Innovative Concepts

2019 WDS Highlights

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World Domination Summit 2019 in Portland, Oregon delivered remarkable insights.  Speaker highlights included:

“Time is elastic and will stretch to accommodate what we need and want.  When we say we do not have the time, we are acknowledging that the opportunity is not a priority.” Laura Vanderkam

“Prove people right”Humble the Poet

“Ignore individual suggestions in feedback.  Focus instead on the consistency of the comments.  Look for the signals.”Scott Young

“Change your financial plan when your life changes, not when the market moves.”  Jill Schlesinger

Teaching is a selfish profession.  If you do it right, you learn more about yourself than you teach other people”James Victore

“Suspend disbelief and leap into the unknown.”Tania Katan

“Sometimes you need to sword fight the beast into the other room in order to make space for your work.”Marsha Shandur

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To my friends who attended the Strategic Wayfinding Meetup on Saturday.  Here is a link to the meetup handout page and more information about Generative Thinking and Governance As Leadership.  Thank you for attending and sharing your insights!

Michael Scott Desicion-Making

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“Michael, you’ve had two ideas today. And one of them was great. And the other one was terrible.” – Pam Beesley, The Office

The challenge for all of us is to understand which of our collective ideas are great and which ones are terrible.  It may seem obvious when Michael Scott is standing in a parking lot spelling out ‘Marry Me’ with a canister of gasoline and asking Pam, “Hey you know what? I’ve got gas all over my hands and my shoes. Would you light it? Would you do the honors please?.”

The work that matters is when two ideas are indistinguishable at a glance.  The one that makes the organization better may cause more uncertainty than the idea that feels safer.  That is why we assemble a board, to make sense of the terrain that sits in front of us.

What is your great idea?  Which idea did you pass on that turned out to be a major liability?  What is your Kodak Films passing on digital images moment?

 

Now

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The remarkable impact of human-centered strategic planning is that we can execute fully on the strategy immediately. If an organization’s stated goal is, to build a dynamic community, that starts now. There is no need to wait to assemble resource, staff, and funding. The strategic imperative is a commitment to an experience, a way of being, a core value.  However, if the plan identifies a specific initiative, perhaps executing a capital campaign and building a new facility, it will take years to realize. Supporting and enhancing a dynamic community in every action and communication starts the moment the individuals within the organization decide it is a priority. Buildings, programs, funding goals are results of a human-centered strategy. An enterprise does not exist to occupy a facility. The cause was founded and supported to amplify a human experience that takes place within the structure, regardless if it is a yurt awarding winning platinum-certified LEED newly constructed center-piece in the community.

The human-centered design process provides strategic imact and execution at the highest level, right now.

 

 

 

Tending the Fire

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Facing the fireplace inside a Norwegian hotel.  Outside the picture window, snow falls restlessly.  An elderly gentleman rests in the oversized chair next to me.  He is tending the fire.  He rises every few minutes and carefully places a single log onto the fire.  The fire never burns too bright nor dies to embers.  There is a method to his approach.

Fortunate organizations have a fire tender.  An individual who ensures the enterprise’s purpose is brought front and center.  They energize and revitalize.  A person with a sense of timing who can deliver fuel for the journey.  

Celebrate your fire tenders.  They ensure anyone encountering your organization find a welcoming and warm hearth. 

Reach vs. Influence

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An acquaintance of mine was upset by a decision made by an event organizer.  They desired a different outcome.  The board of the event held a meeting to confirm the decision made by the event organizer.  The acquaintance threatened the solid standing of the event by leveraging his significant social media presence to suggest a boycott of future iterations of the event.  It was an emotional decision, and clearly, this individual felt strongly about righting a perceived wrong.  What they failed to understand was the difference between reach and influence.  Their message would reach a large number of people.  Nearly all of those individuals did not participate in the event nor did they influence future versions of the event.  He could publish a sensational headline, but few people would read the article or more importantly take action.

Mistaking reach and influence is common.  There are a vast number of channels through which we can contact our affinity group (Seth Godin would suggest ‘tribe’).   The essential question is how many people will act on our behalf.  I empathize with numerous challenges faced by individuals.  Less frequently do I take measurable steps to help them solve a problem.  People must believe what we believe and then see themselves as uniquely positioned to influence the outcome before they take significant action.