New and Notable Blog Posts Did You know

Welcome to Merge's Monthly Mega Minute — a bite-sized, yet substantial and practical, nugget of information that you can use immediately to enhance your professional and personal success.

When you eat peanuts, what do you do with the shells?

Peanuts in the shell – a concession staple at just about any baseball game! So think about the last time you purchased a bag of these tasty treats. As you shelled the peanuts, did you put the empty shells back in the same bag? Chances are you didn't, likely for a couple of reasons. One, because it instinctively doesn't make sense to put the waste in with the good peanuts, and two (and perhaps more importantly), every time you put the unwanted shells back in the bag, you reduce your chances of getting a good peanut the next time you reach in.

There is a workplace equivalent to this scenario, having to do with decision-making. As a leader, you are charged with making a variety of decisions, often requiring you to select the best choice from a number of possible options. Using this metaphor, it makes sense to discard choices as you evaluate them as unsuitable. Why put them back in the bag where they'll just continue to muddle and reduce the efficacy of your decision-making? But that's exactly what we often do. We consider an alternative, decide it isn't suitable, and instead of removing it from our slate of choices, we return it to the bag of possibilities. The unfortunate outcome: we significantly reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of our decision-making.

This decision-making misstep usually happens because we're trying to hedge our bets. Often, we're not fully confident about our choices, so we think it's better to keep all the options "in play" for as long as possible. But in actuality, we're complicating the process more than we need to. Far better to assess each option for viability, and then to immediately remove from consideration the ones that are not appropriate.

Well, what do you think? Is this good advice for more effective decision-making, or will this approach in fact cause one to eliminate feasible options too early? Please share your thoughts directly on the blog at

In The Globe & Mail: Five strategies to ensure top performers don't jump ship

Employee retention should be top of mind for leaders everywhere. Merge's latest column in The Globe and Mail focuses on five ideas to stop your best and brightest from walking out the door. This link takes you to a pdf version archived on our site. The original article published behind The Globe's paywall, so if you're a subscriber, here is a link directly to their site:

Our popular video series "How To Motivate Employees" wraps up this month

At the start of this year, Merge committed to creating a series of short focused video clips in 2018, each one outlining a specific way that leaders can inspire, engage and energize their employees. As the year comes to an end, thirty-three videos are now archived on our site. In the last month, she published the final four strategies in this series.

Turning Managers into Leaders

That Merge designs and delivers leadership skills training uniquely crafted for your organization and your people?

Merge's professional practice is focused entirely on turning managers into leaders; on helping great people become exceptional leaders by turning people power into real and tangible results. In any training design, there are many elements to choose from, and Merge will work closely with you to determine your specific needs and establish objectives that are relevant and meaningful to you. Your final outcome could be a one-time training event or a series of graduated learning programs; it could involve online or distance-learning modules; it could contain audio or video components, it could incorporate the use of social media or "virtual study groups"; it could even include peer support or one-on-one mentoring. Whatever it is, it will be uniquely "you", and Merge will expertly craft and deliver what you need to turn your managers into leaders and your people power into results. Visit our Training Services section at our website for more information. Or for a first-hand look at what Merge can help you accomplish, read through our Training Case Studies.

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