Candor in the workplace, even “extreme” or “radical” candor, has become a hot topic in recent years. And for good reason. The creativity, buy-in, and efficiencies possible through candid conversation are remarkable and well-documented. There’s no question that candid dialogue, when seen as the norm and practiced routinely, is a key source of competitive advantage — companies like Google and Bridgewater Associates are good illustrations. Yet practicing candor company-wide is not nearly as easy as popular writings imply, especially if a company’s existing culture is less than candid. At the top of the recommended reading list for candor-challenged workplaces is The Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson. Published just over a year ago, this book addresses the often subtle yet widespread effects of fear in the workplace, and how fear impedes candor and creativity. The basic argument is that, for a culture of candor to take hold and endure over time, an organization must first propagate psychological safety throughout its ranks. We couldn’t agree more. This book is strongly recommended for leaders at all levels.
To kick off the new year and welcome 2020, we here at PMC point to a crucial need over the next decade – increasing the numbers of women and people of color in leadership roles. While many organizations have given voice to this need, far fewer are taking meaningful action. One organization that truly walks the talk is the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. As illustrated in this month’s Open Vault Blog, the St. Louis Fed is a role model when it comes to developing and promoting talented women and people of color. The women featured in the article provide inspiration to others and offer helpful advice on how to break gender barriers.
As 2019 draws to close, we would like to thank the many clients, colleagues, and partners who played a part in the continued success of Paese Management Consulting over the past year. It’s been our best year ever at PMC, and we know our continued success will depend as much as ever on the relationships we’ve built and the creative possibilities that arise through partnership and collaboration. Wishing you the happiest of holidays and all the best in 2020!
PMC is proud to contribute to executive education at Olin Business School at Washington University. In addition to teaching in custom programs offered by Olin to single organizations, Paul Paese also teaches open enrollment seminars that executives from any organization can take. This year Paul is again co-teaching Leading & Growing Highly Effective Teams with Markus Baer. This two-day seminar will be held next month on December 11-12 at the Charles F. Knight Center from 8am-4pm each day. For a description of the open enrollment sessions offered at Olin this year, see the program finder.