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Russ Linden  |  Contributor

Email : russlinden1946@gmail.com

Russ Linden is a management consultant, educator and author. His major areas of expertise include change management, performance improvement and collaboration. He has written five books, his most recent being Leading Across Boundaries: Creating Collaborative Agencies in a Networked World (Jossey-Bass, 2010).

His clients have included several intelligence, natural-resources and defense agencies; the departments of State, Treasury, Interior, Veterans Affairs and Education; more than 40 state and local government agencies; and nonprofits in the U.S. and Israel.

Smart Management

Organizational Miscommunication? There’s a Good Way to Avoid It.

It's all too easy for team members to misunderstand something. Effective leaders know the value of the "pre-brief."

February 13, 2019
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Smart Management

A Management Mantra for Turbulent Times: 'Be Quick, But Don't Hurry'

It's critical for public leaders to take the time to distinguish the signal from the noise.

October 31, 2018
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Smart Management

A Model for Agility in the Public Sector

Search and rescue task forces need to deploy at a moment's notice, and they have to be ready for any challenges they may encounter.

July 17, 2018
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Smart Management

The Question Governments Need to Ask: How Are We Doing?

There is a range of customer-feedback tools, including very simple ones.

March 28, 2018
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Commentary

Giving Public Employees the Power to Use Their Judgment

There are risks, and there still must be accountability. But some leaders have shown the way.

January 3, 2018
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Smart Management

Avoiding Another Charlottesville

There is plenty that local officials can do to avert the kind of deadly violence that erupted in the Virginia city.

September 6, 2017
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Smart Management

The Agility That Governments Need for a Disruptive Age

Public-sector organizations aren't designed for it, but some are finding ways to make it part of their culture.

June 7, 2017
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Smart Management

Sexual Wrongdoing in the Government Workplace: the Leadership Challenge

Despite all the media coverage, assault and harassment remain too common. There's a lot that public leaders could be doing.

March 7, 2017
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Smart Management

When Performance Measures Go Horribly Wrong

They have a powerful influence. But unrealistic, unreachable goals can produce unethical behavior.

November 14, 2016
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Smart Management

The Difficult Art of Responding to Public Criticism

When accusations are flying or scandal erupts, it's crucial to get the initial response right.

August 3, 2016
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Smart Management

When the Heroes Are Also the Victims

PTSD is common among those who respond to disasters and other emergencies. It's hard to deal with, but there are ways to help them.

May 4, 2016
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Smart Management

You Won the Election. What Do You Do Now?

It takes a lot of energy to get elected. But that's the time to think about how to accomplish things once in office.

February 3, 2016
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Smart Management

Pope Francis, Change Agent

There's a lot that we all can learn about leadership from him.

October 13, 2015
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Smart Management

Public Employees and the Path to Resilience

Knowing your organization's story and why it's important can go a long way toward helping workers cope with change.

July 15, 2015
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Smart Management

Public Projects and the Optimism Trap

Rosy, unrealistic scenarios just cause trouble down the road. It's far better for managers not to deceive their leaders -- or themselves.

April 15, 2015
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Smart Management

Sexual Assault at UVA: 4 Lessons in Crisis Leadership

There are better ways to handle a situation like the one that has ignited a firestorm at the University of Virginia.

January 14, 2015
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Smart Management

When the Best Intentions Lead to Disaster

The VA scandal has its roots in two related management failures. Government leaders everywhere should keep them in mind.

September 24, 2014
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Smart Management

You Can’t Manage a Secret

Creating a culture of openness and candor is critical to organizational success. It takes a strong, concerted effort by leaders.

June 11, 2014
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Smart Management

Innovation and Government's Fear of Failure

When it comes to trying something new in the public sector, we're especially averse to risk. But there are ways to gain support for these kinds of initiatives.

March 12, 2014
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Smart Management

The Dilemmas of Leading in a VUCA World

Today's turbulent environment of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity means new challenges for government managers and policymakers. There are ways to cope with them.

December 3, 2013
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Management Insights

What Legacy Will You Leave?

Nurturing the next generation of leaders is one of the best things you can do for your organization.

September 11, 2013
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Management Insights

The Rider and the Elephant: New How-to Book for Creating Change

A remarkable book provides leaders with a practical, simple framework, based on the latest brain research, for turning an organization to a new direction.

June 19, 2013
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Management Insights

The Perils of Tunnel-Vision Leadership

The leadership fight at the University of Virginia is a powerful example of why so many change efforts fail.

April 3, 2013
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Management Insights

The Life-Saving Power of Crowdsourcing

It's hard to imagine a better demonstration of its potential than the worldwide volunteer effort that helped rescue thousands of people after the earthquake in Haiti.

January 23, 2013
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Management Insights

Taking the Fear Out of Change

Most of us are all too comfortable in our habits. The lesson for leaders in an era of change: Make the novel seem familiar.

November 7, 2012
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Management Insights

Close Encounters of the Productive Kind

All too often, the first meeting of a collaborative group is a waste of time. Here are some ways to keep that from happening.

August 29, 2012
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Management Insights

Avoiding ‘the Tyranny of the Immediate’

Managing an enterprise requires keeping the focus on “the main thing” and not being distracted by the daily tasks and deadlines that always seem urgent.

June 20, 2012
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Management Insights

People Just Naturally Resist Change, Right?

Not so fast. What many people fear about organizational change is loss.

April 18, 2012
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Management Insights

Logic Models and the Quest for Results

They can help governments achieve the outcomes they want. But they have their downsides.

February 8, 2012
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Management Insights

‘Hire for Attitude, Train for Skills’

The way a successful airline finds employees who fit in with its distinctive culture holds lessons for the public sector.

November 9, 2011
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Management Insights

How’s Your ‘Court Vision’?

Effective leaders know the importance of focusing not only on the things they can control, but on the larger picture.

August 10, 2011
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Management Insights

James Madison, the Constitution and the Power of Collaboration

As the story behind the U.S. Constitution illustrates, history is chock full of lessons on collaborative leadership.

July 6, 2011
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Management Insights

Reframe, Broaden a Problem

Dwight Eisenhower said, 'If you can't solve a problem, enlarge it.' It's a powerful insight into problem solving.

May 4, 2011
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Management Insights

Creating a 'Line of Sight'

When employees have a line of sight, they can see the connection between their everyday work, and something larger.

March 16, 2011
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Management Insights

The "Traps" to Successful Implementation

A guide to avoiding these five traps, and successfully implementing public initiatives.

December 15, 2010
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Management Insights

Using Web 2.0 to Support Collaboration

Four ways agencies and organizations can use Web 2.0 to foster collaboration.

October 27, 2010
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Better, Faster, Cheaper

Engaging Through Web 2.0

Strategies for using Web 2.0 to foster collaboration.

October 27, 2010
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Better, Faster, Cheaper

Boosting Your Team’s Effectiveness

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team.’” Here’s an approach for dealing with those who insist on putting an “I” in “team.”

September 9, 2010
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Management Insights

Major Change, Fast Results

Changing the culture of an organization doesn't have to take a decade.

Better, Faster, Cheaper

Change Doesn't Have to Take a Decade

Russ Linden on bringing about major change in a short amount of time.

June 23, 2010
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Management Insights

The Power of a Collaborative Mindset

After Hurricane Katrina, it was collaborative leadership that returned order to New Orleans and improved rescue and recovery efforts.

Management Insights

Transparency Breeds Self-Correcting Behavior

The more an agency can make information transparent, the more it will breed change into an organization.

Management Insights

Story Power

Don't underestimate the strength of a good one to persuade people and move them to action.

Management Insights

The Experience Strategy

Before selling a solution, a leader needs to "sell the problem." That's best done when managers themselves experience what's wrong.

Management Insights

Getting Stuck on the Escalator

'Learned helplessness' can be a powerful drag on an organization's performance. But there are ways to combat it.

Management Insights

The Power, and Difficulty, of Executive Learning

Of all the skills and traits we expect of our leaders, none of them is more important than the ability to learn from one's mistakes.

Management Insights

What'll It Cost Me?

When public employees ask the question "what is in it for me," they are evaluating what the change requires from them. Russ Linden provides insights in to how to manage the process of change.

Management Insights

When Adults Act like Children

It's up to an organization's leaders to create a culture that fosters collaboration, writes Russ Linden.

Management Insights

Dealing with the Human Side of Change

Dealing poorly (or not at all) with the human element is usually where change initiatives go south.

Management Insights

The Power of Resilience

Individuals need it. So do organizations.

Management Insights

The Real Message of the Midterm Elections

Forget about ideology, the great majority of voters just want a more effective government.

Management Insights

Success is a Lousy Teacher

What worked in the business world, writes Russ Linden, doesn't always work in the public sector.

Management Insights

The Fine, and Critical, Art of Managing Relationships

Good relationships mean that others are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when you're in trouble.

Management Insights

Getting Off the Dance Floor, and On the Balcony

Managers and leaders have to take themselves out of the fray to understand what's really going on.

Management Insights

The Promise of the Millennial Generation

Millennials may be problematic, but consider their potential for radically improving government.

Management Insights

Abraham Lincoln: Leadership Lessons for Our Times (and All Times)

Lincoln, who lead a team of fierce rivals during our country's biggest crisis, has a lot to teach us.

Management Insights

Forming Relationships Before They're Needed

As one emergency management veteran puts it, "you don't want to start forming relationships when you're standing in the rubble."

Management Insights

A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste

With a little planning and a lot of commitment, writes Russ Linden, a crisis can produce significant changes in the status quo.