Improve your decision-making skills: time to get back to the gym!

Something I struggled with for a long time is chronic neck and shoulder pain when working with my computer. For the largest part of my life, I sat behind my computer like the hunchback of Notre Dame.

Well meant ergonomic advice, a standing desk, and using the mouse with my left hand only gave temporary relief.

The only thing that solves the problem structurally is going to the gym.

The problem is that I experienced being in the gym as exciting as watching grass grow. Besides, I always took the words of the apostle Paul “For bodily exercise profiteth little” (1 Tim 4:8) perhaps a little too close to heart. 

If getting back in shape is part of your past summer holiday intentions – here are three things that got me back in the gym earlier this year!

Continue reading

The Negative Feedback Paradox

Let me start with a confession:I never liked receiving negative feedback, and have spent the largest part of my professional life ignoring it.

I found ignoring negative (or perhaps I should euphemistically say ‘corrective’) feedback to be quite easy. Depending on the situation, I either did not take the person who gave me feedback seriously (‘that is rich – from him?’), comforted myself that the feedback concerned only a minor issue in the grand scheme of my behavior (and that other aspects of my behavior would compensate this), or convinced myself that the person giving me feedback did not understand the context in which I acted the way I did or said the things I said.

It was not until I hit a serious roadblock in my career, that I started to see the fact that systematically ignoring feedback was not necessarily a great idea. 

Continue reading

Less is more: The hidden costs of change in organizations

A number of change initiatives in organizations do not add, but rather destroy value. In this post, the reasons for this are explained and recommendations are given on how to prevent the launch of such initiatives. Concrete examples are provided to illustrate the issues.

Change has become a necessary and constant factor

In 1965 Bob Dylan wrote the iconic song ‘It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ with the prophetic line: ‘He who is not being born is busy dying’.

The ability to ‘Being born’ is not only important for individuals, the capability to effectively change (or transform) the organization based on changes in its environment, is also vital for organizations.

Organizations that do not adapt themselves in the right way and at the right time to changes in their environment often cease to exist, with all the associated broader economic and social consequences.

Fortunately, most organizations are equipped with leaders who realize this and are able to initiate and implement changes in their organizations in an effective manner. If they are under the impression that they are not capable of handling this effectively themselves, can elect help out of the armies of external consultants on the market who are more than capable and eager to assist.

Change for the sake of change

So if changes are necessary and most organizations are able to handle them effectively, what is the problem? 

Continue reading

‘Overqualified and bitter’ – Integrating overqualified employees in the workplace

As a result of the current economic crisis, a number of people need to take a step back in their career and accept smaller roles than they were used to or hoping for. These people face a choice between accepting this new reality with a positive mindset, or rejecting it and become bitter.

Continue reading