By Linda Fisher Thornton Each year I curate a list of sites that write about trends that will change how we do business in the coming year. This year’s list includes some ongoing trends from last year and some fresh ideas and new directions. Take a look at the 60+ trends at the links below and start getting ready for what’s ahead!
By Linda Fisher Thornton We have become a divided society that seems to have lost its collective center in values. But we have worked globally for many years to define that center. I wrote an article for the Non-Violent Change Journal about creating a better world through values. Here is an excerpt from that article:
By Linda Fisher Thornton The human journey. We're all taking it, but we don't always know where it's headed. We can't always see where we've been until later, when we have the long-term perspective and can begin to make sense of the twists and turns we've taken throughout our lives.
By Linda Fisher Thornton The journey to authentic leadership is not an easy one. It's full of challenges, and it requires developing a high level of self- and other-awareness over time. "Knowledge experiences" alone won't be enough to stimulate the kind of learning that is required on this important journey.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Perspective shifting is a hot topic now for a very good reason. We're in a time when conversation can quickly become divisive, with otherwise friendly people choosing sides and ostracizing former friends and family members. This article will focus on the benefits of perspective shifting and how to practice it so that you can more quickly see beyond the disagreement to the bigger picture.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Have you noticed the steady increase in the complexity of navigating our daily lives? It feels like we have too many choices, too much information, and not enough time. More information and more choices would be great if we had the time to research and decide, but the reality is that it's difficult and time consuming to sort out which information is reliable and which is not. Seeing and appreciating other ways of doing things is not just a nice-to-have ability. In a connected global society, it's an essential skill. To achieve mutual benefit and collaboration, we will need to see the world from other perspectives that differ from our own, respect those perspectives, and work together toward shared goals. Leaders who don't know how and don't make the effort to change can be thought of as intentionally "unseeing" important aspects of the context and their leadership responsibility.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Differences of opinion can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. We may be in a discussion with someone who has very different views from ours on a topic of great importance to us. How we handle it shows others the inner workings of our character.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Ego-driven leaders want to be "right" even when the evidence shows otherwise. They see rightness as something fixed that they can control. Of course, it isn't fixed and they can't control it, but they may not want to be confused with the facts. Conversely, when ego is not driving the thinking process, leaders can adapt to changing information and circumstances and change their minds.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Ego has a way of undoing even our best intentions as leaders. We have to be aware of our ego and manage it to avoid getting off track. In a world that requires rapid adaptation to changing events and circumstances, ego tries to maintain the status quo and works against our ability to pivot in response to change. Think of the adaptable leader as piloting a boat, able to turn at a moment's notice as the situation warrants it. The ego-driven leader, in contrast, is living in a fortress with a moat around it, protecting status and the status quo at all cost. The fortress can't move, can't pivot, can't adapt to changing circumstances.
By Linda Fisher Thornton After I published "Prevention or Cure: Your Choice" about reducing ethical risk and creating a positive culture a reader asked for more information about the business case for prevention. Here are some compelling reasons why the prevention approach is a better business decision than waiting for ethical problems and applying a "cure" after the organization is already in trouble.
By Linda Fisher Thornton I was driving recently when the car beside me started to veer over into my lane. I was able to avoid an accident, but it made me think about what happens when employees start "crossing the line" in organizations. When someone becomes aware that another employee is doing something that goes against the company's values, what happens then? There are things leaders can do. Unlike the car example, the conditions needed to avoid a problem when an employee starts to cross the line are more complex. And the potential problems that can happen (if an employee crosses the line and does something unethical) are numerous. Under the right conditions, employees may nudge each other to stay in the lane, and a positive, high trust culture helps create those conditions.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Richard J. Cordes write in Making sense of sensemaking: What it is and what it means for pandemic research (Atlantic Council), that "Sensemaking is our brain’s response to novel or potentially unexpected stimuli as it integrates new information into an ever-updating model of the world." While the research on Sensemaking is deep and complex, there are some practical questions leaders who are trying to make good decisions and help others make sense of a torrent of information can use to begin to identify and map out meaning. Leaders who make sensemaking a priority will not only make better decisions themselves, they'll also help employees make better decisions. People don't just need leaders to share relevant data, they need them to share observations and insights about what data means and why the meaning is important. They need leaders to make sense out of information.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Leadership has entered a new realm, leaving the space of knowns and certainties (which was an illusion anyway) and entering the space of deep uncertainty, blurred lines and sliding scales. What it takes to succeed as a leader in this new realm is completely different from the leadership of ages past.
By Linda Fisher Thornton What is a Paradox? "A paradox is a statement that contradicts itself, or that must be both true and untrue at the same time." --Literaryterms.net. Just like the many facets of a cut gem, there are multiple dimensions to issues and problems. Each facet reflects one particular element of the issue. When we encounter a paradox, we need to step back to get a broader view of the various facets.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership isn't something we can ever say we've fully accomplished. It's not about arriving at any particular place, or about achieving a certain level of knowledge. Just knowing about ethics and leadership won't get us very far in an information-flooded, globally shifting, and unpredictable world where we are under time pressure and held accountable for making ethical choices under ever-more-extreme conditions including the current global pandemic.