Building Team Resilience

Change can be disruptive and uncomfortable, so it’s no wonder leaders often ask us how they can help their teams become more resilient. You might think the best way to get a resilient team is to select for resilient people—those who are strong or stoic or mindful, who laugh in the face of danger. But according to some of the most recent scholarly research, it’s better to think of team resilience as a dynamic property of the team as a whole.

How Teams Experience the Change Journey

Teams have a different experience of change than their leaders—but with a little advanced planning, you can address the most common reactions

How to Build a High Performing Team

Five core elements will determine how your team is structured and how they approach the work.

Building Trust in the Workplace

To increase trust on teams, leaders must understand what influences people's willingness to trust, as well as what makes leaders trustworthy

How to Establish Working Relationships as a New Leader in a Remote Team

Getting to know your team requires intention, time, and flexibility—especially in a virtual workplace

Why Building an “Architecture of Listening” Improves Employee Engagement

Listening is how employees evaluate their leaders— "Do you value my concerns? Are you open to changing how we work?"

Why Resilient Teams Are Founded on Good Connections

To better adapt after an adverse experience, invest time now in fostering trust and positive shared experiences with your team

The Secrets to Building Resilience at Scale at IBM

Establish a framework and start small to see big results

How to Balance Optimists and Pessimists on Your Team

In any team environment, it’s never just as straightforward as saying “yes” or “no” to a proposal—there’s a political aspect to being perceived as an optimist or pessimist.

How to Foster Psychological Safety in Remote Teams

Creating a high-performing, creative team is challenging enough—but how do you foster a sense of teamwork when your team isn’t even in the same timezone?

Use Checklists to Guide New Team Habits

Adopting new behaviors can be challenging, but a simple thing like a checklist can help you transform a need for change into a concrete, repeatable new behavior.

How Capital One Convinced Teams to Use Design Thinking

If a complex financial institution can transform itself with a willingness to actually listen, there’s hope for other industries as well. The lessons Capital One has learned are to encourage teams to talk directly to customers and to adopt a bias towards action and experimentation.

How to Overcome Ambivalence as a Leader of Change

The early stages of transformation are fraught with conflicting signals and feelings, but within that turmoil lies an opportunity for profound self-reflection and growth

Barriers to Change: Cynicism

The biggest threat cynicism poses is that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: if people are convinced change can't happen, it won't

Barriers to Change: Misalignment

If you can’t get your most experienced leaders aligned on a change, what hope does the rest of the organization have?

Barriers to Change: Politics

Influence is part of leading—and if you don’t do it, others will.

What Leaders Must Know About Organizational Resilience

This often misunderstood concept is critical for navigating disruption and uncertainty

Why Organizations Must “Make Noise,” Not “Make Do”

Cultures that avoid conflict lead to both individual and collective detriment—change can only come when issues are out in the open.

Why People Demand Change… and Then Don’t Participate

Use the SCARF model to diagnose why even asked-for changes are being undercut

Business Transformation Ultimate Guide

Uncertainty and continuous change mean a new approach to business transformation is required for organizations to survive in the 21st century

Upskilling Managers to Lead Change

If your organization is going through rapid change, you need change co-pilots and champions at every level of the organization

How to Build a Great Remote Work or Hybrid Work Culture

Leaders are understandably concerned about the impact of remote work and hybrid work on company culture: how will new employees learn established ways of working if they’re not sitting next to each other? How can you foster loose ties between employees if they’re no longer running into each other in the office? And how can […]

How to Lead in Times of Discontinuity and Distress

As leaders, we must coach our teams through the stress and uncertainty while grappling with those same issues ourselves.

How to Rebuild Trust in the Workplace

Trust can be repaired, but it's not easy—and there's no one process for every scenario. We examine different methods for rebuilding relationships with your team based on Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Justice, and other established practices.

An Adaptive Approach to the Strategic Planning Process

Organizations need a 21st century replacement for the five-year plan, one that respects uncertainty as the norm and values the ability to change as a competitive advantage

The Best of the Return to the Office and the Hybrid Workplace

Leaders evaluating the return to the offices face a lot of unanswered questions—so we've put together a list of all our articles on hybrid work

Hybrid Workplace: What Work Must Be Done In Person?

Aside from manual transactions, teams should work in person when tasks are novel, experiential, or collaborative

To Make a Difference, Start within Your Zone of Control

Stay focused on what you can impact and actively manage the attention you spend on what you can't control

“Build Back Better” and Organizational Resilience

If we want to build back better and foster greater organizational resilience, we must first define what “better” means, for whom the changes are meant, and how to begin.

Why Organizational Slack Is Crucial for Long-Term Resilience

To survive this prolonged period of psychological, physical, and financial stress, organizations must rebuild reserves and reduce complexity.

How to Prioritize when Everything’s a Priority

Prioritization frameworks have limited effectiveness when they don't account for categories and allocation

How to Avoid “Bikeshedding” and Work on What Matters

To feel like you're making progress, it's easy to focus on getting tasks done—regardless of whether they're important or trivial. Make sure you're spending your energy on what will make the greatest impact.

How to Maintain a Positive Virtual Work Environment

Company culture can't be reduced to ping pong tables, but it does have a physical component. Implement these practices to maintain a strong culture even when working virtually.

Change@Work: Leadership, Resilience, and Remote Work in a Post-COVID World

Experts weighed in on navigating uncertainty and best practices for remote work at the beginning of the pandemic

Emergency! How to Adapt & Respond with Laura Seraydarian

When in a crisis situation, take a moment to assess—and think about how you want to emerge from the situation

Catalyzing Creativity at a Distance

Remote teams often struggle with creativity—but implementing some simple routines and tools can support their best work

Fireside Chat: Thrown into the Unknown

To former Head of Inclusion and Diversity Jonathan McBride, crises can actually be freeing—it's no longer "business as usual"

Lessons from the Last 20 Years: How Leaders Respond in a Crisis

To effectively lead, executives must first address the real pandemic: fear.

Resilience and Remote Work: Reflections on the Inaugural Change@Work Conference

Authenticity, generosity, and community are critical in a crisis.

Big Consulting Is Stunting Your Culture

Big consulting is taking a beating these days in culture. And, frankly, it’s long overdue. 

Get to “Skateboard”: How to Start Solving Complex Challenges

To solve complex problems, start with the simplest solution and make it "safe to try"

Why Your CMO Needs to Get Involved in Company Culture

If one of your customers came to work at your company for a day, would they be excited to see how the brand lives out its values? Or would they be shocked to see a team completely at odds with what the brand represents?

Social Debt: Why Culture Doesn’t Come Later

Business, any business, is just the commercialization of human relationships. Yes, you’re building a product, but you’re actually foremost building a group of people that can work together to produce a product.

How to Overcome Your Overconfidence

Think about an upcoming deadline at work that you’re 90% certain you’ll hit on time, or a recent budget estimate that you’re 90% sure about. The likelihood that you’re right about either is actually closer to 50%. It’s not exactly the model of decisive leadership that we all like to envision as leaders of high-performing teams.

What to Do When Facing Employee Burnout

Employee burnout can lead to underperformance. If you spot signs of burnout in your employees, try identifying new ways to re-energize and motivate the employee—especially if that employee is you!

Physical Distance Still Matters at Work

In the 1970s, MIT Professor Thomas Allen discovered that the farther apart workspaces are, the less communication there is between them: "we are four times as likely to communicate regularly with someone sitting six feet away from us as with someone 60 feet away, and we almost never communicate with colleagues on separate floors or in separate buildings." But thanks to email and other modern technology, physical separation isn’t a problem anymore, right?

How Much Should You Pay for Org Design & Development?

Org Design services may seem costly now, but without a focus on how your teams work best together, the results may ultimately be far more expensive. Moreover, now is an opportunity to hone OD as a competitive advantage in your market while your competitors are unaware of the opportunities and still question the returns.

Six Questions to Ask before Opening an Innovation Outpost

Gather your leadership team together and run a diagnostic test of your company’s innovation goals and needs before establishing an innovation outpost.

Five Exercises to Address Conflict

Conflict in the workplace often arises from misunderstanding and can be addressed with overcommunication. While these five exercises are great for a new team just starting to work together, established teams can also benefit from taking a step back to consider how they're working with others.

Start with a Skateboard: How Spotify Builds Products

If you set out to make the most robust thing you can imagine, it will take you a long time before you create value for your customer or gain any learnings for yourself. Instead, focus your team on something you can make quickly that will provide an opportunity to gain real feedback. At the start of every new project, ask your team: "What's our skateboard?"

How ustwo Created a Culture of Continuous Learning

Feedback is not a tool for criticism or correction. And it’s not an excuse to run around telling people to change because we think they should. It is a tool to help us all see ourselves more clearly, which in turn helps us all learn and grow together.

Why Work Isn’t Working

If you're like most knowledge workers, you toil nights, weekends, early mornings, in the shower, on your commute, and even in your sleep. Mathematically speaking, you can’t work any harder.

How Zirtual Was “Scaled to Death”

On August 10th, 2015, Maren Kate Donovan, the CEO and Founder of Zirtual, sent an email to her employees stating that, sadly, Zirtual was defunct. Up until receiving that email, no one had any idea that anything was wrong. “I really believed Zirtual was different and I feel betrayed to be dropped so suddenly.” — […]

The 6 Traps of Exponential Growth

For this year’s SXSW V2V conference in Las Vegas, we wanted to share why startups fail even after they’ve found product market fit. Drawing from our own clients and researching more than 40 firms that had either scaled woefully or gracefully, we’ve distilled the most frequent pitfalls into 6 categories:

Starting Change: An Executive Guide

The fundamentals of starting a major transformation in six months

Why These 10 Popular Change Management Models Hold Back Organizational Transformation

Each model has its own value and strengths, but they also contain assumptions that don’t reflect the true nature of organizational and cultural change.

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