Celebrating the Countdown to 1,000! 

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Next Tuesday, Sept. 23, we will be publishing our 1,000th blog. First of all, we want to thank YOU for following, reading, caring, sharing and more. Since Jan. 1, we’ve had over 50,000 visitors to the lornerubis.com website. We are so grateful that you invest your precious personal time with us. You make us better and inspire us to connect you with meaningful content. It is a privilege to be a part of your life.

In anticipation and early celebration of the 1,000th blog, we are sharing an e-book of golden oldies. They somewhat represent the 10 years we’ve been at this. A few were very popular, others kinda fell flat, and a couple were funny (to us anyway). They authentically capture how our work has evolved, and I know for sure they became better when Garrett joined.

We hope you enjoy this e-book and that you continue to hang out with for another decade! 

Lorne and Garrett

Lead in With Lorne – 3 Key Tools For Your Leadership Swiss Army Knife 

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Welcome to another Lead In With Lorne. Here are three key tools that you can utilize as a leader or team member. Listen to the podcast to learn three easy, simple and useful things that can help you reframe and refresh this week to help keep your organization on point. 

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too. We hope it enriches your Monday!

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Hot Topic Friday: Sept. 13

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Happy Friday the 13th! Here are my Sept. 13 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership. 

Hot Topic 1: What if We Didn’t Fear Robots Replacing Us? 

Source: Harvard Business Review

What It’s About: This article is about the reality of AI/Machine Learning/robotics replacing jobs, but with an optimistic twist. As the article emphasizes: “Knowledge workers will not escape. Recently, the CEO of Deutsche Bank predicted that half of its 97,000 employees could be replaced by robots. One survey revealed that 39 percent of jobs in the legal sector could be automated in the next 10 years. Separate research has concluded that accountants have a 95% percent chance of losing their jobs to automation in the future.” However we need to remind ourselves the point of technology is to boost productivity, not cut the workforce. Although it can obviously feel that way if robots start taking our jobs without an alternative strategy. 

Why It’s Important: The most proactive folks are not sitting on their hands, waiting to see how technology lands in their environment. The best companies have assigned people to strategically plan for the future of work. They want technology driving productivity, and humans to move to more value-added roles. And thoughtful employees need to get their heads out of a “hope it doesn’t happen to me” posture, and start reskilling or upskilling NOW! Technology itself doesn’t displace people. Leaders decide. Be one! At the beginning and end of every job killing robot, is human creativity, compassion, imagination and strategy that is difficult for technology to replace. We humans will always have the advantage of these attributes.

Hot Topic 2: Assign C-Level Roles to Reskilling… NOW! 

Source: Harvard Business Review/McKinsey

What It’s About: Continuing with the topic above, the author argues for leading companies to immediately assign a C-level role to reskilling/upskilling the workforce. Historically, companies have effectively done this for emerging learning systems that require urgent focus (albeit for usually short time periods), like VP of Quality, VP Lean Systems, etc. “The spread of automation and artificial intelligence is prompting some of the biggest companies — including Amazon, JPMorgan, Chase, SAP, Walmart, and AT&T, to name just a few — to take action, not with small pilots but with comprehensive plans to retrain large segments of their workforces. These programs signal that the ‘future of work’ is no longer an event on the distant horizon.” 

Why It’s Important: I want to emphasize the conclusion of Hot Topic 1. Don’t just watch what the big guys are doing. Start doing something about it in your organization NOW. Furthermore, look to partner with entrepreneurial post-secondary institutions. If there ever was a time for business and post-secondary colleges to partner for new business/education models, it’s TODAY. Come to think of it, I work at a post-secondary with the title of Chief Culture and Transformation Officer. Hmm. Maybe that’s one reason I’m there? Perhaps I can demonstrate how I might put my money where my mouth is? Stay tuned! What will you do? 

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Ninety Nine Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino].

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“I don’t think there’s a shortage of material in the world. Or in my head. I just pray for continued good health, because I’ve got other stories to tell.”Richard Russo

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

My latest Lead In podcast.  

My latest blog.

Season 3 of Culture Cast

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

A Bump in the Culture Road 

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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This is another blog in the series on culture transformation following my experience as Chief Culture and Transformation Officer at NorQuest. As promised it will be real and transparent including the good, bad and ugly (without sharing material confidential to the college). 

The Challenge: One reason the culture transformation at my last organization was regarded as successful had a lot to do with the capability, commitment and support of the CEO. He was remarkable. The same principle held true in my deciding whether to contribute at the college. The President, Dr. Jodi Abbott, has proven to be an innovative and action oriented leader. With her vision and support, the chances for culture advancement increase materially. This past week Jodi resigned to take another opportunity. Uh oh! (At a personal level, I fully applaud her decision btw). Congratulations to Jodi! At the same time this is a “speed bump” regarding one big assumption in the transformation plan. 

What Am I Going to Do About It?: Jodi is not leaving until January, and the Board of Directors has fully endorsed our strategy. The current culture plan based on following up to the intensive investigative listening campaign undertaken by the Culture Champions remains foundational. Regardless of who the next President is, taking action on what we’ve heard from the college community is important. Furthermore, applying the 10 elements as a framework is solid and we will continue to apply a unique recipe at NorQuest. In the spirit of openness, where we have to give much more thought to is the depth and speed of the purpose and value work underway. The President needs to be the number one model and purveyor of both. So stay tuned regarding what we’ll do and learn about navigating this situation. This a good reminder that every transformation journey will have curves and swerves. Key people come and go. Strategic environments can change overnight. It could be a public policy directive or a merger/acquisition, etc. And that is the interesting, yet messy aspect of applying culture intentionality. At the same time, the primary purpose of focusing on culture, is to improve an organization’s ability to be highly adaptive in the best possible way. This is an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience. I will keep you posted.

Think Big, Start Small, Act Now. 

Lorne 

One Millennial View: This will be a great journey to follow. While the challenges are new and unexpected, the shake up is an interesting surprise that will make for more compelling chapters to this story. I look forward to hear how it’s navigated as the new President is introduced. 

– Garrett 

Blog 999

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Lead In With Lorne – The System I Use to Read As Much as I Can

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Welcome to another Lead In With Lorne. This week we’re discussing how to manage your reading lists, because great leaders are readers. I have a specific system that I follow which helps me manage my reading intake. 

1. Find recommendations on the topics you’re interested in from LinkedIn, or peers. 

2. Balance reading them by downloading them on iPads, Kindle and listening on the Audible app. 

3. If you want a short summary, use Blinkist, it’s awesome. 

4. Listen to Audible books at 2x speed to consume more in a shorter period of time. 

5. Use something like Flipboard to consume and customize magazine articles. 

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too. We hope it enriches your Monday!

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Hot Topic Friday: Sept. 6

Friday Newsletter Personal leadership

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Happy Friday! Here are my Sept. 6 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing culture or leadership.

Hot Topic 1: Learning From Our Younger Self, ‘Put That Sucker on Spin.’

Source: Big Think.

What It’s About: A new study on what is often the subject of great dinner conversations among compatriots is out for consideration. The research engaged several hundred volunteers on the topic, all of whom were over the age of 30. Much like other studies, people addressed the following subjects. Money (save more money, younger me)! Relationships (don’t marry that money grabber! Find a nice person to settle down with). Education (finish school. Don’t study business because people tell you to, you’ll hate it). A sense of self (do what you want to do. Never mind what others think). Life goals (never give up. Set goals. Travel more). However a few more interesting and deeper nuggets emerged including: “Money is a social trap.” “What you do twice becomes a habit; be careful of what habits you form.” “Never base any decisions on fear.” 

Why It’s Important: The researchers write: “The results of the current studies suggest that, rather than just writing to Dear Abby, we should consult ourselves for advice we would offer to our younger selves. The data indicates that there is much to be learned that can facilitate well-being and bring us more in line with the person that we would like to be should we follow that advice.” We benefit greatly when we simply allow ourselves to THINK and SELF REFLECT. If not, years goes by and we’re still at “could have” or “should have.” The sad outcome I’m hearing in many boomers today is too much regret not for what they did, but for what they didn’t do. This includes and is certainly not limited to only doing work you enjoy doing in places that you appreciate being a part of. Share this nudge with someone you love (remembering yourself first). Help them know it will, as country singer Miranda Lambert wonderfully states in her new song, “It all comes out in the wash. Put that sucker on spin.”  

Hot Topic 2: Let’s All be Joyologists. 

Source: Elemental

What It’s About: Norman Cousins became famous for inspiring the phrase “laughter is the best medicine.” Cousins was chronically ill, and claimed that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect that would give him at least two hours of pain-free sleep. His article in a 1976 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine raised many eyebrows in the scientific community. Since then, there have been many more studies on the subject and research has linked laughter to many positive outcomes, including stronger immune systems, improved depression symptoms, and reduced pain in people with cancer. Researchers speculate that laughter works in part by relaxing muscles, enhancing circulation, and releasing endorphins in the brain. Laughter also helps people build relationships. People often state they value a sense of humor most in friends and partners. 

Why It’s Important: I have not been explicit in highlighting the importance of laughter in an organization’s culture. However, I’m seriously thinking about being more intentional. Too often I wander the floors of workplaces and I hear nothing, just “plugged in” folks clicking away on their devices. Then they get up and go somewhere so they can get screen time on their personal mobile devices. I do know that texting is filled with humor among friends. However, hearing people laughing together says so much about an organization’s culture. What if at minimum, every meeting included easy, sincere laughter from a story or good natured kidding? How great would that be? Perhaps we’d become practiced Joylogists? We should hear laughter all the time in the workplace. 

Y’all good? 

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Tightrope):

[This is our family’s wine! The Rubis estate Pinot Noir will be ready for shipping by Christmas, 2019.  Feel free to try it out here.]

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

“Building a new sort of empathy takes effort and sacrifice, for people who might not repay it… We each have a choice, and the sum of our choices will create the future. What are you going to do?”Jamil Zaki

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you Missed It:

My latest Lead In podcast.  

My latest blog.

Season 3 of Culture Cast

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.