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In his latest Forbes blog Ron Ashkenas wonders why so many consultants are satisfied by merely offering advice and recommendations -- and why clients accept that premise. He argues that this model of "results-free" consulting needs to change. Ron states that when the right answer cannot be implemented successfully, it is, in fact, the wrong answer.
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"Watch Out, Boomers, Here Comes the Millennial Workforce"
Ron Ashkenas' latest posting on Forbes. In it, Ron discusses the statistic that for the next 18 years, 10,000 people per day will turn 65 years old. The Millennials who will replace this group after they retire will challenge managers in completely new and different ways. Read Ron's thoughts on how to begin dealing with the new workforce – now.

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Five Alignment Myths and Why Busting Them Matters, by Daniel Dworkin

Most leaders want their teams to be aligned. The problem is that the term "alignment" means different things to different people.

Five myths of alignment are:

1. Alignment is a fancy way of saying "Shared Goals"
2. Aligned teams share the same opinions
3. Nodding heads equal agreement
4. Aligned teams remain aligned
5. Executive alignment equals organization alignment
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When an Inability to Make Decisions Is Actually Fear of Conflict

Written by Ron Ashkenas for HBR.

When a company’s planning and decision-making process involves a lot of meetings, discussions, committees, PowerPoint decks, emails, and announcements, but very few hard-and-fast agreements, I call that “decision spin”. Decisions bounce around the company, from group to group, up and down the hierarchy and across the matrix, their details and consequences changing as different stakeholders weigh in. Often, the underlying problem isn’t an inability to make decisions – it’s a tendency to avoid conflict.

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Why Successful Companies Stop Growing

We’ve all seen examples of unstoppable companies that suddenly hit the wall. Growth slows down, stock prices start to decline, shareholders get nervous, and the press starts to speculate that something is wrong. The reality behind many of these cases is that periodic slowdowns are inevitable, even if the company is fundamentally solid. That doesn’t mean that CEOs and other managers can’t do anything to slow the decline or reverse it more quickly. Taking action, however, requires an understanding of the three forces that always drag high-flying companies back to earth. 
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Big data has become so sexy and cool that everyone wants to sound like a strong proponent,” writes preface author Ron Ashkenas , Senior Partner, Schaffer Consulting. “If a CEO asks his technology team whether or not they are ‘doing big data’ the politically correct answer is ‘of course we are.’ Yet, big data is still in its infancy. Before any fad becomes a fundamental it needs to demonstrate value, not just once, but over and over. Big data has the potential to make a huge impact. But as the authors of this paper argue, let’s be cautious about declaring victory prematurely.”

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Have them in circles
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If your most trusted people are spread too thin, they won’t accomplish all that much. Learn how to expand your talent pool to get the actual results you want by reading the latest Harvard Business Review blog by my Ron Ashkenas: Good Managers Look Beyond Their “Usual Suspects”
http://hub.am/1nFClPm
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Where You Sit At Work Determines What You See:
Ron Ashkenas' latest posting on Forbes. In it, Ron raises the idea that when you are doing collaborative work with people who come from other parts of your organization, you should assume that most see the assignment or challenge differently.
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From Jonathan Stearn on the Schaffer Insights blog: If leaders recognize that their organizations have unique strengths and challenges, why do so many of them carry out major initiatives in ways that emphasize implementing generic “best practices” and “solutions” that worked for other organizations?

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The push to end chronic homelessness is working, with help from The Rapid Results Institute and Schaffer Consulting's Rapid Results approach.
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You Can’t Delegate Change Management

Written by Ron Ashkenas, co-authored by Rizwan Khan.

Many managers, even at the most senior levels, don’t fully appreciate the difference between announcing a major change initiative and actually making it happen. When senior leaders disappear after a big change announcement, and leave lower-level managers to execute it, they are missing in action. And it’s probably more common than most realize.
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Need help? Want to give us feedback? Let us hear from you!

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Have them in circles
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Schaffer Consulting: Real Results, Real Fast
Introduction

Schaffer Consulting has been a leader in the development and practice of organizational and cultural change for 50 years. Here are a few of the many Schaffer Consulting pioneering innovations:

  • We created the "Rapid Results" approach in which short-term, results-producing "Breakthrough projects" serve as the vehicles for accelerating change.
  • As a member of the original team, we helped General Electric develop the WorkOut methodology and co-authored the authoritative text on WorkOut.
  • We pioneered in making the integration of acquired companies an organized process rather than an improvisation.
  • Working with the World Bank and other global aid organizations, we have introduced the Rapid Results Approach in developing countries to achieve vital tasks and empower community participants.
  • To advance this breakthrough approach in international development we created the Rapid Results Institute, a non-profit corporation, and support it with time and funds.