I am the founder of Leanfulness Strategies. We serve our individual and organizational clients to improve the human part of business.
Introduction Smithtown Ford in the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the leading sales producers in the country. They had a variety of incentive mechanisms to motivate the sales staff. Some of these incentives were recurring incentives and were expected each month. On other occasions the sales managers would create teaser one-time incentives to stir up competition. On the surface it appeared that the various sales teams were working well together, and customers were experiencing exceptional customer service as they search for their new car. Beneath the surface however the various sales teams viewed each other as stark adversaries, and the competition between the teams was met with increasingly dirty tactics. Rules that governed what was supposed to be healthy competition were consistently violated. The dirtier and craftier team usually became the victors. The old motto “good guys never win” was a popular saying amongst the rank and file sales reps. The managers were equally dirty or dirtier than their underling sales reps however they maintained a false sense of comradery with each of the other sales managers. Very rarely was there any sort of negative remarks about the other teams if two or more sales managers were within an ear shot. On the other hand, if the sales manager was by himself with his or her team he would freely insult and devise ways to gain an upper hand against the other teams. The remainder of this story will illustrate the adversarial culture and the negative consequences against the dealerships bottom line. Poor leadership or lack of leadership will be highlighted as the source of the broken company culture. Even as upper management attempted to reign in many of the overt unhealthy behaviors, they couldn’t identify some of the covert or less obvious behaviors that continued to fuel negative energy and maintain the cycle of dysfunction. Consequently, after failed in house change management initiatives designed to reduce the dysfunction, Jonathan the owner of the dealership introduced an employee and organizational development concept that was pitched to him by the founder of Leanfulness Strategies. The story will tell the tale of the radical culture transformation as a result of working with Leanfulness Strategies. A transformation that resulted in a culture of accountability, respect for people, and inspirational leadership.
Introduction A family-owned Northern California company that we will call North Pacific Spas is experiencing an enormous amount of dysfunction across all divisions. The company provides luxury spas and other high-end residential comfort products such as saunas, and fireplaces. There is one main office in Berkeley, and three other show rooms which are strategically located across the San Francisco Bay Area. For more than three decades the company has been the industry leading retailer. NPS experienced its largest growth period during the first two decades of existence. Since then the company has had less than desired growth. This story will describe a snapshot of the type of problems a company like NPS experiences, the struggle to identify the problems, and the challenges companies face to mitigate these types of problems. Additionally, a new approach developed by Leanfulness Strategies to be an alternative pathway toward positive organizational change will be presented.
Introduction The age of the Unthinkable. The world we once knew is going away. We are in the eye of the storm of change. The industrial age that we knew has been taken over by the information age. This story will present a novel idea developed to help how we respond to such a radical shift and choose to embrace change rather than hate change. The impact of this radical change is affecting every aspect of our lives. The way we connect and spend time as families has been altered. The way we communicate with our friends is less intimate. Our jobs have changed. We had to adapt to new tools and technology. These new tools are incrementally increasing our job scope. Consequently, we are required to learn new skill sets to keep up with the new technology and evolving job roles. The trajectory and future of the world we know is becoming more and more uncertain and unpredictable. What kind of world will our children and grandchildren experience? Are we destroying the world? Will technology destroy the human race? How should I attempt to make sense of all the change that is happening around me? These are some questions that many of us are asking.
As I write this letter of hope, I am pondering over the precarious reality across the globe. Such a reality is unprecedented in modern times. In short, I'll attempt to describe the unique nature of our current situation as I see it. For example, think about what you’ve heard or personally felt about globalization. In my experience, globalization has elicited feelings of angst and increasing uncertainty. It's hard to imagine what the next five or ten years will look like for our societies and business infrastructures. On the other hand, globalization has demonstrated the remarkable ability to link almost every facet of personal, professional, and national interests. Therefore, I would like to present a positive result that globalization is having in the context of the COVID 19 pandemic. The purpose of this essay is to suggest that we can spend too much time worrying about the elephant in the room and miss the beauty of the resilient human spirit that occurs only in an environment of extraordinary unity.
Introduction to Leanfulness As I journeyed through my various roles over 26 years as a project team leader, and during my doctoral studies in Organizational Psychology, I typically was drawn to concepts that were on the positive spectrum of psychology. I quickly fell in love with the field of positive psychology and began to implement many of the principles I was learning. These newly adopted principles empowered me to remain composured while working full time and full-time studies toward a PhD.