Archive for April, 2014

Life Cycles of Organizations: Implications for Leaders



Click here to view an article written as a companion piece to the paper entitled Cycles and Levels of Organizational Life. In that paper we established that organizations go through cycles of both growth and decline, as originally suggested by the late John Sherwood. In this paper I examine the implications for leadership. This paper suggests that an effective leader is one who is managing not only the known and tacit but also the visible and invisible, the conscious and unconscious – layers of an organization. They are also attentive to small weak signals that are forerunners of new forms and innovations that keep the organization alive, vital and relevant.


Tim Dalmau


How values can harm an organization


Values based leadership has been the norm for over two decades in high performing organizations. The introduction and push to a values based-approach in an organization is in most cases a successful means of increasing a company’s effectiveness. It gives greater clarity of the company’s identity and expected behaviors along with guidelines for achieving their purpose and operating principles. Read More…


Communication patterns predict for high performance in teams


There has been some interesting work over a number of years at MIT’s Human Dynamics Lab and MIT Media Lab under the leadership of Professor Alex (Sandy) Pentland. Back in 2008 Professor Pentland published a book, Honest Signals: How they shape our world, which introduced the research of his group. With advances in technology they developed a measurement tool, called a sociometer (wearable digital sensor linked with wireless technology), which allows them to map at a very detailed level the non-verbal behavior of large numbers of people as they go about their normal workday lives. They demonstrated that people’s behavior such as tone of voice, body position in relation to others, gestures, body movements and nodding is much more than a complementary system of communication to the words we use (our conscious language). Read More…


How our beliefs can get in the way of achieving results


We live in a world of beliefs that we self-generate based on conclusions made and inferred from what we observe and from past experiences.

Our ability to achieve results can be eroded by feelings that,

  • our beliefs are the truth
  • the truth is obvious
  • our beliefs are based on true data
  • the data we select are the real data

Peter Senge, in the Fifth Discipline, outlines a model for this dynamic called the Ladder of Inference.  It describes how data and information are filtered through our values and beliefs in such a way that we arrive at specific assumptions, conclusions and actions. He, in turn, was building on the previous work of the late Chris Argyris and the late Donald Schon.


Read More…