Exponential success through human capital.

The Magic Hard Hat

To understand why employee engagement is a precursor to strategic planning, let’s look at what real engagement looks like, using two powerful examples.  The first time I saw real engagement, I didn’t know its name. I was a few years out of college and in my first HR management job, working for a satellite manufacturing

The Compensation Crush

Compensation is hot. Why? There is an intense desire by many organizations to make sure their pay practices are equitable and fair. In fact, it’s so hot and moving so fast that the organizational necessity of being competitive is sometimes getting lost. Oyster is building equity and total comp analyses into almost every project. That

Bring the Environment Along

The Problem Have you ever worked hard to do more or less of a certain behavior to then discover that no one really noticed? When you try to quit smoking, what are you told to do? Instead of going outside on breaks and smoking with your friends, you are encouraged to engage in alternative activities

After Coronavirus: Is Middle Management Becoming Obsolete?

Yes, this is one of those trick questions. You can find equal support for either side. No, middle managers will be more important than ever. Yes, with working from home becoming more of the norm and virtual teams, AI, and technology taking over, middle managers are redundant. The real answer is that the role of

Another Curve We Better Flatten

Flattening the Covid-19 curve is certainly critical to our country and the world, and it appears that the US is managing it. But there’s another curve too many people ignore and if we’re not careful, it will flatten us. It’s the age curve. One hundred percent of the individuals we coach who are over 45

Ensuring Forward Motion

I had been planning to share two surprising and recurring statements that should make senior leaders in two industries pause. But then a third recurring statement crashed onto the scene courtesy of Covid-19. Together these statements demonstrate the type of disconnect that can be reflected in organizations of all types and sizes. We hear these

Chicken Little Would Not Have Made It as a CEO

There is a lot of worry in the US over the Coronavirus. Both organizations and individuals need to exercise rational thinking, rational planning, and rational communication to weather this storm with a balance of caution and practicality. As of today, there are signs of irrational thinking all around us. Organizational leaders play an important role

Acquiring Talent vs. Recruiting

In today’s talent-driven world, many organizations are still recruiting, as opposed to strategically acquiring talent. Here are some recruitment red flags: • Long job postings with too many “must haves” (think unrealistic), too little character (think “why do I want to work here?”), and too much detail that is not compelling. • Overeager system users

Executive Team Tune-Ups

Sit back and imagine yourself sitting with your team—executive, management, departmental. Now imagine that you and your team are a car. This car might be relatively new or might have been serving you well for many years. Let’s analyze how this car functions. Is it running smoothly? Does the ignition clearly signal a clean start,

A More Human Workplace

I bet you thought that since you’re human, then you must work in a “human workplace,” right?  Well, not so fast. The WorkHuman Research Institute at Globoforce recently published a study (involving approximately 1000 employed people across the United States) that asked participants  the following three questions: What makes a workplace more human? What is

Reframing Anger

A boss, colleague, coachee, or direct report comes into your office. This person is yelling, red in the face, and angry. What is the best thing to do: Wait it out and let him rant? Demand that she stops and comes back when she can professionally chat about the situation? Throw a pitcher of water

Loneliness and Danger at the Top

In my last blog, Get Your Age Off the Table, I shared the three causes of unanticipated unemployment for workers over 50, with a big chunk of the cause being under individual control. It applies to C-levels as well, but C-levels have their own additional challenges. The challenge for C-levels and other senior people can

Get Your Age Off the Table

My wake-up call came two years ago when Oyster was launching. Money was tight and my millennial niece, Erica, was helping me where she could. The moment is etched in my memory. I had gotten a room at an old inn in Richmond, and we were getting work done before heading to a concert. She

Five Leadership Tips for This Week

We are bombarded every day with the things we are supposed to do or not do to be a good leader. But there are five skills I use with every CEO I coach, and you don’t find them highlighted in other sources. Successful CEOs practice these, so why not try one or all five this

Customer Creation

I am thinking a lot about customer care this week. I think about this topic frequently because it plays a major role in the analyses we do for our clients when we help them increase their success. But I was a customer a lot last week, and I also received sobering news that rocketed me

Change this year’s success trajectory

One thing leaders can do now to change this year’s success trajectory We are in Week 2 of 2019. And many of us started the new year with formal or informal resolutions. But Entrepreneur estimates that only 9.2% of people stick with their new year’s resolutions.* I’m going to share one you can commit to

Don’t Look for Easy When it Comes to People

 Easy sells. That’s because we all want every product and service to be easy to implement and to drive immediate success. But when people are involved, easy is just a myth. People just can’t be simplified. If you are a hiring organization, it’s fairly easy to find a person, but it takes work to find

Design Thinking for Organizational Development

Design thinking has become a buzzword over the past few years—maybe you’ve heard of it. Companies ranging from Airbnb, Jet Blue, GE Healthcare to Hyatt have all used design thinking methodology to rethink how their organizations are meeting customer needs and organizational effectiveness. But design thinking isn’t just for designers; it’s one part of taking

Happy New Year!

I know. It seems like an odd time to say that, but if you run a business or lead an organization, it’s not. I feel like it was just July 4th. Now suddenly it’s October and Oyster Organizational Development is turning its attention to fall. For us that specifically means turning our attention to business

What is Organizational Development?

What exactly is OD? I get asked this question nearly every time I talk about my field, which is daily since I joined Oyster OD as a business partner. What’s odd is that frequently I’m asked this by people working in the related HR field. Scholars and practitioners in the OD field describe OD in

Good Pay, Good People

Good Pay, Good People In a recent blog I talked about the gap between our pay increase expectations and reality, as well as how compensation gets set. In this one let’s address earning expectations. A lot of people tell me they are thinking that all they need is another degree, another certificate, or just a

Compensation: Important, Misunderstood, and Problematic

“Would you believe what my pay increase was?” That’s normally how the conversation starts. Someone is angry and wants me to help. But I startle him when I guess the percentage of his pay increase within a decimal or two. How? Because normally compensation is planned, and companies and HR people like me have reasons

Organizational Success by Design