From leading change to providing constructive feedback, Michael Papanek’s insightful articles, interviews, and other resources provide practical ideas to help you achieve your goals, build resiliency into your organization, and continue to improve your own leadership.

 

Four Strategies for Navigating the J Curve of Change

When implementing a change, we usually spend some period of time at the beginning of the change effort on what we call the vision or the desired end state. Inevitability, however, there is also a time at the beginning of the change when productivity or other results we are focused on go down instead of improving. Here are four strategies to help you minimize this dip and get your productivity headed back upward.

Trust Me, I’m Resilient

Without trust there can be no real change: in his original article written exclusively for CEOWORLD Magazine for their C-Suite audience, Michael offers tools for shifting from doubt to trust to improve resiliency in business relationships.

Bad News Does Not Improve with Age: How to know when to speak up

One of the key challenges of teamwork and leadership is when to bring up items of concern and when not to.  Should you give the feedback or just let it go?  Point out the problem you see (that no one else seems to) or “be supportive” (and see what happens)?  One obviously can’t bring up every […]

Five Steps to Giving Feedback

Feedback is the oil in the engine of teamwork: keep it flowing and the engine can operate at a high level with no damage, let it dry up and your engine could seize up or fail completely, potentially beyond repair. While most leaders would agree with this analogy, most do not ensure that regular feedback […]

Dealing with Abrasive Leadership: Change is Possible!

We have all worked with an abrasive or “toxic” manager, and as an executive coach, I am often helping my clients “deal with” a difficult manager they work for, or working directly with the manager others find abrasive and difficult. I have a love-hate relationship with these situations because I am attracted to the opportunity to show real value and change that will improve people’s lives at work, yet challenged by the difficulty of making a positive impact on a situation others have failed to change.

No, He’s Not Crazy, Mean, or Stupid: Understanding Others’ Difficult Behavior

As part of a large organizational change effort, a client of mine (“John”) was having a lot of trouble working with an external consultant (“Robert”) who was hired to assist with some technical aspects of the change initiative*. The client, who is a senior leader in the organization and had worked there for many years, […]

How to Forge Resilient Relationships in the Heat of Change

Author Michael Papanek takes three decades of experience with clients ranging from Apple to Google and shares it in his new book, From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Forging Resilient Relationships in the Heat of Change. His framework helps leaders develop the confidence to take these relationships to the next level. I recently asked him about his work.

Hearing the Hardest Feedback

Sometimes the most important feedback is the hardest for us to hear. I have learned a simple way to give difficult feedback to someone who is defensive or resisting. How can you say such a thing! My wife and I have been very happily married for over 25 years but have also had our challenging […]

Michael’s Q+A with Actionable Books

With roughly 12,000 unique visitors each month, Actionable Books is a leadership site that offers tips, advice, and book reviews. They requested a Q+A with Michael, and here is their exchange.

Michael talks with Barry Moltz

Host Barry Moltz hears from Michael about resiliency in business relationships and what to do if you find yourself in a relationship where you are giving more than you get. Learn how to go From Breakdown to Breakthrough. Listen now.

Bells, Whistles, and iPhones: Successful Collaboration In the Blur of Technology & Tools

The business world is awash in technologies and tools that promise to enable us to work smarter, faster, more productively, and with more people — whether they’re colleagues across the company or around the world. Many new technologies are pegged as collaboration solutions or communications tools — like video and web conferencing, instant messaging, file […]

Michael is Interviewed on Business901 Podcast

Michael Papanek talks with Joe Dager about forging resilient business relationships. Dager is the president of the Business901 Podcast and is heard in approximately 160 countries. Hear their exchange.

Michael’s Podcast for Onward Nation

Heard in over 100 countries, Onward Nation is a podcast that provides business owners with the strategies and tactical step-by-step “recipe” that will help anyone make their business more systematic and successful. Michael talks with Stephen Woessner about Papanek’s new book, From Breakdown to Breakthrough, in this insightful podcast.

In Defense of Brainstorming

Brainstorming’s highest value is not in producing the greatest number of ideas, but in (1) generating creative and innovate ideas, and (2) creating ownership for implementing those ideas. Marc Andreessen’s “Quote of the Week” last week was “Why brainstorming is a bad idea.” Andreessen quoted Frans Johansson’s book, The Medici Effect: “…In 1958…psychologists let groups […]

Signs of Progress: Removing the Stop Signs in Your Organization

In the Dutch Province of Makkinga, motorists drive around uninhibited by signs instructing them to stop, yield, or merge. They don’t have any parking meters to feed, red zones to avoid, or yellow lines to follow. Makkinga — as well as some other small towns in Denmark, England, Germany, and Belgium — are participating in […]

Driving Success? Try Fewer Controls.

Wired Science follows up a story on which this blog commented several months ago. Accidents have dropped by nearly half on a London street where traffic signs, guard rails, and road lines were removed. Some of the more recent accidents have been head trauma claims. “The drivers slow to gauge the intentions of crossing bicyclists […]

The State of The Union: Does Where You Stand Depend on Where You Sit?

Reactions to the idea that Democrats and Republicans sit together at the upcoming State of the Union speech have ranged from humor from Jon Stewart to cynical dismissal by Rush Limbaugh. I think the idea, while not the cure for all that ails Washington, does have some potential to impact the quality of discourse in […]

Case Studies

Each of our business relationships affects our work environments in different ways. Here, we spotlight individuals who brought their teams from breakdown to breakthrough with the help of our coaching and consulting services.