Workplace Culture

Twelve Prescriptions—Not Predictions—for 2012

By Staff Report

Jan. 10, 2012

Predictions are as common as hangovers at the start of the new year and usually just as useful. To launch 2012 on a different note, I’ve decided to provide prescriptions to help leaders maneuver through a maze of sure to be unexpected twists that will mark all of our workplaces.

First, let me make one prediction that I am willing to guarantee will prove accurate. The year 2012 will be at least as complex and unpredictable as 2011 in terms of how the economy, regulations, faster communications, new technologies, court decisions, globalization, natural disasters, political upheavals and other unexpected events will force employers to adjust their plans to move forward and survive. The winds of change will be stormlike in their force, and the raw amount of information to consider will be overwhelming.

The antidote to all of this complexity is its opposite: simplicity. That is, to get through all of this, we need to do more with less in terms of how leaders lead, the standards we set, what we must learn, understand and apply, and how we act and communicate to prevent, detect and correct problems while remaining faithful to our values and missions. We can only learn, do and remember so much—that needs to seen as a positive rather than negative in terms of how to approach our challenges.

This is the theme of Simplicity Rules: 12 Thoughts for the 2012 Workplace, an eBook with prescriptions, ideas, suggestions and examples to help make your year if not more predictable at least more navigable, productive and aligned with your organization’s values and goals. Extracted from my blogs of past years, these prescriptions and others will help improve your organization’s performance in line with its values while minimizing risk:

1. Complexity squashes business results—fight back with simple messages.

2. If your leaders are too busy to learn key principles, it means they’re not important and trouble lies ahead.

3. Think of civility as a business process, set up clear standards and watch the results.

We hope this short volume will serve as a road map to help guide you through your destination to building a productive, inclusive and legal workplace.

Stephen Paskoff is president and CEO of Atlanta-based ELI Inc., a provider of ethics and compliance learning solutions. He can be contacted at

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