Make It Happen
My Tipsheets are chock full of ideas. They are all aimed at translating knowledge into action...in a quick, action-oriented 60-second nugget.

First Name:
Last Name:
email:
Tipsheet Archive
Randall's Resources
Whenever I speak or write, I often prepare extra "bonus" materials.
Enter the Resource Code to access this special content:
Resource Code:
Try this example Resource Code: eventplanning

Management

In the olden days, external advisors would be called in whenever there is a problem to be solved.  Proposals would be reviewed, contracts negotiated, references checked, and the engagement would begin. The consulting team would show up, diagnose the source of the problem, and help the management team focus exclusively on getting rid of the bad.  Then the real problems would begin.

The problem with this traditional problem-solving model is that the focus on the bad means that the everyday good is ignored. And while the “bad” problem may be solved, inevitably new issues come up because less “good” is being done.

Enter Appreciative enquiry, an alternative facilitation process.  This approach focuses on what’s good – what’s right – and seeks to do more of it. In this way, the bad is “pushed” out. As someone who has facilitated groups using both traditional and appreciate enquiry processes, there is a huge difference in the minds of the participants.

  • When the focus is on dissecting the problem – when the focus is on the bad… everyone feels bad. The problem looms large.
  • When the focus is on the good… everyone feels good. They feel that they can take on the world.  And they do.

While this description is necessarily simplified, the concept is a powerful one – and illustrates how a simple change in methodology can have a dramatic influence on the outcome.

This week’s action plan:  If you were managing a team, which would you prefer – a group that felt beaten up, or a group that felt they could accomplish anything? This week, before jumping to the solution to your next problem, consider how an appreciative enquiry process might be used.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register. 

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site

www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

{ 0 comments }

The Power of Diversity

by Randall Craig on October 14, 2016

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Strategy

Tagged as: , ,

The term diversity has become associated with the human rights movement, and lives in the same space with terms such as enforcement, quotas, and affirmative action.  Despite these seemingly negative terms, there is a powerful case for organizations to adopt a positive and proactive approach to diversity.

The usual argument for diversity is that an organization should mirror society in general, and its clients in specific.  While true, the greatest benefit of diversity does not stem from this argument, but from another: the creative power of a diverse team.

A diversity exercise:  If you have a pen and paper, right now, draw a picture of a house.  Even if you’re not an artist, you can draw something.  Then look at what you drew:  Does it include windows?  How many? A door?  How about a roof?  Did it have a second floor?  Did you draw it in 3D?  Did you use shading?  Or color?

Each of us probably did it differently.  But if we compared our pictures, and then re-drew it, we likely will include all of the features that were drawn by others.  This is the power of brainstorming, and particularly, the power of diversity.

Each individual brings their own experience, resulting in the group’s knowledge base growing significantly.  A different perspective from one person can spark an incredibly rich response from others.  For this reason, teams that seek diversity – not homogeneity – will always be more creative.

Diverse thinking produces diverse results.

This week’s action item: Try the diversity exercise with your team.  What were the results?

Creative Insight:  Diversity is not a negative term, especially compared to terms like groupthink, conventional wisdom, towing the line, etc.

Interesting Trivia:  While IBM’s motto for many years has been Think, Apple’s motto was Think Different.  Might there be a connection to diversity?

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace
.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

{ 0 comments }

Baseline Capability and Campaigns

by Randall Craig December 14, 2012

Have you ever been in a situation where despite your best efforts, you cannot make headway?  Or where you feel like a fish swimming upstream?  This inertia – resistance to the new – is a key reason why implementing change is so difficult.  It’s also why selling new products to clients or new ideas to […]

Read More

Social Media Carrot and Stick

by Randall Craig March 22, 2012

While corporations are trying to figure out how to use the Social Media carrot to entice their customers to buy, their customers are using a powerful Social Media stick when it comes to expressing their disappointment and dissatisfaction. In the olden days, corporate policy may have been the customer is always right. Today it is […]

Read More

Three lessons from the Facebook prospectus

by Randall Craig February 23, 2012

If you’re reading this, the chances that you are on Facebook are relatively high. And sadly, the chances that you personally will duplicate Mark Zuckerberg’s business success are relatively low. Very few of us will take our companies public, let along profit so handsomely during our careers. What we can do, however, is learn from […]

Read More

Multi-snacking

by Randall Craig January 19, 2011

When was the last time you ever gave anything (or anyone) your 100% complete, undivided attention?  If you’re like most people – and you’re honest – it was probably a long, long, time ago.  The question is why. As intelligent, capable, and busy people, we have trained ourselves to handle… as much as we can […]

Read More

Multi-snacking

by Randall Craig January 18, 2011

When was the last time you ever gave anything (or anyone) your 100% complete, undivided attention?  If you’re like most people – and you’re honest – it was probably a long, long, time ago.  The question is why. As intelligent, capable, and busy people, we have trained ourselves to handle… as much as we can […]

Read More

Goal Culture

by Randall Craig January 12, 2011

Do you look for shortcuts in order to more efficiently reach your goals?  Do you feel jealous when others achieve before you do?  If so, it’s not surprising: you’ve been programmed that way.  Many organizations set annual goals for their employees; they follow-up with annual evaluations.  Compensation is tied directly to achievement… and the cycle […]

Read More