Evergreen Leadership Blog


The Innovation Imperative: Four Things to Foster Innovation in Organizations

The forces of change surround us and are unrelenting. Fiber optics allow us to move data at amazing speeds and the cost of storage has plummeted from a cool $300K for 1 gig in 1980, to virtually free today. In addition to the accelerating power of the internet, we see an explosion in the speed of change. It may be driven by technology but it touches all that we do.

We find ourselves in an environment in which disruption is the steady state. Responding to today’s environment requires us to think about business in a different light. Where innovation exists alongside optimization. Where we get comfortable with the joy of creating, the emotion of connecting, and the powerful output of networks and collaborations.

Keep reading to find out four ways to foster innovation within organizations. You won’t want to miss the section where I discuss bringing creativity into the workforce to build connections with current and future customers.

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Leadership 101: What You Do Matters. What You Don’t Do Matters Too.

Sometimes leaders think that communication is what happens when they make a presentation. Or send an email. Or hold a meeting.

In fact, leaders communicate every moment of every day. In their words. By their actions. With their inaction. Because people are watching and adjusting – sometimes to the subtlest of cues.

The minute you step into a leadership position, no matter what level, others begin to look to you for direction and guidance. And as such, what you say is important. Words matter and you can use them to further the worthwhile purpose you are leading. You can also, if not careful, use them to derail and detract and to detour effort.

This post helps you focus your non-verbal cues so that you can lead with clarity, congruence, consciousness.

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The Triple Bottom Line and Sustainable Organizations

In my next few posts I am going to explore the question of sustainability – of our organizations and the larger world in which those organizations exist. The topic is big – and this will only be a brush. But I hope that these posts might give you pause to ponder – what should we be doing to create vibrant organizations that are sustainable over time – not via brute force or domination but through the synergy of being in tune with their external environment, honoring that environment (both social and environmental) and existing in a harmonious ecosystem of give and take, change and adaptation, growth, decline, and rebirth.

Today’s post is about a way to measure sustainability using a framework called the Triple Bottom Line. Subsequent posts will examine the internal factors that enable an organization to be sustainable over time, and then the notion of “constructive capitalism”, a way in which companies can create enduring, meaningful and sustainable advantage that also benefits society.

So… about that Triple Bottom Line…

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Is Faster/Better/Cheaper Always Best?

We seem, in our personal and professional lives, to want to speed things up, maximize value, and do it with fewer and fewer resources and less money. And I’m not immune to that thinking. I challenge students in my Entrepreneurship class to find new ways to solve problems people have, to imagine ways to create a business that can do something faster or better, although I warn against competing on price alone (the cheaper). My change management practice aims to help clients implement change faster and better – and with less drama and resistance. Yet I wonder if faster/better/cheaper should really be our north star for all things and for all situations.

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Can you be too Lean?

I am writing this post in the aftermath of a weekend getaway gone awry. The plan was simple – leave very early on Saturday morning, arrive at our favorite beach by 11, enjoy the island and friends and great seafood. And then out the next night- back in time to resume work on Monday.

Instead, I am at home… not at the beach.

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