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Latest Thinking and Insights

Our consultants share and present new thinking on today’s current business topics. Though our research, work with clients, contributions as business leaders and life experiences, we look for and explore the latest developments to grow leaders, teams and high integrity workplaces. Our team is widely published and has a track record of creating groundbreaking assessment tools, leadership ideas and forward-thinking concepts to support global client systems.


Below is a sampling of articles and papers:

“How Your Company Can Better Retain Employees Who Are Veterans” (Harvard Business Review) written by Kittie W. WatsonMichael PerryBecky Ripley and Randy Chittum was published on the Harvard Business Review‘s website on July 11, 2017.

Companies looking to hire and retain veterans need to proactively address communication and language gaps between military and corporate America. They should educate managers, recruiters, and leaders about military culture and language; design a specific onboarding and integration program for that addresses language differences; help veterans establish and sustain connections within the organization through employee resources groups and mentoring; and because mission and meaning are so important in the military, find ways to connect everyday responsibilities to overall organizational purpose.

“Make the Essential What Gets Done” (Fort Jackson Journal), written by Kittie W. Watson and Becky Ripley, was published in the May 2017 issue.

Are the things you are checking off your task list actually priorities? Are they essential to your work? When everything is a priority, actually nothing is a priority. Kittie and Becky address actions you can take to clarify and act on priorities.

“Effective Listening: Five Lessons from the Best” (Journal of Christian Nursing), written by our President and Founder, Kittie W. Watson, Ph.D., was published in the July/September 2017 issue.

For many nurses, especially when workloads are high, it can be difficult to listen carefully to patients. Federally mandated Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) surveys that help determine insurance reimbursement are asking patients how carefully their nurses listened. For Christian nurses, effective listening demonstrates the compassion, understanding, and care modeled by Jesus. An exploration of Jesus’ responses reveals five ways Christ effectively listened to people that can guide nurses.

From Regional to Global: Using a Network Strategy to Align a Multinational Organization (HR People + Strategy), an article Innolect President Kittie W. Watson collaborated on, along with Maya Townsend and Lisa Coen, was published in the Spring 2017 issue.

In this article, we share a case study of former Bayer CropScience Public Affairs leader Lisa Coen, who successfully led the transformation of the Global Public and Government Affairs division from a siloed, hub-and-spoke model to an interconnected, truly global organization. Her efforts, with the support of many engaged team members, enabled the company to benefit from innovation and knowledge across many regions and functions, and increased the ability to mobilize quickly in response to new challenges.

We discuss:

  • Building commitment for globalization
  • Shifting from a hub-and-spoke to a networked organizational model
  • Using network maps to inform leadership actions and agendas
  • Engaging employees and weaving communication across regions

Build Your Leadership Team (Enterprising Women Magazine) by Kittie W. Watson, was posted in the September 2015 issue — Vol. 16, Number 3 — 2015.  The article is geared to entrepreneurs and ways to assess whether or not the team that got them to where they are today will be the same team to move them to a sustainable future.


The Executive Selection Process: Selecting and Hiring the Best Talent (Enterprising Women Magazine)

Successful companies take steps to improve their hiring and retention success rates with increased focus on testing, assessments, thorough reference checks and formal onboarding programs.  Their leaders are convinced that adding the best employees requires more than a good executive search firm or ESP (extrasensory perception).  While relying on ESP may not be reliable, a well thought out executive selection process (Hiring ESP) is well worth the investment.

We’re Learning – Are You Listening? (Chief Learning Officer Magazine)

Different people have different listening styles, and it can affect how they absorb information. To maximize learning efforts, facilitators may have to adapt to multiple listening styles. Becky Ripley, Innolect’s Sustainable Legacy℠  Practice Leader, and Kittie Watson, Innolect’s President article publised in the May 2014 issue of Chief Learning Officer Magazine is written for facilitators and trainers. Those who adapt to listener preferences can reduce the staggering costs of ineffective listening. Combining listener engagement strategies with existing knowledge of learner styles creates a solid foundation to effectively engage audiences and promote knowledge retention, productivity, engagement and change.

Is Coaching Right for You (Enterprising Women Magazine)

Most Fortune 500 companies have coaching programs for leaders who are transitioning to new roles that require new skills or capabilities.  Coaches expedite the speed at which leaders and high achievers accelerate performance and adapt to new cultures and situations.  At some point in a person’s career, aspiring leaders will be offered and/or will request the services of a coach.   When the opportunity presents itself, individuals need to ask, “Is coaching right for me?”

 Listening to Story through a Developmental Lens (Coaching World)

As a coach, you listen to your client’s stories through your own meaning-making lens. Are you trying to “pull your client up” to your stage of development when that might not be what they need or want? Are you unintentionally holding your client back because they are at a later developmental stage than you? In this article, Barbara Braham and Christine Wahl  outline five reasons to consider adult development as a theoretical framework for your coaching practice.

Sustainable Legacy Leadership (OD Practitioner)

When corporate HR leaders partner with nonprofits to supplement in-house development opportunities, great learning occurs in both organizations. Targeted community volunteer opportunities lead to Sustainable Legacies. The nonprofit benefits and the volunteers’ skill sets increase exponentially. Based on anecdotal research there is evidence that communities are stronger, corporations are more profitable, and leaders leave positive legacies that inspire others to do the same.

Embrace Yourself: The Art of Self-Promotion (GWBC)

Presenting current gender communication research, this article addresses the importance of self-promotion and executive presence as well as suggests opportunities for increasing visibility in 2013. As an advocate for women-owned businesses, GWBC® and Watson are in the business of helping WBEs build their capability and skill at positive self-promotion. GWBC’s mission is to partner with women to increase their visibility and recognition for their hard work and success. It is important for women to tell their story and position themselves and their companies for even greater success.

Collaborating to Win: Managing Competition when we Work Together (OD Practitioner)
Organizations promote collaboration through their messaging, yet competition is often rewarded. There is an inherent, embodied polarity in human nature: “working against” vs. “working with.” Underneath the experience of competition are the clear messages, “I’m the best, and you’re not,” and “I’m the winner, and you’re the loser.” Since none of us wants to lose, you’d think we’d all embrace collaboration. Are we hard-wired to compete? Turns out we need to be intentional and skillful to set the stage for collaboration – and it’s worth the effort: it’s how we are able to access and release our highest potential for successful performance.

Virtual Leadership Competencies: “Leaders Leading Leaders and Teams”
Leaders are expected to manage virtual teams in ways that ensure successful launches, good decision making and to maintain team commitment and collaboration. Yet, globalization, technological advances, telecommuting, and outsourcing have created workplaces where leaders rarely see the individuals they lead, and often struggle to use their skills without face-to-face contact. With so many leaders managing team members who are living in different time zones, countries, and continents, or even just in different locations in the same city, there is an ever increasing need for people who don’t see each other frequently to figure out how to work better together.
Is Your Legacy Sustainable?  (Enterprising Women Magazine)
A leader leaves a legacy, whether planned or not. Since your legacy is the sum total of the difference you make in people’s lives — directly and indirectly, formally and informally ­— you have a choice in the type of legacy you want to leave: positive or negative. Rather than thinking about a legacy as the last stage of your career, we encourage you to view your legacy as a “story” you write each day of your working life.

Are You Working without a Net? (SHRM Magazine)
Professional meetings and events, whether internal or external, are some of the best places to grow a network. However, if you attend meetings without a clear strategy, you might end up merely watching other people network and wondering why you gave up your valuable time.
Help Employees Understand and Reduce Stress (SHRM Magazine)
With increasingly competitive work environments and greater connectivity through computers and wireless devices, workers often seem tethered to work even when at home. Technology has been championed as a way to reduce the number of work hours and increase home and leisure activities, yet for most people the opposite has happened. While some people feel lost without a laptop or cell phone for easy access, others are looking for a way to integrate the demands of a high-powered career with a fulfilling family life.
Are Your Employees Engaged and/or Empowered? (Training Matters)
In today’s environment, many workers view their jobs as temporary with a trial period of testing to see if the position is a good fit. In fact, many employees with both short and long tenure fail to stay in jobs long-term. Since some reports suggest that only 17-29% of employees are actively engaged in their job at any one time, most companies have lots of room for improvement.
 Balancing Acts: Integrating Work and Life (PINK Magazine)
Keeping work at work is never as easy as it seems. With increasingly competitive work environments and greater connectivity through technology, workers often seem tethered to work. Some people feel lost without a laptop or cell phone for easy access, while others are looking for a way to balance the demands of a career against a fulfilling family life.

 Significance: A 100,000 Mile Check-up (American Management Association – AMA)
Even high performance executives get knocked out of alignment by the routine road hazards of everyday life. Without realizing the effects, many executives speed along using low octane fuel, poorly inflated tires and out-of-date road markers. Without periodic maintenance, they unintentionally depreciate their most valuable asset…themselves.
 The ART of Diversity (OD Practitioner)
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) practitioners confirm that many diversity efforts are underutilized and lack lasting impact. They understand the need for and seek new ways to engage their various stakeholder groups. Sustaining commitment to D&I efforts while avoiding diversity fatigue is challenging.


 Seeing Women and Men through a New Lens (Compass Chat)
Managers working with women as direct reports, peers, staff members and bosses gain effectiveness when they better understand gender communication differences. In addition, when these  leaders learn the impact of their own communication styles as well as gender differences among the men and women employees, they gain new insights to improve their management success.