Don't Demonize Employees Who Raise Problems

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Don't Demonize Employees Who Raise Problems
Instead of celebrating her fresh take, the marketing director was told she was being difficult, even demanding. Recently hired at a major financial firm to identify growth strategies, she spent her first 60 days on the job studying the situation. She went to meetings, asked lots of questions, and researched the marketplace responses to different campaigns.


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The key to growth

Divergent and dissident people are the key to growth and innovation. However, some leaders demonize the people who raise a problem instead of solving the problem that is raised.

They ...


Notice the problem

Disruption, change, or growth is often the cause for the issues becoming uncomfortable.

Ask if management/key status reports explicitly name open issues that could significantly affect t...


Define the processes

Define the processes to work on gaps to solve difficult problems all the time. The fast market dynamic requires constant learners, adapting and growing and trying new things.

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    Celebrate the agitation

    Instead of demonizing people raising issues, celebrate the agitation. If people don't raise issues, consider why not. It could be because they stop believing you care or don't think you want...

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    Not complainers, but champions

    Problem spotters don't enjoy bearing bad tidings. However, they do it to advance the organization.

    Stop making it so hard on them to help you. Don't say "I hear you have a problem with u...

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    Diversity & Inclusion

    Diversity & Inclusion

    There is a significant relationship between competitive profit gains and diversity.

    Companies with gender, ethnic and racial diversity are at least 15 percent more likely to experience...

    5 Lessons for Managing D&I

    • Recognize the Shift in Global Understanding of D&I.  Diverse thinkers come from a variety of different backgrounds.
    • Build an Inclusive Environment. All people are encouraged to draw upon their unique experiences, perspectives and backgrounds to advance business goals.
    • Use Multiple Practices and Measures.  Have solutions in place to monitor and retain a talented and diverse workforce.
    • Ensure Leaders Model Diversity and Inclusion. It sets the tone for the rest of the organization to follow suit.
    • Recognize the Connection Between Innovation and D&I. Diversity and inclusion increase innovation and reduce business risk.

    Cognitive Diversity

    The concept of cognitive diversity focuses on diversity of thinking and is composed of four dimensions:

    • Perspectives. People represent situations in different ways
    • Interpretations. Through diverse interpretations, teams can discover multiple resolutions.
    • Heuristics. People resolve issues in different ways.
    • Predictive models. Some analyze, and others look for a story. Both are useful for discovering workplace solutions.

    Playing it safe: a silent killer

    The dangers of playing it safe appear so gradually that they rarely get noticed.

    It is like a slow leak in a tire, you only notice it when you are stuck. You don't have an idea of how it h...

    Hanging onto old ideas

    People try desperately to hang on to antiquated ways of doing business because of a false sense of security. They believe that they can maintain their old ideas indefinitely, even if all evidence shows the contrary.

    Question everything

    Questioning everything could help you to spot problems and create a culture of understanding and action.

    What does this business look like in five years?  What are our customers worrying about today? What will concern them tomorrow? Where are we failing to communicate? Are we capitalizing on all our strengths? What opportunities are we missing?

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    Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

    Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

    When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are ...

    Curiosity and innovation

    Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.

    When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

    Reduced group conflict

    Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

    Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

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