From leadership styles to corporate culture, the rise of startups and the ubiquity of social media, the last 20 years have radically shifted the professional landscape. Those who embrace the new uncertainties thrive, while those who ignore them fall further behind.
We’re exploring all elements of the new world of work and sharing them here.
How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick
New year’s resolutions. Depending on which study you read, most of them fail. So why do we keep doing them? I want to give you some tips on increasing the likelihood that you will realize lasting change.
Never Stop Learning: Author Interview with Bradley R. Staats
To stay relevant, you need to keep learning. We interviewed Professor Bradley R. Staats, who teaches us how to do this more effectively in his book Never Stop Learning.
Framing the Conversation Around What You Sell
If you’re in the business of selling a service, it’s time to frame the conversation around what you ultimately sell to your client.
Annual Planning Starts With Reflection
Here are a few tips and concepts on how to make the most of any reflection or planning you do during this magical time of the year.
The Most Lucrative Meeting in your Program
How do I get off the treadmill of trading time for dollars? How do I scale my impact? How do I grow my business without bringing on a bunch of...
The 4-Phases of Growing a Consulting Firm
Over 14 years I’ve had the pleasure of literally thousands of conversations* with consultants, facilitators, trainers and coaches, at every stage of their journey and every...
Win More Proposals with a 3-Tier Value Proposition
As learning practitioners, we care about our content. We care about our program participants and their experience. We care about creating impact. But if you had to...
Capturing the Hearts and Minds of the C-Suite
As a leadership consultant, oftentimes you’re selling into the HR or Learning & Development (L&D) function within the organization. And, logically, when you’re...
Increase your Client’s Program Budget by Aligning to Strategic Priorities
A couple years ago, a consultant we were working with - let’s call him Jayson - was asked to submit a proposal for a leadership development program. They also told him they...
How to Measure the Impact of Your Programs
Hey, Leadership Consultants - “How are we going to measure impact?” It’s such an easy question for clients to ask and, on the surface, is a smart one. Particularly in...
How Your Programs Can Become Your Client’s Top Priority
How do I ensure that my clients prioritize my programs? This has to be one of the most frustrating parts of doing what you do. Your client has a specific idea of what they...
The Simple Way to Prove The Impact of Your Program
How do I prove the impact of my programming? This is the age-old question in training, facilitation, consulting, and coaching - how do we do it? How do we show our clients...
How to Guarantee Post-Session Learning Application
How do I ensure that my participants are applying what they learned after they leave the room? This is the question we get asked. All. The. Time. From consultants,...
Moving from Learning to Business Impact
The goal of the learning that happens in your leadership sessions is the creation of a change within the organization that hired you. The goal of this change is the...
The Importance of Quantifying Behavior Change for Client ROI
In our last blog post, we discussed the issues learners face in remembering content and sparking lasting change as a result of...
Program Efficiency vs. Effectiveness and How it Affects the Learner
The goal in the delivery of most learning programs is supposed to be “effectiveness.” Why, then, does it seem like so many programs are focused on efficiency? We try to get...
How Quickly We Forget: Ebbinghaus and Training Program Measurement
It might be true that some strategic priorities are advanced through training investment. But how would we know? The current methods of sustaining and measuring training...
Here’s How to Help Participants Achieve Guaranteed Momentum
If you’ve been a leadership development consultant, coach, or facilitator for a while, you may very well be able to recognize the moment that realization sparks within your...
The Importance of Relevance in Habit Change
Leadership development consultants crave habit technology. There's a growing movement around habit tools of all sorts—from habit trackers and stackers, to habit...
What’s In It For Me?: The Value of Why For Participants When it Comes to Habit Change￼
At Actionable we have analyzed 1000s of commitments - defined as a learner’s habit or new behavior they would like to implement as outlined in Actionable’s Habit Builder...
The Art (and Science) of Intelligent Commitments for Succesful Behavior Change
80% of NewYear’s resolutions “fail” by mid-February1. Reasons for their failure include anything from lack of clarity to over-ambition when setting the goal. This...
Why Audience Ownership Matters in Learning Application
Here is the million-dollar question that every consultant wants to know the answer to: “How can I get my participants to take action on the things I'm teaching them?” In...
How to Maximize Post-Session Engagement
Joel Bennett is the king of participant engagement. Sure, he’s a great facilitator. Joel’s funny, knowledgeable, and passionate about his work. But Joel’s magic is...
How to Scale Beyond Your Time
Let’s talk about scaling beyond your time: the holy grail of consulting and training firms. First, we need to address some of the invisible pitfalls where many of us get...
You’re Not Charging Enough
You’re not charging enough for your consulting services. At Actionable, we can say this to you with an exceptionally high degree of confidence. How can we know this? We’ve...
The Anchor Metric – What is the C-Suite’s Ultimate End Game?
As a course facilitator or consultant, if you want longevity in what you deliver, you need a strategy for elevating your clients' perception of you beyond "content...
Have Clients Prioritize Your Programs By Asking This Question
Here’s a question that consultants get a lot: “Can you build a leadership program for us?” And on the flip side, here’s a question that consultants don’t usually...
How to Apply the Scientific Method for Greater Learning Application
Over ten years ago, Eric Ries wrote and published a book called The Lean Startup. You may have heard of it. You may have read it. It was written with software company...
Remember Everest When Planning Your Programs
Here’s a fascinating—if somewhat macabre—statistic about Mount Everest: of all the people who have died while summiting Everest, 82 percent have died on the way back down...
How to Know if Your Pricing Structure Captures Your True Value
Here at Actionable, we see a wide range of pricing models employed by consultancies. It’s worth contemplating – what pricing structure are you using for your services, and...
How to Help Participants Create the Optimal Environment for Learning Application
How do you help participants put the ideas from your learning event, into practice? You might be surprised to find that the biggest factors that will make or break your...
The New Habit Formula: 4 Steps to Turn Learning into Action
How do you determine if your training session was a “success”? Participant Feedback? Post session assessment? Or are you going deeper? The goal for most training...
2 Steps to Help Managers Enable Change in Their Team
How do you get participants’ managers on board with supporting the change that your programs are designed to create? It’s a mouthful for sure. The context is you have...
How One Question Can Change Your Business Decisions
Are you an impact-focused consultant? Is your driving mission to create lasting, demonstrable change inside your client’s organization? If the answer is a resounding yes, I...
How to Turn 1-Day Training Events into 30-Day Client Engagements
Would you consider yourself an impact-focused consultant? Most of the consultants I speak with on a weekly basis claim to be. Meaning, they aren’t just about the event in...
4 Ways to Increase Participant Commitment in Your Next Session
https://vimeo.com/691495376/20155bd6e3 How do you increase the impact of your live interventions? When you’re in front of a group they’re inspired. They want to put the...
The One-Word Question that Helps Participants Realize Lasting Behavior Change
https://vimeo.com/685613162/5a9a8b53d6 How do you make sure your participants are applying what they learned in a repeatable, reliable, way? Ask them why. At the...
Are Squeaky Hippos Impacting Your Program? Here’s How to Address Them.
https://vimeo.com/683459381/074a3ef863 Are your programs suffering from Squeaky Hippos? Let’s find out. First of all, you’re likely wondering what a Squeaky Hippo is. It’s a...
Why an Accountability Buddy is your Program Participant’s Key to Success
https://vimeo.com/680952706/d2c065c62a How do you increase the likelihood that your program participants are going to put the content from your session into practice after...
What do Volcanoes (and Tsunamis) Have to do With Behavior Change?
https://vimeo.com/678727357/075127bb08 My 5 year old son is obsessed with volcanoes. Almost every night at bedtime we are reading books about volcano facts. It’s an exciting...
Career Conversations in Complex Times
A couple of years ago I was introduced to the distinction between complex and complicated—one of the most useful and liberating distinctions I have ever learned. In a...
Are You Creating Customers for Life?
Think about the last 12 hours: how many times did you experience the push to buy a product or service? From television commercials, radio ads, newspaper and magazine ads,...
New Ways To Navigate The Increasing Complexities of Work
About two years ago, while reading Jennifer Garvey Berger's Simple Habits for Complex Times, I was introduced to the distinction between complex and complicated. This...
Orchestrating Sustainable Innovation: Lessons for Leaders from the World of Music
Innovation is a juggling act for most leaders, as they have to balance operational excellence with responding to mandates to explore new territory.
The Perils of Employee Appreciation Day
I have observed that for some managers, Employee Appreciation Day is the beginning, middle, and end of their employee appreciation strategy.
“Just” Noticing — Spark Change With This Simple Practice
Of course, without first noticing, change is very difficult, if not impossible. Noticing is a prerequisite to growth and learning.
Do You Truly Value Your Employees?
If employees believe they are no more than a number to the organization, then they treat the organization primarily as a means to an income.
Learning In a Day, and Other Myths of Professional Development
It’s a tough shift to move from teaching lots all at once to keep face, to providing a little bit of learning, with lots of application support, more often.
Put Away Your Cape: Why Leader as Hero Doesn’t Work
Let go of the idea of leader as hero, and model the kind of behavior you want to see from your team—you’ll all be happier, healthier, and more productive.
Redefining Expectations: Flexibility in a VUCA World
Life is messy, and yet we crave tidiness and a certain amount of control. When we set our expectations on “perfection” we are bound to be disappointed
The Habit of Curiosity
Curiosity is both an attribute of high-performing teams and a personal habit. We are born with it—and we need to cultivate it.
Can You Imagine? One Question to Unlock More Expansive Thinking
Looking at your business from the can you imagine perspective is not about blue sky thinking, it’s about pushing the boundaries of your thinking.
120,000 Intentional Acts: Correcting a Culture of Disrespect
If you were to engage in one intentional act every work day for a whole year, you would have repeated that one thing 250 times.
WorkHuman: Making the Most Out of My Conference Experience
I’m just about to board my flight to Austin, Texas for the WorkHuman conference. Conferences can provide an incredible opportunity to learn, network, and reconnect with the...
Great Leaders Sleep Well — Why Rest is Critical For Success
Why are so many of us not getting enough sleep? And why do we not only ignore sleep as a health issue but often reward exhaustion?
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt — Get Out of the Middle to Get Unstuck
What I’ve found is that this simple reframing to starting again, from being stuck in the middle, helps me go forward. It could work for you.
The Struggles of Remote Work — Addressing Employee Anxiety
Remote work can feel like flying blind sometimes. The regular stream of verbal cues we get from those around us in an office are absent.
The 7 Traits of Great Bosses
Great bosses who are honest and transparent give their team permission to do the same, which fosters an environment of candor and camaraderie.
When ‘Word of Success’ Isn’t Enough
In today’s consulting landscape, word of success isn’t enough. There’s no hard data to backup your claims about your impact.
The Best ‘Back from Vacation’ Ever
For too many people, the stress of trying to get away, and then catch up when they return, makes the process of taking a vacation counter-productive.
Beyond Fear: Embrace Curiosity to Spark Meaningful Change
Fear might make you finally leap when your back is up against a wall, but desire and an energizing curiosity is what will sustain you for the journey.
The Magic of Habit Change: What Makes a Commitment Stick?
So, what makes a good behavior change commitment? Make it measurable and specific—and make it small and important to you personally.
Become a Better Leader—The Power of Coaching
Whether you hire a coach or not, there is benefit to a coaching mindset. Embracing coaching principles can help make your future bigger than your past.
Do you have a mission? Or just a job?
There are people who just have a job, and there are others whose work is part of a bigger personal mission. Sadly, there are far more people with just jobs.
Embedding Strategic Change — Small Shifts For A More Successful Year
Front line workers know what KPIs they’re being evaluated on, but typically lack understanding about how they are linked to the overarching strategic goals.
Reduce Your Learning Landfill: Small Changes Equal Big Results
We have a waste issue with learning: the culture of learning could be described as ‘disposable,’ as the majority of it gets left behind in the classroom.
Overcoming Your Habit Nature — Embrace Your Saboteurs
What can we do to work with our habit nature—with the parts of ourselves that are most resistant to change? How do we create the best versions of ourselves?
Actionable Strategic Plans — How to Help Your Clients Succeed
The pace of change continues to accelerate, but most organizations continue to use the same processes and tools to implement their strategic plans.
Relationships that Work — Align Values to Find Perfect Fit
Think about the most enjoyable business relationships you’ve had. I am going to bet that you shared similar values, expectations, and more.
Meaningful Moments: Why Leaders Should Focus on Experience Design
The most powerful moments at work combine pride and connection, and are often the smallest and least difficult to engineer. They are moments of recognition.
Diagnosing a Low Trust Culture
Your clients trust you to help them fix problems, engage their teams, and get better results. But do they trust their teams? Do their teams trust them?
Ditch the Happy Sheets: Create Sustained Learning Impact
I have a strong belief that an L&D behavior change platform, is the way to provide professional learning experiences that enable sustained learning impact.
Harnessing Habits — Why Your Change Projects Are Failing
For organizations that are seeking changed behavior, tapping into the power of habits is an effective strategy for ensuring that change sticks.
Crossing the Cultural Rubicon
Courage and faith are required of the leader, because once you commit to crossing the cultural Rubicon, there is no turning back. But you won’t want to.
Leaders and Culture: The Polarity of Being and Doing
Our ability to manage the polarity of being and doing can be the difference between managing complexity—and leading adaptive change—and failing to do so.
Turning Individual Learning into Organization Wide Change
Enter Actionable. We help busy, successful coaches and consultants scale their impact and create lasting behavior change for their clients.
Change Isn’t Cheap—Why I Stopped Doing “Free Lunch” Coaching
If you’re serious about making a change, for your organization, your team, or yourself, make an investment of your time and your energy to make it happen.
Learning Return on Expectations and Lasting Behavior Change
A key first step in any successful learning or behavior change initiative is to identify the return on expectations—begin with the end in mind.
Taming the Distraction Habit
If we allow the stimuli we’re exposed to every day whisk us into a state of distraction—we may be putting our health, productivity, and humanity at risk.
Celebrating Actionable’s Culture
I’m so proud and grateful to be part of a team that understands their role in cultivating the culture that we want and need.
Scaling My Business with Actionable—Getting Out of My Own Way
I needed to make sure that my vision was in my calendar every day, focus on where my clients wanted to go, and include Actionable as part of the journey.
Serving Up Learner-Led Learning
Learning professionals must not only evolve their delivery methods to encourage learner-led learning, but their competencies in concept and design as well.
The Inner Game Of Learning
The inner game, in this context, is how we can control our mindset and our strategy when we approach learning something new.
Leaders: How Do You Curate Learning?
How do you curate learning to effectively solve challenges for your team? And more importantly, how do you apply that learning consistently?
Meet the ACP — What Our Network Is Saying
We work with some of the smartest consultants in the business. We want to improve the world of work for everyone—our network of partners helps us do that.
How to Make Sure Your Meetings Don’t Suck
Meetings don’t have to suck. Meetings, when done right, can be a great way to foster collaboration, creativity and engagement.
Smooth Sailing: Leveraging the Cadence of Your Business
When you leverage the cadence of your business, you can understand when it’s quieter than usual and work on your business instead of only in it.
How Actionable Improves the World of (My) Work
I don’t work for Actionable in an effort to fulfill a job description and get paid. I work for Actionable in order to be a part of something so much bigger.
Vertical Development for Leaders
We can grow our capacity to see ourselves clearly, to appreciate multiple perspectives, and to become authors of our own lives through vertical development.
Changing Behaviors Through Precision Consulting
Organizations bring in consultants to help them become better equipped to handle challenges and adopt the behaviors that will allow them to thrive.
Leading from the Summit: The Inner Work of Effective Leaders
This article presents leaders with two aspects of inner work they should not neglect. It starts by examining purpose, and then moves to mind-body harmony.
Infographic: Mastering Behavior Change
By arming yourself with research about how our brains function, you can work to mitigate threat responses, and pave the way for successful behavior change.
Growth Lessons from a Gardener
If you want something to grow, focus on giving it the things it needs to stay alive and healthy. Be attentive. Be patient. The growth will come.
The Costs of CYA Behavior
CYA behavior is a clear indication there is a lack of trust on our teams, and manifests in sending too many emails, and attending too many meetings.
The Return on Investing in Yourself
My suggestion is this: think about where you are investing your time and your money, and put in place the practices to make it worth your while.
The Science of Behavior Change
For organizations to achieve meaningful change in a sustainable way, they need to create the conditions for behavior change at an individual level.
Adaptive Consulting in a Digital Learning Landscape
Learning technologies, and specifically adaptive learning platforms, represent an opportunity to deploy learning more systemically throughout organizations.
Nutrition & Stress — Managing Workplace Productivity
By improving nutrition in to reduce uncomplimentary stress, and managing complementary stressors with intention, it is possible to increase productivity.
In the Face of Incivility, Choose to Thrive
If incivility chips away at health and performance, and if, collectively, we are feeling bombarded by incivility, what can we do?
Transmitting Culture Change Through Conversations
As culture change agents, unless we can help organizational leaders think and act more laterally, we’re guaranteed to miss the mark at delivering changes.
Behavior Change That Sticks
Clarity is what we want for our organizations, and is the critical first step in behavior change. Resistance to change is often the result of unclear goals.
Our Best Reads for Thriving in Change
The world of work is changing rapidly. These changes can be viewed as a challenge, or an opportunity—but one thing is certain: change is the new constant.
The Intimacies of Remote Working
Actionable is a completely remote working environment—many of us have never met in person. And yet we know each other on a deeply personal level.
Leader Self-Reflection — The Importance of Looking Inward
My conclusion is that it is often the leaders themselves who need the repair job, and who could most benefit from self-reflection.
Get Unstuck — Developing an Agile Mindset
Organizations today need an agile mindset to thrive in the business landscape, which is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.
High Impact Learning: Uncovering Your Training ROI
Training ROI occurs when it’s relevant to the needs of the team, and the content can be evaluated and reshaped to solve challenges facing the team.
Turn Your Halo Effect Into A Superpower
In order to find the time it takes to work on your business—your growth, strategy, and goals—you need to reflect on your halo effect, and supercharge it.
Values in Action — How We Embody Our Ideals
Watching our company values in action at Summit deepened my understanding and connection to our culture as an organization.
Creating Insight — Exploring the Aha Moment
This knowledge about creativity and insight can help us to work and lead in ways that create the conditions for greater creativity and innovation.
Certainty Sells—The Confidence For Getting to Yes
Certainty in your offering feeds the trust equation. It helps you establish reliability. We know that certainty sells, so ask for the sale with confidence.
Inspire Innovative Thinking — Get Creative to Get Results
Use these approaches to inspire innovative thinking with your team, and to stay ahead of the rapid shifts occurring in the business landscape.
Embrace Change: Jump on Board or Drown
If on some instinctual level you know you have found something that is going to revolutionize what you do, then you need to embrace change.
Fresh Perspective — The Power of Stepping Away
Stepping back from anything—a dilemma, a relationship, or yes, even a job—is really valuable. It provides a lot of clarity and fresh perspective.
Getting Lucky At Work and Beyond
“Luck” happens because the person has used a systematic approach to ensure progress toward their dreams and goals. It’s not as simple as just getting lucky.
Technology Change: Overcoming Resistance
Technology change is here to stay. Those who make it an integrated part of their work will be able to use those strategies for agility in their businesses.
Infographic: Increase Agility By Creating A Learning Culture
Working to create a robust learning culture will help develop the skills required to increase agility and navigate a world of constant change.
Your Brain At Work: Manage Change By Managing Your Brain
The first big idea is that our brains are not all that well-designed for our current reality. The second idea is that we can change our brains.
Ungoaling: Developing Habits Is The Way to Really Get Work Done
I decided to end my focus on goals, something I’ve called ungoaling. This means developing habits for activities that will contribute to my overall success.
Being Human — Why Robots Can’t Create Business Success
In my book Being Human, I challenge the notion that technical competence and a Robotic approach to Human Management still has a place in a Humanistic world.
Build Trust to Help your Clients Get in the Game
Taking the time to build trust in relationships results in increased engagement, agility, and collaboration—qualities teams need to thrive business today.
Take Immediate Action, Or Get Left Behind
Nothing moves people into immediate action quite like necessity. When the danger of NOT doing anything is strong, people are willing to try anything.
Metrics that Matter: Influencing Organizational Agility
Your approach to measuring agility must also be agile—focused on the metrics that matter, and taking into account the ways the organization is changing.
Cultivating Attention and Focus in a World of Rapid Change
It’s important that we protect the most valuable asset that we have: our attention and focus. Here are the three areas that I am working on at the moment.
Organizational Agility: Thriving in a State of Constant Change
Organizational agility provides a competitive advantage. As organizations adopt initiatives to keep pace with change, success will hinge on agile teams.
Evolving L&D — Selling the Future of Work
The role of evolving L&D then becomes helping teams improve and integrate learning directly into their work, moving beyond content, into context.
Building a Curiosity Culture
We want to nurture a curiosity culture because it makes us more present to the journey, more creative, better at communicating alignment with each other, and more agile.
The Art of Receiving Feedback
In addition to modeling being recipients of feedback, another way to reduce the threat is to recognize that when we give feedback we are engaging in a conversation.
The Effects of Learning: Getting out of the Fishbowl and Into the Ocean
Here’s just one example of the growth that can occur though embracing a learning culture, and maintaining an expansive mindset.
Why Executive Education Can’t Create a Learning Culture
I’ve seen countless organizations rely on executive education to deliver their learning and development initiatives. Here’s why that strategy can be frustratingly ineffective.
Consulting Frameworks: Are you Trivializing Leadership?
Of course consulting frameworks have limitations but are only truly damaging if they are held up as gospel. Change is hard. Great leadership is complex.
Does Your Company Really Want to Build a Learning Culture?
Here are my top three tips to start to build a learning culture, right now. Start today, and the results will roll in sooner than you think.
You Can Lead a Horse to Water: How to Effectively Influence Others
One of the most effective ways to influence another person, is to enable them to arrive at their own insights when faced with a goal, challenge or issue.
Actionable’s Learning Culture: How Learning Has Helped Expand My Role
Actionable walks the talk on our values—we don’t just write about why organizations to create a learning culture, we embed these lessons in our daily work.
How to Create a Learning Culture
To keep employees engaged, and to develop the agility they need to keep up, organizations need to embrace a learning culture.
Exhausted? Learning Can Energize Your Work
Building in new learning rhythms and routines has been the anchor of making my work productive and exhilarating, not overwhelming.
Managing the Bubble: How to Cultivate Presence
We all have one: that cartoon-like bubble above our heads, filled with thoughts, beliefs, judgments, assumptions, fears, biases, and experiences, that colors our ability to be present and engaged.
Selling The Future of Work: The Hard Sell Of Soft Skills
The future of work is here, and it’s bringing with it a renewed focus and emphasis on what have long been called “soft skills.”
Redesigning Roles: Leaving the Traditional Org Chart Behind
The ability for organizations to change is not a luxury. Yet the notion that we can put people into little boxes and then be ‘agile’ and adaptive is completely at odds with that reality.
Infographic: The Hard Truth About Soft Skills
It’s time to reevaluate our perception of “soft skills”—communication, collaboration, emotional intelligence, etc., and consider them core skills essential to competitive teams.
Build Your Brand — Social Media for Consultants
Here are my favorite tactics for making the most out of social media, boosting your online presence, and ultimately, cultivating relationships that convert.
Postcard From the Platform: Conversations Drive Business Outcomes
The user wrote this simple equation: greater employee engagement = greater ownership of the business as their business, higher productivity, and higher performance.
Develop “Soft Skills” to Create Agile, Collaborative Teams
We believe strongly that there is lots of work leaders can do in rethinking how to develop the agile, collaborative teams their business needs.
How to Build a Consulting Brand
Your brand is the identity of your business—and it requires thoughtful and strategic development.
Brand Matters — How Actionable Built a Visual Identity
We set out to create four logos that would embody the spirit of Actionable, while at the same time creating a new and consistent look—a clear brand.
Make Every Day a Good Day — At Work and Beyond
Research shows that resilience is directly linked with happiness. And, it’s important to note that we’re talking about actually experiencing positive emotions, rather than avoiding negative emotions.
Is Your Brand Limiting Business Growth?
It’s important to take some time to analyze key elements of your brand, and reflect on where changes might be needed as you build your business growth plans.
Inspiration is Fine, But Action is Better
Committing to the one action leads to change, and often triggers or sets in motion other changes that have impact on the team as well.
How to Ask the Right Questions, and Craft Pitches that Sell
Use these tactics to maximize productivity when you are getting to know prospective clients, close more sales, and get to work providing solutions that have positive impact.
Forget Bean Bag Chairs—Millennials Want to Make an Impact
My managers don’t need to provide bean bag chairs or ping pong tournaments—the opportunity to do great work that matters is more than enough to keep me engaged.
How Leaders Can Create Healthy, Resilient Teams
If your team is struggling with engagement, try one of these techniques to encourage a healthy work environment.
Actionable Consultant Jean Brown on TotalPicture Radio
Actionable Conversations provides the tools for leaders to have more meaningful conversations with their team that result in measurable behavior change.
Postcard From the Platform: Life Changing Conversations
We love hearing from users who are improving team dynamics through better conversations.
How to Be More Present With your Team
You must develop a presence with your team first—truly being present on a day-to-day basis to understand them and their needs, and work with them to deliver high levels of performance.
Stop Underestimating your Clients
Your clients are smart people. They know you, trust you and value what you bring to them and their organization. They look to you as the expert in their development and growth.
Introducing Jane Watson, Talent Vanguard
I was delighted to chat with Jane about the extensive experience she brings to the Actionable team and her vision for the future of the company.
What Do Your Clients Need?
The best way to create initiatives that address a true need and provide demonstrable ROI is to tie your service to a specific problem or pain point and associated metric.
The Power of Promises to Increase Accountability
What seems like a lack of accountability is a lack of clarity. Clarity is established largely through language—and most of us are quite imprecise in our language.
Actionable Tactics for Sustainable Business Building
We’ve pulled together some of our most actionable insights to inspire you to shake things up and grow your business.
Stop Being A Horrible, Soul Crushing Manager
From my front-line vantage point, here is my advice for team leaders to avoid being horrible. Even after following this advice, you’ll likely still have a long way to go.
Advice For New Leaders Infographic — Ask the Experts
We reached out to the consultants in our LinkedIn Community for their expert advice to individuals taking on leadership roles for the first time, and compiled the results in this Infographic.
Ask the Experts — Advice for New Leaders Infographic
We asked the consultants in our Actionable Conversations LinkedIn Community for advice they would give to someone taking on a leadership role for the first time, and here’s what they had to say…
Finding My Tribe—Why It’s Ok To Get Personal At Work
We need to be having more of these conversations at work. We can’t keep leaving our personal lives at the door, and expecting people to be engaged and passionate about our work.
Postcard From the Platform: Paper Reduction Initiative Saves Big
Postcards from the Platform is a new series designed to showcase the transformative power of the Actionable Conversations Platform.
Want Better Relationships? Keep Promises and Make Clear Requests
Making clear requests and promises, and following through on the commitments I make has not only been personally fulfilling, it’s been a sound business investment.
How to Stop Hiding Behind Busyness
Many teams never escape the “I’m busy” phase. What’s worse is they wear their busyness as a badge of honor. They seem to say, “I’m busy because my job is important.”
Be the Bad Guy — Why Your Clients Need Tough Love
In many coaching sessions with clients, we discover obstacles together. Sometimes these obstacles are people, processes, or even the client themselves.
Stop Treating Training as a One-Time Event
Too often training is seen as an event. It is treated as a one-off. A gap is identified and then a training event is provided with the content that addresses that gap. Unfortunately, that’s not how learning works.
Why Knowing Yourself is Critical in a ROWE
There are three key things that I find help me be productive in a ROWE: timing, environment, and optimum stress level.
Forget Content, Context is King
Expanding your offerings to include strategies and tactics to maximize peer-to-peer and hands-on learning will allow you to clearly demonstrate the ROI of your work to your clients.
3 Podcasts For Effective Team Leadership in 2017
As your team gears up for a productive new year, take the time to think about the best way to support them. Here are three of our favorite recent episodes of The 21st Century Workplace for helping team leaders improve engagement and culture.
Creating Killer Growth: Our Best Content from 2016
Since launching our series of new public websites in early September, we’ve published some great content from an amazing crew of talented and thought-provoking writers.
Don’t Be A January Person—Sticky Behavior Change for 2017
There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic or making big plans. But to truly change, you also need a healthy dose of realism: if you think it can happen overnight, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
How We’re Making Health A Priority In 2017
We recently started an #actionablehealth channel on Slack, as a place to talk about our health and fitness goals. As a result, many members of the team have made commitments to incorporate more regular exercise throughout the day.
Coaching the Coaches
At Actionable, I am an Integration Coach, which basically means I spend my days coaching the coaches. While the context has shifted, from coaching my own clients to coaching the coaches, the same principles apply.
An Actionable Blueprint for Year End Planning
We have developed a worksheet resource to help you plan to make this your best year yet. This worksheet will help you reflect, visualize, and plan for a successful year.
Annual Planning — Actionable Style
Based on Actionable founder Chris Taylor’s long-standing process for mapping out the year ahead, this worksheet will help you reflect, visualize, and plan to meet your upcoming goals and milestones.
The Power of a Pause
Listening intently and with full presence enables a leader to fully understand, to make sense of what is around them, and move forward with wisdom.
The Limits of “Unlimited” Vacation
As with many great company policies, “unlimited” vacation in a ROWE does have its downsides. It’s not as simple as just booking a trip and hitting the road.
I’m a Mean Coach
For leaders, honesty, hard questions, and having to look in the mirror and face the truth about shortcomings can feel uncomfortably personal, or even a bit hostile.
Breakthrough Thinking With Best-selling Author Dave Gray
We are excited to announce a collaboration with Dave Gray, and have launched a new module on our Conversations platform inspired by Liminal Thinking.
Small Data Creates Opportunities for Insight
I’m not suggesting that you ignore the big data altogether. Instead, it’s worthwhile to examine both the big data and the small data to figure out what the right data is to solve the issue.
Take Time for Thinking
Innovative, agile thinking is a critical element that managers want from their teams, and for good reason. When teams are aligned and thinking at a high-level, magic can happen.
8 Essential Conversations Your Clients Need to Have with Their Teams
Are your clients struggling to create a great organizational culture? We have created an infographic of 8 types of conversations to help your clients build stronger levels of employee engagement.
The Downside of “Work Anywhere” Culture: Fighting The Urge To Work Non-Stop
With the contagious enthusiasm of the Actionable team, and with the values that make working with them an inspiring experience, I hope to improve a little every day.
8 Essential Conversations Leaders Need to Have With Their Teams
To create a great culture, team leaders need to be having regular conversations with their teams (and not just about project updates).
3 Books to Help You Embrace Failure
You, and everyone you work with, are human. Failure (in some capacity), is unavoidable. Will you embrace it? Learn from it? Or will you try to pretend it never happened?
Better Conversations To Replace Performance Reviews
At Actionable, we know that when it comes to fostering employee engagement and cultivating behavior change, regular conversations beat once a year performance reviews hands down.
How Asking for Help Transformed my Work
I made a daily commitment to ask for help from the people around me, both in my personal and professional life. It sounds simple, but the insights I gathered through the process were a revelation.
Communication Issue? Look to Your Culture
Effective communication strategies are crucial, but I’d also urge you to think deeply about what effective communication looks like for your team. Every group will have different ideas and goals.
Taking the Leap to Live Outside Of My Comfort Zone
I don’t feel like I am working under someone, I feel like I am working with a collaborative group of equals. I am challenged and engaged, and I want to learn and contribute.
Is There a Pink Elephant Impacting Team Engagement?
In your consultant practice, when your clients are lamenting ineffective team dynamics, coach them to look out for the disruptive forces on their teams.
Improve Team Performance, One Conversation at a Time
By necessity, great teams don’t gloss over difference, or assume that each team member brings the same experience. Exciting insights can come from fresh eyes and diverse perspectives.
Collaborate to Go Far in 2017
In this fast-paced world, collaboration, or more specifically, establishing successful commercial relationships, is a becoming a necessity. We need to be agile, well-informed, and not simply stuck in the bubble of our day-to-day activities.
Being Careful to Distinguish Fact from Opinion
When we make statements, they are primarily either assertions or assessments. Assertions can be proven to be true or false. Assessments are not absolutely true or false, but are a contextual or relative statement—or an opinion.
Better Together: The Actionable Way
What makes us a cohesive, collaborative team is our respect for each others’ unique lifestyles, expertise, time zones, and leadership. We work with each other, never against or in spite of each other.
How to Help your Clients Retain their Millennial Workforce
If your clients are serious about retaining their millennial workforce, use our infographic to start a conversation with them about new offerings they should consider for their 2017 plans.
Engaged Employees are Self-Managers
Allowing employees to manage themselves—to establish effective work flows and processes, and to manage their own time—is a crucial component of creating and maintaining employee engagement.
Hope is Not a Strategy
I am calling you out, coaches and consultants. Time to treat your business as you expect your clients to treat theirs—with intentional thought, and with focus and clarity about what will drive the results you want to deliver.
Focus on Learning and Development to Retain your Millennial Workforce
Given that millennials will make up 50% of the workforce by 2020, it’s no surprise that organizations are making millennial retention a priority.
Getting Comfortable with Failure
Not all great ideas end up generating revenue. What sounds brilliant in a brainstorming session may be a total flop in the real world. If we were afraid of failure, we would get paralyzed.
Creating a Learning Culture is a Win for Everyone
Just as teams look to their leaders, clients will look to you. Set the bar high for creating learning cultures, and I have no doubt the results will follow.
Avoiding Supply Teacher Syndrome
Real lasting results happen when leaders invest in themselves and their teams and have regular ongoing conversations.
The Shifting Learning Landscape — Context over Content
The learning landscape is currently experiencing a value shift—from paying for content to paying for context and immediate applicability.
First, Define Your Culture
Within the teams you have established, it’s a practical business investment to take the time to ensure the members of your team have a clear sense of their role and the culture of the company.
Finding My Dream Job — Why Interviews Need to Be Honest Conversations
Finally, after many terrible interviews that left me feeling discouraged and deflated, I spoke with Chris Taylor. From our first conversation I felt that I could be myself, ask questions, and talk openly about my aspirations.
Craft Stories to Sell More Effectively
Our brains are wired to process the world around us through stories. By harnessing the power of a great story, you can improve your sales pitches, persuade your customers, and engage your employees.
What to Read to Become More Adaptable
These three summaries will give you the framework you need to create a learning, creative culture in your organization, and build an engaged team that is capable of navigating new challenges.
How Technology Is Driving The Demand For Learning ROI
Technology is driving significant change in the learning space. What are you doing to evolve your business to meet the demand for analytics and data-driven ROI?
Protect the Culture
If you’re hiring for culture, look for impassioned people. People who will (respectfully) disagree on certain points because they know truly who they are and what matters to them.
Stop Just Reading, Start Really Learning
Information overload is here to stay, and you’ll never be able to entirely escape it. The key is to figure out how to manage the flow, and how to apply what you’re reading into tangible benefits for you and your team.
3 Books to Help you Grow your Business
We have curated a list of three summaries from ActionableBooks to help you grow your business and increase revenue—without increasing the number of hours you work in a day.
Stoicism, Self-Control, and the 21st Century Workplace
Stoics apply stringent control of their perceptions of the world around them to be able to manage emotions and see things as they truly are. Applying these principals to a 21st century workplace can help to minimize emotional triggers.
The Shifting Learning Landscape — Time and Attention are at a Premium
In our increasingly connected world, time and attention are becoming as important a consideration as the actual dollars spent on new initiatives.
Messy Scary Change
The learning and development landscape is changing. And as Actionable works to address these changes, we’re changing too. And that means learning, growing, stretching, changing.
Ask Why at Least Three Times: Better Employee Engagement in One Conversation
To avoid complacency and create engaged employees, it is crucial to step back and examine the purpose and processes (the why and the how) that inform outcomes.
The Shifting Learning Landscape — The Need for Learning ROI
By shifting your practice along with the changes in the industry, you can increase your relevance in the marketplace, increase sales, and make a measurable difference for your clients.
Podcast Replay: Two Episodes to Expand your Thinking
As we move into the busiest time of the year, it’s important to make space for creative thinking, and to examine the direction our teams, businesses, careers, and personal projects are heading in.
Are you Making Money by Accident?
While most entrepreneurs are core to their business or practice, the need to designate focused time to planning, thinking, and reviewing the business is even more critical.
Managing Polarities And The Power of “Yes, And”
Like many powerful ideas, you might be surprised by the simplicity of polarity management. At the core, it’s about the shift from “either/or” to “both/and” thinking.
Why Every Workplace Should Give Trust Freely
When I joined the Actionable Team, I quickly came to learn that autonomy is imperative in a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE), and closely tied with the core values of Actionable.
Do Your Clients Benefit From The ROI of Conversations?
Want to know the true ROI for those conversations your clients never make time for? It’s directly connected to employee engagement, which in turn, has tangible ROI for businesses.
Create Change by Disrupting Your Habits
Remember that your current behaviors are getting you the results you’re seeing—to see a change you will have to make a change.
Martial Arts and Mastery: Lessons in Employee Engagement
As I learned through my study of martial arts, there are no shortcuts to mastery. Progress is earned through the repeated application of ideas.
Flip the Script: Choose Positive Language to Create Change
Focusing on the language I use—with myself, with my children, and with my clients—has helped me create positive results.
It’s Your Results That Matter at Actionable
At Actionable, we have the power and responsibility to manage our own schedules. The highly collaborative and engaged teams own their projects and get a lot done.
Leadership for Complex Times
When we talk about complex, there is more than one solution or maybe none at all. How are we going to grow? Stay innovative? Maintain an engaged workforce? These questions require complex solutions.
Self Management Tips for Q4
To help you establish some new self management strategies during this busy season, we’ve curated three popular blog posts by Actionable founder Chris Taylor.
What to Read to Hack Your Brain And Create Tangible Change
Whether you are managing a team, searching for strategies to improve, or seeking more creativity in your day to day life, you can harness the science of behavior change to see positive results.
Lessons in Business Agility from a Children’s Book
Business today requires you to be at the ready—relax for too long and it can feel like the rug has been pulled from underneath you.
How Long is Your Year?
When you’re going through bursts of growth, it’s important to set the heading (vision), and then schedule “annual planning” sessions for a more frequent schedule.
The Coaching Mindset: Webinar Replay
This webinar talks about how adopting a Coaching Mindset will help you work less hard and achieve more impact.
Absolute Yes: Under-Promise to Over-Deliver
Life often gets busy. I have found that the best way to manage my schedule and avoid last minute cancellations is to give commitments an absolute yes.
What Do You Value?
Most business leaders identify their people as the #1 asset in their company. Actually, it is the employees—their strengths, skills, ideas, and energy, that clearly set an organization apart from its competitors.
Building Your Business: Creative Approaches to Growth
We have curated a list of 3 summaries from Actionable Books to help you think creatively about business growth.
There’s Clear ROI to Having Great Workplace Conversations
The data is clear: teams in the top-quartile of engagement see higher customer metrics, higher productivity, higher profitability, and lower absenteeism.
A Sabbatical Dream Come True
I feel incredibly fortunate to work at an organization like Actionable where something like a sabbatical is not only offered, but embraced. Without the support of Chris and my colleagues, this wouldn’t be possible.
Pivot! Pivot! PIVOT!
When considering a new opportunity, think about how you can pivot (yes, just like you learned in gym class) to get the best results.
Pivot Webinar Replay
We were delighted to host Jenny Blake for an Actionable webinar to discuss her book Pivot. Alyssa Burkus sat down with Jenny for a live chat with members of the Actionable community.
Hot Topics in Books: Building Engaging Cultures
Building a strong workplace culture with engaged employees is crucial for success. We have curated a list of great reads to get you started.
What To Read To Drive Business Growth
We know driving growth in your business can be an ongoing challenge. We’ve curated summaries of recent books that can help.
How To Grow Your Business? Ask Yourself Some Difficult Questions.
Growing your business might mean heading in new directions that scare you. And that’s a good thing.
Our Favorite Tools for a Virtual Workplace
We love finding the best tools to optimize virtual work life at Actionable. Here are three that have become integral to our communications.
Lessons in Teamwork From an Amateur Improviser
I’m a teamwork consultant. What was I doing being on a stage? And then I realized that the corporate world can really benefit from lessons learned on the comedy Improv stage.
A Team So Smart, I Constantly Feel Dumb
Working with smart team members simply pushes you to do better. It’s great to feel like the dumbest person in the room.
Recent Highlights from The 21st Century Workplace podcast
Over the last two years, we’ve had amazing guests join our 21st Century Workplace podcast. Check out some of the great authors who have joined us recently this year.
Building a Sustainable Business
In conversation with independent consultants, the topic that gets a lot of airtime is how to build a sustainable consulting business?
How Your New Hires Interpret Your Culture From Day One
Sink or swim. That was the onboarding philosophy of one company I started at. I was given a desk, phone and a database of cold files, and invited to start selling.
The Truth About Working From Home
The expectations of working from home are the same as any other job. If you don’t get the work done, you’ll be replaced by someone who can. There are deadlines to be met, meetings to attend.