Serena Williams, as a leader, would write to the tennis world. Naomi Osaka beat me in the US Open finals with her shots and her poise, and I’m looking forward to watching her evolve as a champion—even as I do some more growing myself. Since the final, many … Read More > “Leadership: The letter Serena Williams should write”

Intel at 50: The magic of extreme expectations

One of my favorite memories of Intel is a bumper sticker that read, “My Dad is a ‘successful/equal’ at Intel”—a joking April Fool’s Day reference to the most typical rating given at that time in the company’s yearly performance reviews. That common rating said, in essence, that you were successfully doing what was expected of you … Read More > “Intel at 50: The magic of extreme expectations”

Recruiting for what’s hard—and teaching the rest

A plumbing company’s billboard in Roanoke, Va., gave me a powerful reminder of just what the right message can do in recruiting. It would have stopped me in my tracks if I hadn’t been driving at 50 mph. But that didn’t matter, because the message was unforgettable. It read: “Have humility, drive, & communications skills? … Read More > “Recruiting for what’s hard—and teaching the rest”

I was shocked by this survey question. My wife wasn’t.

It was a quiet exchange with thunderous effect—and I hope I’ll never forget it. A few years ago a letter in a magazine caught my eye because I’d read the article it referred to, on the history of women running for president in the United States. On reading the letter, I was so unsettled that … Read More > “I was shocked by this survey question. My wife wasn’t.”

In any transformation, a question: How to get buy-in—and thrive?

It’s a question every business transformation offers (or presses upon) every leader: How can we help our employees buy into the plan—and then thrive? Whether the transformation is inspired by strength or compelled by vulnerability, the core answer is the same for every employee: she wants to believe in the organization’s purpose, belong to a team of people helping … Read More > “In any transformation, a question: How to get buy-in—and thrive?”

Renee James and Ampere: Engaging in a New World

Andy and Napoleon would be proud. When Ampere Computing emerged from its quiet (and private) gestation, with Renee James as its chairman and CEO, I couldn’t help but smile. The boldness of the venture is striking. The stealth of the preparation was impressive. And the implications for computing and leadership are intriguing. It’s bold to … Read More > “Renee James and Ampere: Engaging in a New World”

Helping employees believe, belong, and matter

I wasn’t expecting to care so much. When I got the call from Intel’s head of HR in 2006, asking me to come help with employee communications during the major corporate restructuring that was under way, I had been with the company for 11 years, working in external communications roles. I had spent my time … Read More > “Helping employees believe, belong, and matter”

2018 planning: Use barbells to get clearer faster

The New Year offers a sense of potential, and if we’re smart we’ll grab that offer with both hands. Never decline an invitation to see fresh possibilities. With us humans, though, fresh possibilities can become brown bananas. I’ve been thinking about an approach to capturing and keeping that sense of potential in our professional and … Read More > “2018 planning: Use barbells to get clearer faster”

The hidden potential of year-end messages

As we approach the end of 2017, when leaders are pondering (or should be pondering) their year-end messages to their teams, let’s not miss an opportunity: the deep potential and power that’s waiting to be harnessed in those communications. It’s easy (and no crime) to quickly write a brief note of thanks and email it … Read More > “The hidden potential of year-end messages”