What is stuck in your workplace?

June 14, 2016 by

Is progress stuck?Ever notice how progress in the workplace sometimes moves at a glacial speed or seems totally stuck? If yours is like most workplaces in the world, you have not only noticed this, but found it frustrating.

This blog promises to give you and your team a surefire way of getting things “unstuck” and back on track. It was one of the great managers at the last company I owned and sold (HR Solutions), Joe Collins, who prompted us to examine this by suggesting that we have regular “What’s stuck?” meetings. Brilliant. His suggestion got us right out of the gate on getting these initiatives moving again.

Try it for yourself. Here is a proven game plan for your first “What’s stuck?” meeting:

1. Ask each of your managers to think carefully and submit two ideas for things they believe need to be worked on differently to yield better results.

2. Compile the suggestions and distribute the list to all managers. Ask them to email you what they believe should be the top three priorities, while also noting why they feel these items are most important. Managers should be very specific in their reasoning, ideally noting what the “stuck” item has cost your organization, or what it will cost your organization if no action is taken.

3. Summarize the results, noting which three items have the most votes.

4. Meet with your team to share results and gain concurrence on the three items that will be the focus of the next steps.

5. Now you are in one of the harder stages of this exciting process, recognizing there will be obstacles to getting the initiatives unstuck. At this point it is important to determine what people-related behaviors, biases, or inactions are getting in the way of change.

6. Then collectively design a plan of action. Equally important, determine who will lead the change initiative on the stuck item. What resources will they need and who else will be part of the team behind the change leader?

7. Also, give your managers a vision for what their payback or dividend will be as a result of getting the item unstuck. This is when you will see them get really excited about the wonderful possibilities created by the change.

8. Step 8 is all-important. Set a specific timeline for the change to be completed and make that timeline a public commitment. The reality is that people who want to quit smoking or lose weight are much more likely to succeed if they make a public declaration of their intention; success with getting things unstuck is no different!

9. Once success is achieved, have a celebration and recognize the leader and team that made it a reality.

10. Step 10 can be summarized best by one of my favorite quotes: “You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretsky – a.k.a. “The Great One”


Take Your Shot: Set up your first “What’s stuck?” meeting now!



Kevin Sheridan is an internationally-recognized Keynote Speaker, a New York Times Best Selling Author, and one of the most sought-after voices in the world on the topic of Employee Engagement. For five years running, he has been honored on Inc. Magazine’s top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world, as well as Inc.’s top 100 experts on Employee Engagement. He was also honored to be named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 101 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement of 2017.

Having spent thirty years as a high-level Human Capital Management consultant, Kevin has helped some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, earning him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER®, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of Employee Engagement. His first book, Building a Magnetic Culture, made six of the best seller lists including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He is also the author of The Virtual Manager, which explores how to most effectively manage remote workers.

Kevin received a Master of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School in 1988, concentrating his degree in Strategy, Human Resources Management, and Organizational Behavior. He is also a serial entrepreneur, having founded and sold three different companies.

Email: kevin@kevinsheridanllc.com