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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Leading Change: Post #4--Develop a new Vision

Step Three
Developing a Change Vision ~ The coalition needs to develop a vision and a clear path to get there (a strategy). A clear vision gets people all rowing in the same direction and makes saying yes or no to distractions or crucial issues a lot easier. Kotter outlines 6 characteristics of good visions: Imaginable (future-oriented); Desirable (appealing to people who care about the company); Feasible (realistic and within capabilities of the company); Focused (crystal clear); Flexible (able to adapt to changes); and, Communicable (easy to explain).

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Leading Change: Post #3--Creating the Coalition

Step Two
Creating the Guiding Coalition ~ Form a team of change agents—a team large enough to have impact. No leader can make change happen alone. Culture is just too powerful. But with a strong coalition, change can happen. The group has to bond quickly—in both heart and mind—often done at an offsite facilitated by a professional. The team must have leaders with positional power (key corp. leaders); experts who know relevant information about the area being changed; and credible informal leaders in the company whom people respect.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Leading Change: Post #2-Establish Urgency

Step One
Establishing a Sense of Urgency ~ It’s not good enough for leaders alone to feel a sense of urgency. They must convince others why it’s critical and urgent to take action—now. Otherwise, people give lip service change movements but quickly slip back into the comfort of the status quo. Smart leaders aim for the heart (emotional appeal) as well as the head (rational appeal). Leaders need a critical mass of employees to “get it,” or change won’t happen.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Leading Change: Post #1--Overview


 Overview: Harvard professor John Kotter changed the way we first looked at “change” in organizations back in 1996. Known as the father of change management, Kotter’s research developed an 8-step process to help leaders face the challenge of change. Now 16 years later, he has republished the book with updates. Still, it’s worth checking out because most leaders have no change methodology when they introduce change efforts, and most change efforts (70%) fail! Kotter’s 8 steps are methodical and provide a comprehensive, dependable, repeatable process for leaders. Read it, heed it. By the way, if you want to read a shorter version, read Kotter’s 1995 article in the Harvard Business Review, also called “Leading Change.”
 
Leading Change by John Kotter (Harvard Business Press, 2012), reviewed by Steve Gladis, June 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Social Physics: FINAL Post

More Cool Stuff: The greater idea flow through diversity, the better the performance. Influence the network, not the person…it’s the network relationship that has the power. Avoid “echo chambers”—always talking to people just like you. “Learning ensembles” produce better results than learning individuals. Better data, better life!


Final Thoughts: The implications of Pentland’s research for individuals, teams, organizations, communities and countries are staggering. I highly recommend the book. You will learn just how powerful basic human interaction is on teams/tribes.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Social Physics: Post #8--Teams (continued)

How Great Teams Interact: Pentland’s data also revealed that successful teams share several defining characteristics: “1) Everyone on the team talks and listens in roughly equal measure, keeping contributions short and sweet; 2) Members face one another, and their conversations and gestures are energetic; 3) Members connect directly with one another—not just with the team leader; 4) Members carry on back-channel or side conversations within the team; 5) Members periodically break, go exploring outside the team and bringing back info.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Social Physics: Post #7--Teams

The New Science of Teams: Pentland’s research revealed that by monitoring the sociometric interactions of people (not including recording conversations),
he could determine a formula for predicting highly successful and creative people and teams based on tracking face-to-face engagement and exploration. High performing groups 1) produced a large number of ideas; 2) had dense interactions (overlapping, brief discussion contributions and encouraging comments); 3) produced a diversity of ideas.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Social Physics: Post #6--Star Performers

Star Group Performers: Standouts in groups engage in active exploration with very diverse outside groups and strong engagement within their own group. In short, super stars are energetic communicators, strongly engaged in their groups and explorative by nature…seeking diversity in ideas that they can bring back to influence their tribe.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Social Physics: Post #5--Social Learning

Social Learning: Acquiring new strategies by observing the behavior and stories of others creates social learning and innovation. Social pressure describes the influence one person has on another, and social network incentive is a force applied to alter the interactions between people—like propaganda. Social norms get established as the best way to exchange value—a relationship satisfying mutual goals, curiosity and social support. Fundamental to successful social interactions is trust—“the expectation of continued, stable, exchange value.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Social Physics: Post #4--Idea Flow

Idea Flow: This concept is critical to Social Physics and describes how ideas move through social networks by exploration and engagement. Exploration is how people find new creative ideas, behaviors and strategies to solve/adapt to life issues. Engagement “sells” the ideas to others to change behavior of the group. Such idea flow can be used to track, predict, and influence behavior to avoid market crashes, stampedes and panics, even government corruption.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Social Physics: Post #3--Big Data

Big Data: We all leave increasingly larger digital “breadcrumbs” behind us as we wander through the digital forest—GPS, credit card info, Facebook posts, and more, much more. Better ways of collecting an immense volume of data are emerging, and Pentland’s MIT teams of doctoral students are scooping up those crumbs, analyzing them and developing a robust theory of how humans behave called “reality mining.” Correlations among the data can predict patterns of illness spread in a population or financial trends and crashes, all by studying “living laboratories” of real people, in real time, with real reactions. Collecting zillions of data sets for the past decade—balanced with a rigorous privacy policy—Pentland’s teams have been able to place society under a “socioscope” to study its social DNA.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Social Physics: Post #2--Definition

Social Physics Defined: This predictive, quantitative social science tracks how ideas flow among people and how individual behavior changes—as well as the behavior of teams, organizations and communities. The flow of ideas comes from patterns of telephone calls, emails, and especially personal contact. This spread or flow of ideas forms the foundation for adaptation and innovation. And just as physics is about how the flow of energy changes motion, social physics is about how the flow of ideas changes behavior.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Social Physics: Post #1--Overview

Overview: Sandy Pentland is the BIG daddy of BIG data! Using new sophisticated technology (sociometers) that track primal interactions between people and their networks, Pentland and his legion of MIT doctoral students have given us something akin to the Rosetta Stone for understanding how ideas spread, how people thrive, and how teams and organizations excel. Using his research-based theory “social physics,” we can actually see how ideas flow, who influences decisions, and how simple interactions like facing people, gesturing, being engaged and exploring the world can make us and those around us successful, influential, creative, and innovative.

Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread—The Lessons from a New Science (The Penguin Press, 2014), by Alex “Sandy” Pentland, reviewed by Steve Gladis

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