How to Shift from Blame to Learning

Uncategorized Nov 15, 2021

When things don’t go well in organizational life, it is ever so easy to react by blaming others.

For example, we may have a difficult conversation with a co-worker who seems, again, to dismiss our point of view. We wind up feeling “unheard,” frustrated, and possibly even insulted. We react (inwardly, if not outwardly) by blaming the other person. Or, we may blame managers at “lower” levels for acting in ways that are not in the best interest of the larger organization. Or, we may blame top management for lack of strategic clarity, for keeping us in the dark, or for the fact that we feel “ “jerked around” due to rapid shifts in direction. The possibilities are endless.

What is blame, and what does it do for us? What problems does it create? Are there any truly viable alternatives?  If so, how do we shift from blame to something more productive?

What is blame?

When we look at it, we see that blame usually arises in reaction to a...

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How to use the Leadership Agility Compass

The Leadership Agility Compass is a graphic tool developed by ChangeWise, that emerged from the 5 years of intensive research and writing underlying the book, Leadership Agility.  When you know how to use it, it’s a tool that can make any leadership initiative you undertake more effective.

Our research on Leadership Agility found that the most effective leaders we studied invest time and attention in four key “territories.”  This applies, regardless of whether an initiative involves leading organizational change, improving team performance, or engaging in pivotal conversations.

The four interrelated territories that are integral to any of these initiatives are:

  • The larger systemic context surrounding your initiative.
  • Your initiative’s key stakeholders.
  • The specific problems and opportunities your initiative must address for it to be successful.
  • Yourself as a leader.

Each point...

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Vertical Development: A New Paradigm for Leadership Development

This post is for anyone who cares about leadership development: coaches (including Agile coaches), leadership development professionals, and leaders of organizations. It’s about leadership agility and “vertical development” and how these two ways of thinking intersect to create a new paradigm for leadership effectiveness in today’s world.

The need for new thinking about leadership

In thinking about the future of leadership development, there are two important trends we need to take into account. First, the business environment has become what many call VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). This environment is not going away and is likely to become "even more VUCA” with each passing year.

Largely because of this increasingly turbulent environment, there’s a strong consensus that our organizations need to become more “agile,” more adept at navigating rapid change and interdependence. As a result, many companies are...

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