Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Running out of juice

It's every busy person's issue: running out of juice. That can mean: running of energy, time, interest, ability, food in the fridge, patience… the list goes on.

Even the best of systems with terrific support run out of something along the way. The trick is not to assume you can never run out but to know how to recover.

Communities and networks are the best bet to covering the times when resources run thin. Yet, building community takes time as well. So what's a busy person to do?

The usual way: tackle it a little piece at a time.
·         Play hostess wherever you are – even a coffee shop
·         Say thanks or share information with a short email
·         Block time quarterly or monthly to reach out to key individuals & sponsors
·         Refresh your introduction on the commute to work
·         Share a story with those you value

Make it a small daily/weekly set of 5 minute tasks with folks who bring value to your life. It won't make you less busy but it will add juice in unexpected ways.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Either Or

What's up with the black & white approaches lately? Everything is an "either or" situation. One is a 'supporter,' 'driver' OR 'enabler.' In or out? For or against? Vanilla or chocolate?


Life is fluid and if a process requires a fixed point of view to work, then it's possibly not a very good process.

Take some approaches to innovation - research suggests we each select a role. I don't disagree but I believe the role changes with circumstances - the project, the passion, the people.

The next time someone asks me to select my favourite or to make an either /or choice, I will rebel. Roger Martin and Rotman have made inroads helping folks understand that often diametrically opposed ideas can often create the space where the best ideas are found. Diametrically opposed positions can generate new pathways too.

Drive, support AND enable. Just don't try to do it all at the same time.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Use the senses

It is amazing what sense memory kids have. A snowflake on the tongue lasts a lifetime.

It is equally amazing that we assume kids are the only ones to experience /re-experience sense memory. How many of us re-caught a snowflake in the first paragraph?

Sense memory can be a terrific way to engage folks during change or a negotiation. Getting them to ‘feel’ a vision can create an easier path to buy-in. Talking about a project roadmap and projecting the image of a hiking trail… or asking for a budget for a bakery and offering a taste of the product… negotiating a new car and bringing the lipstick in red to represent the paint job… it all triggers memory, emotion and participation (though you can’t always control if the memory is a good one).

Augusto Boal made the world sit up, bringing his audience’s senses into the performances that passed into Brazillian bills of law. Mixed Theatre Company follows his footsteps here in Canada. Executives and sales people do it every day with product samples, music, question & answer periods, town halls, working dinners and hand written thank you cards.

Engage your network with something to touch, to hear, to taste… use metaphors; send cards; break bread. Spread the message across the senses.