Staying Connected: A Lesson for Leaders During COVID-19

Staying Connected

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Executives are dealing with a myriad of challenges during this pandemic. Mass layoffs have resulted in consumer spending grinding to a halt. Retailers are scrambling to adapt to the rapidly changing consumer habits. Many big box retailers are on the brink of collapse. What steps can be taken now to connect with the public when money simply isn’t flowing?

COVID-19 – An opportunity to live your values in the eyes of your Customer

An-opportunity-to-live-your-values-eyes-of your-Customer

By Eric Michrowski

The COVID-19 Black Swan event has provided a unique opportunity for brands to demonstrate how they live their values, particularly as it relates to Customers. Some brands have stepped up and demonstrated their customer-centricity in challenging times. Others have tried to pursue profit over Customer loyalty.

Adjusting Your Company to Adapt to the Post-Coronavirus Business Environment (The New Normal)


By Dale Lawrence

Obviously, many businesses are not doing well in this major crisis. Hourly news stories of massive lay-offs, enormous supply chain disruptions, poor customer confidence and hit-and-miss political leadership adds to the human health tragedy. It is easy right now to get pulled into the mud. While many of the issues are out of our hands, there is a lot we can do. Starting with your organization. Read More...

Turning Crisis into Opportunity: A guide for Small & Medium Business Leaders


By Vicki Scott

While this can be incredibly trying time for Small & Medium business leaders, or those in specialty business categories, there will be survivors! The road ahead will require massive action, determination and work. Canadian small businesses make up 41.7% of our GDP. Between 2013 and 2018, 56.8% of all new jobs were created by small businesses. Read More...

Three powerful leadership principles to guide you through the COVID-19 Black Swan


By Kyounghee Choi

Here are three powerful principles to help guide your decision-making across both your business and personal life as you navigate through this black swan crisis. There is no perfect formula, case study, analysis or best practice that can be relied upon as this crisis is so unique by its very nature. However, the role of the leader is so critical to ensure long term success. Decisions being made today will help guide whether you survive, thrive or fail when calm waters arrive. Leaders need to have a deeper understanding of what is happening and secure the support of the broader team, quickly. Just as one would sail through an intense storm, leaders cannot control the wind, but leaders can control the course and direction of the ship. This is the time for leaders to take firm control of the direction, seek a path with less turbulence and guide the ship across. Read More...

Is your remote workforce prepared for COVID-19 cybersecurity threats?

technology safety

By Martin Royal

While taking care of our health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis is the priority, many will find themselves working remotely for the first time and might face other potential threats: cybersecurity threats.

Maintaining a culture of trust during a crisis


By Martin Royal

As many organizations prepare to encourage their workforce to work remotely, the change of work environment has the potential to impact employee's perception of the organization, of the leaders and of each other. It can be tricky to maintain a level of communication and trust when new remote workers are finding themselves working with other remote colleagues in multiple locations and time zones. One factor that could determine how well your team will work remotely together is that of trust, or the lack of it.


8 Tips for Managing Distractions While Working Remotely

Please do not disturb

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

Are you working remotely and finding it hard to focus on work tasks? While frustrating, this lack of focus is completely normal. The reason for your wandering attention is because our brains have a limited conscious capacity. Translation: we can only focus on a small number of things at once.

12 Tips for Coaching a Remote Workforce During This Black Swan Event: PART TWO

woman working from home

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

While your leadership team may be in crisis mode and navigating the best decisions for your people and the business, management is pivoting their teams and adapting leadership styles to a remote workforce. As noted in Part One of this blog series, effective communication is crucial to coaching employees--but remote coaching strategies do not end there. A truly successful approach to remotely coaching a workforce also involves bolstering the mental vitality of your team for better productivity and overall happiness. Read More...

12 Tips for Coaching a Remote Workforce During This Black Swan Event: PART ONE

Video call

By Stephanie Monge-Sherman

Coaching as a management skill has been a hot topic for years with thousands of blogs, books, and courses offered on the topic. To add to this complexity is the equally challenging task of managing a remote workforce, which by necessity or choice, more and more companies are deciding to do. It’s understandable that many leaders who are new to this likewise relatively novel practice may need some clear and concise suggestions to help them navigate their way through coaching a remote workforce. Read More...

Leading a safe and productive workforce during times of uncertainty


By Brie DeLisi

The world has been incredibly impacted over the course of the last month with COVID-19 and impacts on our economy. Leaders are being confronted with challenges that they have never had to address before, and it can be overwhelming. Leadership skills during this time are more important than they have ever been, to continue to promote a culture of safety and productivity.


Executive Messaging During COVID-19


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

The true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.” – Brian Tracy

The Importance of Large-Scale Communication
Executive leadership skills are tested in crisis. Senior leaders are facing challenges now that not only threaten the survival of their companies but the lives of their employees and those they serve. As you may have noticed, leaders are now sending mass emails out to the public addressing their response to COVID-19. These email blasts represent a great opportunity for leaders to connect directly with the public to share their vision and values during this crisis. Unfortunately, many of these messages feel canned and generic and simply miss the mark.


Four Ways to Stay Connected in a Virtual World

business man on phone at computer

By Julia Borges

Virtual Work and COVID-19

If our world wasn’t already virtual, it sure is now. Amidst the Novel COVID-19 pandemic that has completely changed the way the world works, businesses are faced with the challenge of staying connected in a virtual world. Many businesses may already be comfortable with working virtually as this is has become increasingly popular over the years, but for some businesses, this way of working is uncharted territory. Read More...

Leading Your Business Through COVID-19: Shifted Your Teams to Remote Work, But Now What?


By Dale Lawrence

While we all are experiencing a number of fast-moving business problems, most companies have shifted work to remote locations with little preparation. Like running out of the office at the sign of a fire, many employees didn’t take more than the basics. Hopefully the basics included a laptop and mobile device, but this may not be the case everywhere. If your company hasn’t fully assessed the business requirements for transitioning every role to remote work, you likely have gaps. Some gaps are likely hidden and serious.


COVID-19 Impacts to the Construction Industry

Change leaders, please stand up!


By Martin Royal

I wrote about what sets apart effective change leaders in a previous blog post, namely their ability to frame the change effort and building the capacity of the team to implement and sustain the change. For the most part, this assumes that leaders are engaged in a planned, thoughtful and deliberate change effort. Sometimes, the change effort is not so deliberate and comes knocking at our door unexpectedly.

Leading During COVID-19: A Time for Compassion


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Leaders face a new world of challenges influencing employees during COVID-19. Everyone is under tremendous pressure with the uncertainty of tomorrow. Many people have loved ones they may not be able to see or speak with directly because of social distancing. Others know friends and family that have lost jobs as the economy reels. 401K’s are tanking. Critical home supplies are increasingly scarce.

What happens if I discover someone has COVID-19 at my workplace?


By Madison Hanscom

In order to keep yourself, your employees, and others around you free from illness, it is important to backtrack and reflect where you have been in the past two weeks to assess exposure. This includes the work environment. What if one of your employees has been in close proximity to an individual in the workplace who now has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone who is displaying symptoms?

Dealing with COVID-19: Alleviating Stress & Anxiety via Communication


By Maggie Carey

As we face these trying times it is easy to get swept into the hysteria that surrounds COVID-19. Coronavirus is real, and try as we might, we do not have control over it. However, we do have control over how we respond to it. So, how can we change the way we communicate to manage our current stress and anxiety?


COVID-19 Pandemic Planning: 8 Considerations to put the Safety of Your Teams and Business First


By Eric Michrowski

The COVID-19 Pandemic is rapidly becoming a topic of urgent executive dialogue in the US and Canada as the rate of infections is rapidly growing and spreading within the community. As the landscape is swiftly evolving, several large gatherings and sporting events have been cancelled and the markets have responded wildly. Many businesses have responded swiftly and proactively while others with global footprints had to immediately respond in January with the first signs of an outbreak in China. Others are working through their strategies at this moment. Read More...

When Good Processes Go Bad


By Eric Johnson

We always talk about processes as going from bad to great, based on deliberate projects and other interventions that recognize issues as they arrive; and when identified, how management reacts to the discovery and its attempts to resolve the problems. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Drive Thinking and Speaking

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A key responsibility of leaders is creating an environment where people can do their best work. To do this well, leaders must be able to drive thinking and speaking—in other words, to foster a climate in which people feel they can speak up without fear of negative consequences, known as psychological safety. Leaders drive thinking and speaking by creating an environment of psychological safety, getting employee input for safety solutions, encouraging system thinking, and reinforcing teamwork and collaboration. Leaders who effectively create this environment increase employee engagement and decrease the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities.

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Recognize and Foster Growth

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A critical skill all leaders must develop is the ability to provide high-quality feedback to their team members so they can perform their jobs well and grow and advance in their careers. When leaders do this well, it can fuel employee motivation and commitment, as well as positive safety outcomes. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Build and Live the Vision

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

One of the most important jobs of any leader is to build and live the vision for employees. Building and living the vision means painting a picture for employees of desired performance and living and managing organizational values in everyday interactions. Providing employees with a sense of the organization’s vision and mission should inspire them to align their goals with those of the organization. Research indicates that when leaders encourage employees to strive for something beyond their individual goals, this has a positive impact on safety climate, safety compliance, and safety participation. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Walk the Talk

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

It is not uncommon for leaders – who are pulled in many directions at once – to take shortcuts when it comes to safety. This can be detrimental, however, to safety culture and employees’ safety behaviors. In fact, research has shown that when employees perceive their leaders are not acting in ways that align with the company’s stated safety values, it leads to a decrease in safety compliance, a decrease in prioritization of avoiding accidents, and an increase in injuries.


Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Active Caring Promotes Positive Safety Culture

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A common complaint of employees is that leadership doesn’t dedicate enough time to listen to and respond to their needs. Over time, this can lead workers to believe their leaders don’t care about them or their concerns, which can erode safety culture. Active Caring is a core leadership competency because it demonstrates organizational support and fosters a sense of support and trust among employees, leading to positive outcomes for employees, the team, and the entire organization.


Blog Series: Five Core Safe Production Leadership Competencies that Drive Safe Production Culture

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

In today’s increasingly complex workplace, organizational leaders must be equipped to effectively deal with the relentless demands of daily decisions, challenges, and opportunities that impact all aspects of business, including safety. It is increasingly important to make intelligent decisions for safety in order to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities at work. Read More...

The “Shocking” Power of Leadership


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

In of the most famous psychological experiments in history, Stanley Milgram set up a situation in which participants believed they were providing electric shock to a perfect stranger (who was actually a paid actor) as part of a study on memory and learning. Participants were told to shock the person, who was in another room, when he or she gave incorrect answers to various word pair questions. In some cases, the actor made a point to say he had a heart condition. Read More...

The Front-line connection – leveraging the front-line in execution excellence


By Eric Johnson

The front-line of many organizations is often the first segment of interaction of the company to its customers. In a past post, we have discussed the importance of customer care. In this post, we discuss empowering employees to make the decisions that align with the organization while increasing their own satisfaction with their roles and ability to achieve their career objectives. Read More...

The Value of Mentoring in Safety

safety mentorship

By Eric Johnson

When our organization engages clients, one of the first steps we perform in our assessments centers around establishing a baseline regarding the safety culture climate within the organization at all levels. These questions center around elements such as “What is the overall view of safety within the organization?”; “How do employees react to injuries – both to themselves and to others?”; “How does safety messaging impact employees”. The answers to these questions often depend on both the current safety climate but also historical data. Within the conversational aspect of our assessments, we often come across a common theme that can enhance and support a growing safety culture – the component of mentoring within safety. Read More...

Stay energized through self-reflection!

self reflection leadership

By Martin Royal

For many leaders, the responsibilities associated with their roles take a significant toll on their energy levels. Leaders make many decisions, participate in diverse daily tasks, attend many meetings, and monitor progress on organizational goals. There is evidence that these responsibilities slowly take away the leader's energy and ability to remain engaged at work. When this energy depletion occurs, leader performance may suffer and they may be prone to violate work norms and expectations, and this may also further impact their teams and direct reports. In more extreme cases, this can lead to the leader's burnout. Read More...

Promoting a Learning Culture with After Action Reviews (AAR)

After Action Review

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

The manner in which incident analyses are handled in organizations has a significant impact on organizational culture. Empirical research demonstrates effective information sharing and incident analysis practices are significantly related to fewer incidents and injuries (Wachter & Yorio, 2014). In healthy organizations, AARs are viewed within the context of a learning environment to prevent similar incidents in the future. This includes looking at all system factors contributing to incidents. In less healthy cultures, AARs neglect to fully address these factors and may be perceived as blame oriented by employees. Read More...

The ‘Lumberjack’


By Eric Michrowski

We’ve all seen it or heard the stories. Someone claims to have been injured and seeks benefits. Or someone that is always off with “injuries”. I’ve heard all of them over the years including a worker that was injured over 35 times in a 20-year career! Injury-prone or are these signs of something more? Read More...

Leadership Visibility: The importance of leaving the desk and getting out into the field

safe workers

By Julia Borges and Madison Hanscom

As we move into a world where the use of technology is rapidly increasing to make our work lives more seamless, it can be easy to forget about the importance of human interaction. While artificial intelligence has become a vital part of organizational performance, human interaction is still at the core of organizational health, culture, and safety. In today’s complex, technology-driven world of work, leaders are as busy as they ever have been, making it difficult for them to get away from their desk and out into the field with their teams. While leaders have a commitment to their tasks, duties, and team members, balancing these critical components can pose quite a challenge for leaders across various types of organizations. Read More...

Lessons Learned from Mining, Refining and the Cleveland Browns

workers at plant_Fotor (2)

By Josh Williams

With apologies to our friends in Ohio, the Cleveland Browns professional football team has been historically bad for decades. Their record over the last 10 years is 48-122 (31st out of 32 teams in winning percentage). It was recently announced they will be looking for a new head coach to change their culture and start winning more games. Surely change is needed to reverse their losing ways, right? Read More...

Leadership 101: How to be a Great Leader and Drive Employee Commitment

Leadership 101

By Steph Andel

To be a great leader, you have to first understand what a leader is. So, what is a leader? When we say leadership, what do we mean? Although these seem like simple questions, there are actually “as many definitions of leadership as there are persons who have attempted to define the concepts” according to renowned psychologist Ralph M. Stogdill. While narrowing down leadership to just one definition is difficult, we believe leadership can be broadly defined through its distinction from basic management. Specifically, true leaders obtain commitment from employees, whereas basic managers merely obtain compliance. The heart of this difference lies in the particular behaviors demonstrated by leaders. Read More...

In Praise of Tactical Patience

Tactical Patience Blog Post

By Clint Rusch

There’s an old aphorism that is apocryphally attributed to Abraham Lincoln, which deals with the subject of cutting down a tree. ‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree,’ the saying goes, ‘and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.’ Various other versions of the saying exist, changing the times involved, but all with the same central thesis: use the majority of the time allotted to prepare for the task. Read More...

Lola Travel: The technology is good. The empathy is great


By Sarah Moore & Eric Michrowski

Some of America’s oldest chapters in history were written on the banks of Boston’s Charles River, but today it hosts a different kind of revolution.

Paul English, co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer of Kayak (the website and app that helps you plan your next trip by searching hundreds of travel sites for the best deal) is once again revolutionizing the world of travel. Read More...

Transforming, Innovating, Growing: The case for leaders with diversified careers


By Eric Michrowski

HBR recently published a study on Transformational Leaders . One of the conclusions that caught my eye was that most of the leaders that had successfully transformed an industry or business had very diverse backgrounds (think Amazon's Bezos who came from a Finance background). They mention the importance of leaders that come with outside experience and that are brought into a business to drive change. Read More...

The first step Tim Sloan could take to clean up Wells Fargo’s culture

Wells Fargo

By Sarah Moore

Business leaders are scratching their heads wondering, 'how do we avoid the type of hot water Wells Fargo is currently dealing with?' We recommend starting here…