Author Archives: bluesagepartners

TeamBuild September 2017: A mission to remember

I’ve been thinking about mission statements lately as I draft one with a board that I am on and remind myself to follow my own best advice. I believe that a mission statement that is aspirational, short, and uses ordinary … Continue reading

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TeamBuild July 2017: The value of values we recognize

One exercise I do with teams is to explore shared values about how they want to work. The challenge is to unearth values that are inherent in the culture and values that the team aspires to – but with language … Continue reading

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TeamBuild June 2017: Bullies

When I started consulting, I didn’t believe there were adult bullies. I was wrong. In my May blog, I talked about “radical empathy” for difficult or oppositional people. But some people are not just naysayers. Bullies can be covert and … Continue reading

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TeamBuild May 2017: Radical empathy

Recently, when I was working with a distinguished senior team, there was one individual that I didn’t like or trust. I knew this was not a good thing and called one my favorite mentors to talk about it. “I know … Continue reading

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TeamBuild March 2017: The one-text approach

What do you do when you have a team that is complicated or stuck that needs to come to consensus? One of my favorite tools is a version of the one-text approach in Getting to Yes.[1] Perhaps the most famous … Continue reading

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TeamBuild February 2017: Name the elephants in the room

I bring to my work an instinct to be forthright and name “the elephant in the room,” that problem or risk that no one wants to discuss. Even with multiple “elephants,” I’ve found that it is more beneficial to surface … Continue reading

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TeamBuild January 2017: Go to the balcony

A decade ago, twenty-five leaders from Delaware assembled for a full day to work on a blueprint for education for the state. A renowned international consulting firm presented research on education around the world. As the consultants worked their way … Continue reading

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July 2016: Volunteerism

Voluntourism is a fraught concept. Are we helping or hurting when we build a house in New Orleans, hold babies in an orphanage in Kenya, or construct a fence for a clinic in Nicaragua? In 2013, the Hewitts went to … Continue reading

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June 2016: How to spend 80,000 hours

A year ago I wrote about Effective Altruism, a movement that promotes using evidence-based data to not just do good, but to do the most good. Now I am running into college students and recent grads researching their careers by … Continue reading

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April 2016: Women on Waves

About two months ago, as our son Trevor was being evacuated from El Salvador (Peace Corps closed its program there due to violence) and our daughter Leah continued with her work in Guatemala, we watched as the Zika crisis heated … Continue reading

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