Meetings That Work ~ session #5
Your team sits around a conference table. You need some creative thinking, ideas that are original, fresh, engaging.
You say, “Give me your best thinking on…” or “What is your most creative solution to…”
What are the changes you’ll get back pretty conventional stuff? ...or blank stares?
This podcast explores techniques you can use during brainstorming to generate off the wall ideas that on later analysis may trigger useful insights.
Meetings That Work ~ session #4
Leaders under-utilize facilitation techniques. A few simple techniques, applied in the right circumstance can make meetings much more productive. These techniques are useful to bring balance to participation, to get meaningful input without taking a lot of time for discussion, and to separate what topics need deeper discussion from those that don’t.
This 7 Ideas Coach session provides you with questions to assess how your meetings are doing. Your answers will inform you about where you need to use your influence accelerate results.
However to learn from experience, one must reflect on experience in a way that allows one to both to make changes as needed and to reinforce what is working well.
This 7 Ideas Coach podcast and article explores tools that can help you gain wisdom from your leadership experience.
Here’s another level of challenge - these two efforts are diametrically opposed. Innovation by nature is chaotic and inefficient, and therefore can be jettisoned by companies just when it is most needed.
This 7 Ideas Coach podcast explores practices - i.e., repeated action grounded in the organization’s culture and values - that leaders will want to encourage strategically to keep innovation alive, even while making corresponding efforts toward efficiency. Read More...
This entry explores different types of complexity, and why a facilitative leadership style is required for success.
I use the word appreciative to describe a company culture where people both contribute to a positive climate AND take care of the business. Two meanings of appreciative fit: to recognize with gratitude, and to increase in value.
Here are some ways you can start cultivating an appreciative culture today!
My experience as a small town mayor has certainly not prepared me for national office, or to be CEO of a global corporation, or any number of other occupations. However the leadership implications of being a small town mayor is illuminating, and this coachcast discusses seven leadership insights deeply reinforced by my civic experience.
Is there anything so valuable as the right question?
Mark Twain remarked that the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lighting and a lightening-bug. The same could be said about the right question.
This session reveals seven questions useful for networking, customer management, or teambuilding - questions that are useful for gaining insight and developing relationships.
I believe that leadership is most effectively understood from a multi-faceted perspective, not a unidimensional one - that we are best informed about leadership by looking at the five categories, or dimensions, as a whole. Taken together, they span roles, actions, and individual qualities to form a coherent and actionable concept of leadership.
This article looks at each of the five dimensions as they express differing definitions of leadership, then see how they hang together to inform us about leadership in the 21st century.
This is a book I wish I had early in my career - it has been out awhile and I still find it helpful. The First 90 Days outlines strategies designed to accelerate the time it takes to reach the "breakeven point" - where the value gained by the organization begins to exceed the cost. I find Watkins' book a practical guide for leaders and managers of all levels to discern and focus on what matters most when entering into a new position.
See on Amazon
for Sharper Thinking and Focused Presentations
How do you even start to organize ideas?
Perhaps you have a complex business you need to describe to potential customers or investors. Maybe your department needs to continually justify its existence to corporate powers that be, or you have to present material about a complicated subject to people from different backgrounds.
What is a Solution?
Here’s a technique for organizing your ideas so you can present a topic meaningfully, whether you have one hour or are limited to one minute. Succinctly answer these four questions: what, why, how, and so what?
What ...a technique to simplify complex information
Why ...lets you communicate clearly and succinctly
How ...by organizing ideas around four questions: what, why, how, so what
So What ...clear and focused communication will accelerate your achievement
See the full article here, and make your own comments. Read More...
Profiting from Ideas in an Age of Global Innovation
by William Barrett, Christopher Price, and Thomas Hunt
While economic value is increasingly based on intangible property and ideas, business thinking struggles to catch up to this reality. The authors of iProperty seek to reframe the conventional idea of IP, or intellectual property, to a more comprehensive concept they call iProperty. They steer us from the notion of IP as copyrights and patents left to the care of specialized attorneys, leading us toward the concept of iProperty as a strategic process of collecting, assessing, managing, protecting, and exploiting of ideas that should be fully integrated into the management of any business enterprise that depends on innovation.
The book is comprehensive and serves as an excellent handbook for organizations to develop their iProperty portfolio, and presents as expertly intelligent and readable without being too academic. It is structured in three parts, the first covering the importance of understanding how iProperty works in the current global economy, the second framing overall strategy considerations, and the third outlining more specific tactics and tools for implementing a forward thinking iProperty strategy. Especially for technical, life sciences, or other companies that rely on innovation as their source of value, this book is an essential resource.
iProperty Quote: "The worst mistake that companies can make in the rapidly evolving iProperty arena is to fight the competition battles of tomorrow using the strategies of yesterday."
see or buy on Amazon
Leading change is about gaining willing followers and keeping their commitment to follow a new vision. Efforts at leading change, however, can be inconsequential, if not outright disastrous, unless you also manage transition. Yet managing transition is often the most neglected part of a change initiative.
There is a difference between change and transition. Change is an observable event that often occurs very quickly – e.g. you get a major promotion to a new level of responsibility. Transition is an inner state – how long it takes you to learn that new job. Transitions are challenging due to the amount of energy it takes to learn new behaviors and make emotional re-adjustments. (see the previous article, Worry About Transitions, Not Change).
So how do you manage transition? Read the full article to explore seven actions that help leaders successfully navigate the shoals of transition while leading a change initiative. Read More...
Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow (2008)
Randy Pausch died less than a week ago, on July 25th, after a struggle with pancreatic cancer. Despite his terminal diagnosis, this past September he presented a “last lecture” at Carnegie Mellon University. A professor of Computer Science, Pausch chose to focus the lecture on humanity rather than technology. His lecture and the book of the same title leaves a legacy for his family, and a small treasure for the rest of us.
The Last Lecture is a small book of big wisdom. Pausch offers us wisdom worth bringing to our attention, whether a reminder of wisdom already known or wisdom introduced for the first time. Make life about achieving childhood dreams. Enable others to achieve their dreams. Brick walls help us discover what we really want. People working together can accomplish incredible things.
The Last Lecture is a short read, perfect for vacations or plane trips. (I read it at a family beach trip a couple weeks ago.) It is full of good humor, delightful stories, good advice, and certainly inspiration to enjoy life. Definitely worth putting on your reading list.
Link to book on Amazon
Last Lecture video on YouTube
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The SAC® Release
Coaching the All-Stars Pays Bigger Dividends Than
Most Other Training and Development
Coaching all-star performers pays higher dividends than virtually all remedial training, notes Alan Weiss, Ph.D. who is CEO of the Society for Advancement of Consulting® (SAC®). In a poll of its international membership and their clients, "We found that too many organizations ignore their best performers—and best source of return on investment—when developing people," he says.
“It’s all about taking a strengths-based perspective,” notes SAC charter member Tom Stevens, whose consulting company Think Leadership Ideas is based in North Carolina. “Individuals gain superior performance by building on strengths more than shoring up weaknesses. Companies gain superior performance by accelerating their top-performers more than bringing their under-performers up to average.” Stevens acknowledges that often companies agree in principle but not in practice when it comes to allocating resources to develop their people.
What do other SAC members say? Read More...
Not necessarily so! Or at least, it’s not what leaders and managers should worry about. What trips up most people, and most organizational change efforts, is not change but transition.
Change and transition go hand in hand but they are not the same. What’s the difference? Think of change is a discreet event, while transition is protracted process or state of mind. For example, selling your car and buying a new one is a change. Getting used to the new car, how it handles and knowing where all the controls and switches are located, requires a period of transition. The change to a new vehicle is quick, perhaps driving to a dealer with your old car and driving out with the new. The transition, however, could last for days, weeks, or months.
This same distinction applies to acquiring a new residence, a different job, or adopting a new company policy. The specific change is typically quick, whereas the transition takes some time...and effort.
Following are three reasons why transition is often the difficult aspect of change initiatives. Read More...
How Successful People Become Even More Successful
by Marshall Goldsmith (2007)
Marshall Goldsmith is one of the worlds premiere executive coaches, and this book is a gem of clarity and insight.
Goldsmith outlines twenty workplace habits that sabotage careers and reduce performance of otherwise highly successful professionals and executives. Goldsmith likens these habits to an actor blowing a line, writer misusing commas, or a chef leaving out a key ingredient - small things that nevertheless undo achievement.
Identifying these habits is critical, but the author warns of the trap of wasting time trying to understand them. What is important is how to change, and Goldsmith offers seven key actions that get people on the right track: obtaining feedback, apologizing, advertising intentions, listening, thanking, following-up, and practicing feedforward.
I found his final chapter on the challenges for people in charge particularly interesting, with realistic and relevant insight for those carrying executive responsibility. Goldsmith is a thought leader in the executive coaching world. Leaders who seek excellence, and coaches who help them along the way, will benefit from this book.
See book on Amazon
A highlight of my attendance of the National Speakers Association National Convention earlier this week was seeing Marshall Goldsmith’s keynote. As with his writing, Goldsmith comes across as profoundly human and presents his ideas with simple clarity. We were encouraged to use any of the material he has written, available at www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com. He knows business, but he uses the language of life, not bizspeak.
The interactional speech gave the audience an opportunity to quickly taste the techniques described in What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. I walked away with greater appreciation for this book, one of 22 he has authored or edited, and of Goldsmith’s overall philosophy.
I find that most groups get stuck in one or more of three areas, discernment, design, or discipline - i.e understanding what is going on, crafting a satisfying response, and following through with meaningful action.
Following are twelve questions leaders can use to stimulate progress on those persistent issues that plague your team or organization.
~ Bertrand Russell
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
~ David Friedman
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
~ Albert Einstein
We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
~ John W. Gardner
Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.
~ James Magary
There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong.
~ H. L. Mencken
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.
~ Abraham Lincoln
More on the leadership Quotations page...
20 Practical Lessons to Boost Business Momentum
by Dan Coughlin (2007)
I've had the privilege of knowing Dan for a couple of years now, and have always considered him a top coach in the business. His newly published book, Accelerate, demonstrates Dan's outstanding ability to articulate vitally important principles in a clear common-sense way that is fresh and relevant. Accelerate is a storehouse of pragmatic wisdom, organized in four main sections - accelerating individual results, staff results, organizational results, and impact on consumers/customers. There's not a single person I know who wouldn't benefit from this book, and I foresee this is one I will be recommending often.
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How to Build a Company to One Milliion Dollars in Sales
by Ryan P. Allis (2008)
Zero to One Million is Ryan’s story in print. It is much more than a simple recounting of his success, rather it provides a step-by-step outline for would-be entrepreneurs, from business nuts-and-bolts to the intangible aspects of working leading and partnering with other people. Read More...