Teaching Leaders to Fish

Teaching Leaders to Fish

by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: To help twenty-first century clients deal with the fast pace of change in today’s marketplace, consultants need to adapt their methods to create sustainable leadership. Moving beyond “giving them a fish” is not enough. Even “teaching them to fish” is not enough. We must teach them to “adapt their fishing” for new realities as they come along. Consultants and leaders need to learn these keys to sustainability.

Reduce Stress and Improve Outcomes: A Conflict Management Primer for Business Leaders

Reduce Stress and Improve Outcomes: A Conflict Management Primer for Business Leaders

by Jerry Straks          (**An all-time favorite!**)

ABSTRACT: A key skill business leaders need in the twenty-first century is knowing how to manage conflict. How well do you manage conflict? Do you feel you do it as well as or less well than you run a meeting? Would you like to reduce your stress and improve your chances of a positive outcome when facing potential conflict? If you want to brush up your conflict management skills, you need to understand and apply six basic principles. By applying these six principles, you can drain much of the stress from many of the conflicts you face and you can transform a high percentage of them from distressing struggles into opportunities for positive change.

(Or read it here on Mediate.com website.)

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, & Sheila Heen,
a book review by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “This book provides useful insights into why human beings often have a “failure to communicate” on difficult topics. More importantly, it provides a process that can be used by almost anyone to improve their ability to raise and resolve difficult topics in a wide variety of venues—without being a skilled debater or orator.”

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time

Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time

by Barbara Scott,
a book review by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “This book is a readable, useful resource for managers, coaches, consultants and anyone interested in getting maximum value from conversations. Since Scott contends that “the conversation is the relationship”, the principles and concepts she advances hold the potential to help her readers get more value out of relationships, and by extension, perhaps out of life. As Ken Blanchard writes in his foreword, ‘Who among us hasn’t spent time and energy cleaning up the aftermath of a significant but failed conversation? …little or no attention is paid to the power of each conversation to move us toward or away from our stated business and life goals.’ Scott helps her readers pay some well-guided attention to the conversations of life and business.”

Moving Beyond “Newtonian” Change Models

Moving Beyond “Newtonian” Change Models

by Jerry Straks

ABSTRACT: “To deal with dynamic change, it would appear that the “Newtonian,” mechanistic, control-oriented views of change may need to give way to newer models. Emerging models of change which better account for the current reality of highly dynamic change are based on the less familiar perspectives of quantum physics, self-organizing systems, and chaos theory. If we are going to help organizations create cultures that are as nimble, flexible and adaptable as they need to be to not only survive, but to thrive, we must continue to evolve how we as OD professionals look at change.”