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Monday, December 30, 2013

Culture: Post #7--Leading Change

How Leaders Manage Culture Change   When
leaders want to move change along, leaders have to create disequilibrium (unfreezing) that pushes people to change. Stages of learning/change (based on Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model): 1. Unfreezing: Leaders motivate by providing discomforting data, connecting it to goals and ideals that produce anxiety, and creating a psychologically safe place to solve the problem as well as maintain integrity and identity. Basic principles of change: survival anxiety must be more powerful than learning anxiety, but it’s better to reduce learning anxiety rather than raise survival anxiety. 2. Cognitive Restructuring (Change-Transition): After unfreezing the organization, people have to change one of two ways: By imitating role models or by trial and error—Imitation or Experimentation.           3. Refreezing: New learning will stabilize and become the new norm only when people see results of the change efforts. However, if there’s no evidence that change is working, people revert back to old ways.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Culture: Post #6--Stages

Organizational Stages   Founding and early stage (led by founders, distinctive, clannish); Midlife (founders leave, outsiders come in, succession’s tough); Organizational Maturity and Potential Decline (success breeds entrenchment, unwillingness to change).

Monday, December 23, 2013

Culture: Post #5--Leadership & Culture

Leadership and Culture   Culture comes from founders and groups. Founders have a profound impact on culture. Even mature companies retain their founders’ beliefs and values. Founders offer up answers to early questions that calm anxiety and give the group a set of guidelines worthy of passing along to newbies. Groups must come to grips with group membership, goals of the group, group influencers, aggression and love, and adaptive norms that become part of the culture.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Culture: Post #4--Levels

Levels of Culture  There are three levels by which culture is visible to an observer to assist in understanding the culture: 1. Artifacts (visible structures, language, stories, climate); 2. Espoused Beliefs (ideas, goals values); and 3. Basic Assumptions (powerful unconscious beliefs and values, taken for granted, non-debatable). Sometimes these three are out of alignment and culture falters; e.g., employees may not be living the espoused values.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Culture: Post #3--Types of Culture

Types of Culture: Culture can be thought of as the foundation of the social order that we live in and of the rules by which we abide. There are cultural forces at work. Macro-cultures (national, occupational), Organizational cultures (corporate, social), Subcultures (groups inside an organization), and Micro-cultures (small teams) all present an external influence on culture. While organizational culture operates in a stealth mode, it has real power that affects everyone and becomes “the way we do things around here.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Culture: Post #2--Defining Culture

Defining Culture: According to Schein, “Culture is about learned group behaviors to solve problems in the external environment to ensure internal integration, stability, consistency and meaning—those things worthy of teaching to new team members as the ‘correct’ way to think and act toward solving similar problems.” Culture relates to a group the same way as personality does to a person. Just as personal norms dictate our behavior, group norms (culture) dictate how groups behave.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Culture: Post #1--Introduction

 Introduction: Culture change is all about a threat-reward stimulus, learning, and adapting to survive. If learning new ways (change) creates more anxiety than problems it solves, people will balk. Culture boils down to Artifacts, Espoused Beliefs, and Basic Assumptions. Leaders make or break change in organizations. Thus, leadership and culture are two sides of the same coin. Schein helps understand how both sides can complement each other.
Organizational Culture and Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2010, fourth edition), by Edgar Schein, reviewed by Steve Gladis,

Friday, December 6, 2013

Focus: Post #8--Teams

Teams   The best teams surface disagreements, talk about them, and don’t let them simmer and boil over. Create time and space to reflect on things that bother people and allow them to bring up negative issues and feelings. To get the wisdom of the group, it has to be a safe place to share. Team Triple Focus: Individual — Self-awareness (“raising the elephant”); Other— understanding others on the team AND other groups the team deals with; Outer —what’s going on in the organization and the business environment.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Focus: Post #7--Cognitive Control

Cognitive Control
The bottom brain can overload the top brain—anxious fears can bubble up and overwhelm this part of the brain. And, a top brain darting from one thing to another can quickly overwhelm itself. Mindfulness or “cognitive control” can help us calm down the inner monkey-mind. Meditation is particularly effective at tamping down the wandering mind. In schools, a technique called “breathing buddies” is often used to calm down children. Teachers ask them to lie down, put a stuffed animal on their abdomens, and breathe in and out, watching the animal rise and fall. Also, they use “Stop Light”: When you feel overwhelmed, think Red Light—STOP; then, Yellow Light—What are my options? Then Green Light—Pick my best option and move forward. Such exercises can move prefrontal focus from negative (right) side to positive (left) side of the brain.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Focus: Post #6--Leaders

Leaders and Focus  People follow the leader’s focus. In effect, leaders spread emotional contagion—both good and bad. Leaders need to take care that their emotions don’t run the show. Moreover, strategy is an example of organizational attention and focus—best leaders are system thinkers. They can focus on their own self-awareness, others and the outer world in a kind of blended balanced way. Being too focused on a financial goal can make a leader appear less caring.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Focus: Post #5--Top and Bottom Brains

Two Brains  The bottom brain is the rudimentary ancient brain in our basal ganglia. It’s reflexive, fast, impulsive, and stores habitual activities, like driving or walking. It sends impulses to the top brain. The top brain resides in the neocortex . It’s slower, able to learn, the seat of self-control and regulation, and takes more effort and energy to power up. It often sends controlling signals to calm down the bottom brain. But both work in concert communicating back and forth in a kind of dance of thought and behavior. Key idea—strong focus on one tends to dampen the other. Thus, meditating on our breath can calm down an overactive, anxious top brain. Also, a bottom-up warning can protect us from being blindsided by a threat.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Focus: Post #4--Modes of Attention

Modes of Attention Psychologist and researcher Mihaly Czismetmihaly has studied attention for year. He’s concluded that when we are minimally challenged and under minimal stress, most of us are bored. However, when we’re overstimulated, overstretched and over-matched for our capacity, we’re overwhelmed—what he calls “frazzled.” Finally, our performance is highest, and we’re most focused and engaged, when our capabilities are stretched but matched to the level of difficulty faced at work, which he calls “flow.” And flow is marked by your attention being absorbed, time flying by, feeling like you’re challenged but a good match for the challenge and doing what you enjoy. Unfortunately only 20% of people have flow in a day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Focus: Post #3--Impoverishment of Attention

Impoverishment of Attention Video games and endless electronic chatter; constant news, especially negative; information on demand by Google; and so much more are taking our kids and us down a path of distraction and lack of focus. We jump from emails to blogs to texts and get swallowed up in a sea of distraction. Doubly disturbing is that 8 percent of American online gamers meet the psychiatric definition of addiction. Nobel-winning economist Herbert Simon wrote: “…a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Focus: Post #2--Types of Attention

Three Kinds of Attention for Leaders
1. Inner focus attunes us to our emotions, intuitions, and decisions—a form of self-awareness and self-regulation. 2. Other focus connects us with others through forms of empathy—Cognitive Empathy (I see how you view the world); Emotional Empathy (I have a sense of how you feel); Empathic Concern (I want to do something to soothe or help you). “Outer focus keeps our eye on the larger environment we live in—a systems approach works well to keep us safe and sound. A leader tuned out of his internal world will be rudderless; one blind to the world of others will be clueless; those indifferent to the larger systems in which they operate will be blindsided.”

Monday, November 25, 2013

Focus: Post #1--Overview

Attention is the muscle of the mind, and distraction is like the infectious “common cold.” Your mind gets strengthened by attention and weakened by mind wandering. Goleman calls our attention to three types of focus: Inner Focus—self-awareness and control; Other Focus—empathy for others and relationship building; and Outer Focus on the external environment —systems thinking. Two brains within us control our thoughts—bottom brain (basal, instinctual, ancient) and top brain (slower, cognitive, wandering). Using mindfulness and switching brains can help us focus, solve important problems, and attain excellence.

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence (HarperCollins, 2013) by Daniel Goleman.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Diagnosing Change: Post #6--Org. Change

Making Organizational Change
a.    Diagnosis: 1) Using OACI, members rate profile of the current organization and reach consensus,
b.    Interpretation: 1) Identify changes that need to happen; 2) talk about what change means and does not mean; 3) find stories that illustrate values and necessary behaviors.
c.    Implementation: 1) Which actions should be stopped, started, continued; 2) ID small wins and tout them; 3) Set timetable and metrics; 4) develop a communications plan; 5) figure out which parts of the organization will have to change and how; 6) determine personal change for everyone necessary for organizational change to happen.

not an average; 2) Rate the future desired organization profile and note differences between current and future.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Diagnosing Culture: Post #5--Individual Change

Individual Change To change culture, people must also change. Authors suggest the Management Skills Assessment Instrument (MSAI) provided in the appendix of the book. A form of MSAI used in a 360 approach can lead to a profile of self vs. other profile in the four quadrants. Authors provide analysis of what skills will be congruent with a particular framework quadrant: 
a.    Clan (manage teams, interpersonal relationships, and develop others)
b.    Adhocracy (manage innovation, the future, continuous improvement)
c.    Hierarchy (manage acculturation, control systems, coordination)
d.    Market (manage competitiveness, engagement of employees, customer service)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Diagnosing Culture: Post #4--Competing Values

Competing Values Framework A leading framework used for OD
a.    Clan (Collaborative Culture). Business Philosophy: Human Development and engagement produce results. Values: Commitment, Communication, Development.
b.    Adhocracy (Creative Culture).  Business Philosophy: Innovation produces effectiveness. Values: Innovation, transformation, agility.
c.    Market (Competitive Culture). Business Philosophy: Aggressive competition for the customer produces profits. Values: Market share, goal achievement, and profitability.
d.    Hierarchy (Control Culture):  Business Philosophy: effective and efficient organizations produce results. Values: Efficiency, Timeliness, Consistency. 
work. CVF has been empirically derived, is a valid instrument, congruent with other powerful theories about how others think and their cognitive processes, such as Jung’s Model and the MBTI. Four Quadrants:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Diagnosing Culture: Post #3--The OCAI

Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument The OCAI is like the MBTI of organizational development. It’s used in a wide variety of industries and countries and is based on 6 key dimensions: 1) Dominant Characteristics; 2) Organizational Leadership; 3) Management of Employees; 4) Organizational Glue; 5) Strategic Emphasis; 6) Criteria for Success. The instrument measures both “now” (characteristics of the present state) and “preferred” (the desired future state).

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Diagnosing Culture: Post #2--Culture

Culture  “...the taken-for-granted values, underlying assumptions, expectations, and definitions that characterize organizations and their members….culture is a socially constructed attribute of organizations that serves as the social glue binding an organization together.”  It’s a kind of code that people have engraved on their minds, unwritten rules about how to get along in the organization—unwritten rules that are strictly enforced! Most people are unaware of culture until it’s threatened.  The structure of culture from bottom to top is: Implicit Assumptions (unconscious drivers); Conscious Contracts and Norms (rules of the game); Artifacts (buildings, dress, offices, etc.); and Explicit Behaviors (how we treat each other and behave). Types of Culture: There are a number of culture levels, such as global (East vs. West), National (China, US), Occupational (Doctors, Lawyers), Regional (Rural, Urban), Organizational (dominant leadership style), and Team (sub-unit uniqueness).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Diagnosing Culture: Post #1--Overview

Overview Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn, colleagues at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School, have created a change model for the ages. Their Competing Values Framework (CVF) is used extensively by organizations, consultants and other change agents. Business is hyper-charged with change, and failure rates of corporate change are as high as 70%—caused by ignoring culture. Research indicates that profitability is predicted by certain market forces like high barriers to entry, having a large market share, and other elements traditionally offered as reasons for success. However, the authors note that Southwest Airlines, Apple, Walgreens, Walmart, and Pixar had none of these but still succeeded. What made the difference? Their organizational culture—their company values, personal beliefs, and vision, not market forces. Great corporate culture reduces uncertainty, increases social stability, and develops values, norms, commitment and a vision for all member generations to strive toward. Culture impacts mightily on employee morale, commitment, productivity and other key indicators. Finally, culture and corporate change is joined at the hip to individual change. No change in leaders, no culture change. 

Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework by Kim S. Cameron and Robert E Quinn (Third edition, Jossey-Bass 2011); reviewed by Steve Gladis

Thursday, October 24, 2013

War of Art: Final Post--Life and Death

Life and Death: My favorite part of this book. When a person gets terminal cancer there’s a tectonic shift in his/her life. All things that were important before the diagnosis, like money and career, are now utterly unimportant; however, all hitherto deemed less important while striving for career, like family and friends, are now supremely important. When cancer comes calling, we move from ego to self and from “me” to “we.” Tom Laughlin treats terminal cancer patients by helping make this mental shift from ego to self, from formerly important to now more meaningful stuff. The results are dramatic: Patients often go into remission! Seems like living our unlived dreams can turn things around indeed. Living the dream heals us.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

War of Art: Post #5--Fighting Resistance

Fighting Resistance: The successful resistor turns pro—dedicates his or her life to a calling. First, know the difference between urgent and important, and do important first. Second, learn how to be miserable. As former Marines, both Pressfield and I know how that works naturally. Third, we’re all pros at work—mostly we show up ready to play every day.  Pros get paid, understand delayed gratification, act in the face of fear knowing it will always be there, accept no excuses (you have to play hurt), ask for help, don’t take failure or success personally, endure adversity, self-validate, recognize limitations, and reinvent themselves. However, amateurs are never all-in and are mere pretenders and part-timers.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

War of Art: Post #4--More Resistance

More on Resistance: So, resistance makes us feel unhappy—that we’re not doing something we’re supposed to. Self-medication, alcohol, drugs and even sex take our minds off resistance briefly, but eventually it overtakes us. Further, tribal law works to keep us as part of the tribe (the status quo) and not to be independent free thinkers. Fundamentalism steps in to fill the gap created by being cut off from the tribe. We retreat to the stories of the “good old days”—though they are often myths. Disenfranchised fundamentalists demonize their enemies to give meaning to their own lives. Criticizing others, feelings of self-doubt, fear of failure when we stretch, and taking time to “heal”—all of these can cause resistance.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

War of Art: Post #3--Nature of Resistance

The Nature of Resistance:  It’s invisible (the enemy within), insidious (tells you any lie to keep you under its control, implacable (its only purpose is to keep us from doing work), fallible (the bigger the meaning to us, the higher the resistance), fueled by fear (resistance feeds on our insecurity), and so much more. Be assured, resistance wants things to stay as they are—under its control. Change is resistance’s enemy. But never underestimate the power of resistance.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

War of Art: Post #2--Resistance

Resistance: “Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us.” Between the two stands resistance, warns Pressfield. He tells us that just as the sun casts a shadow, so does genius, whose shadow is resistance—the  barrier to taking the first step toward what we want. Artists face a blank canvas, writers—a blinking cursor, and all of us—a vision of our hopes and dreams. Forgoing immediate gratification in favor of a long-term gain (i.e., diet, fitness) is how to defeat resistance. When a writer begins to write his first sentence or a manager has a meeting with key people over a new idea, resistance dissipates and a new world begins.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

War of Art: Post #1--Overview

Overview: Well-known author and screenwriter Steve Pressfield introduces us to our
biggest barrier to creativity—ourselves.  More specifically, he discusses “Resistance,” which most writers know as “writers block,” and the rest of the world as procrastination. Anyone who ever started a big project after much hemming and hawing knows the feeling all too well. To overcome the resistance of procrastination, Pressfield establishes a protocol that involves preparation, order, patience, endurance and staring down the fear that keeps us from taking the first step toward change and creativity. Finally, he tells us about the origin of true inspiration that comes from discipline and resolve. Pressfield has written a book that should be given to every new artist and any business person staring at a new project. Both will benefit mightily.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles (Black Irish Entertainment, 2002) by Steven Pressfield, reviewed by Steve Gladis, PhD, October 2013.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Eat Move Sleep: Post #4--Final Comments

Final Comments: Moreover, Rath backs up these nuggets with solid, creditable research about THE most important issue we all face—individually and as a nation.

 Finally, just as Strunk and White brought clarity to writing in their classic The Elements of Style, Tom Rath has brought that same clarity to healthcare with Eat Move Sleep.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Eat Move Sleep: Post #3--Great Tips

Great Tips:  Rath summarizes well. Even if you only have twenty minutes on a train ride or between meetings, just flip to the end o
o    Keep your bedroom two to four degrees cooler at night.
o    Use smaller cups and plates to eat less.
o    Make every meal last at least 20 minutes.
o    Work out in the morning for a better mood and more brainpower all day.
f each chapter. Rath summarizes the key points he makes in every chapter with pinpoint clarity. Here are a few end-of-chapter nuggets:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Eat Move Sleep: Post #1--How Rath Does It

How Rath Does It: If you’re a discriminating reader who likes data to back up what’s being said, who wants language that’s direct and simple, and who doesn’t want to die any sooner than you have to, this is the book for you! Here’s how Rath does it:
•    First, he provides great evidence without it intruding on the text. He’s based it on a mound of research (370 citations), which is included at the back of the book and available for guys like me who ask, ”Who says so?”
•    Second, the guy writes well—with simple, direct and powerful language. Here’s a snippet on sugar: “Sugar is a toxin. It fuels diabetes, heart disease, and cancer…. One report aptly described sugar as, ‘candy for cancer cells.’ It accelerates aging and inflammation in the body and subsequently fuels tumor growth.” He does this in thirty bite-sized, 3-5 page chapters to make the book easy to digest.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Eat Move Sleep: Post#1--Introduction

There isn’t a CEO, VP of HR, or parent on the planet who is not concerned with healthcare. With alarmingly increasing obesity rates and with healthcare costs busting budgets, healthcare is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.  Statistically, 90% of us will die of cancer, heart disease, diabetes or lung disease—most of which can be rebuffed with small, incremental choices, according to thought leader and author Tom Rath in his newest book, Eat Move Sleep. Rath has written international bestsellers like StrengthsFinder and Wellbeing, which gave us a strong hint that he was headed toward a clear focus on health. Rath has done just that with Eat Move Sleep.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

HBR Innovation: Post #7--Discipline of Innovation

The Discipline of Innovation by Peter Drucker (originally published in May 1985).  Innovation is about the effort “…to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise’s economic or social potential.” Entrepreneurs innovate…whether they’re in small companies, big ones or startups. Commitment to a search for useful ideas is what entrepreneurs share—not some genius. At its heart innovation’s about “the disciplined effort to improve a business’s potential.” Entrepreneurs find innovation opportunity in seven areas: 1. Unexpected occurrences, like failure; 2) Incongruities; 3. Process needs; 4. Industry and market changes; 5. Demographic Changes; 6. Changes in perception; and, 7. New Knowledge.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

HBR Innovation: Post #6--Classic Traps

Innovation: The Classic Traps by Rosabeth Moss Kanter (originally published in 2006). New products and services drive corporate growth; however, many companies do things that hurt them in the process, such as: 1) Investing in only blockbusters (stifles projects that could emerge); 2) process strangling (putting unrealistic performance measures around new products); and 3) launching too many small projects (creating confusion for customers). Kanter suggests avoiding strategy mistakes by funding a proportionate range of development from big bets to early stage ideas; avoiding process mistakes by adding some degree of flexibility to the budget; and avoiding structure mistakes by connecting innovators to mainstream business managers in the company.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

HBR Innovation: Post #5--Is it Real

Is it Real? Can We Win? Is it Worth Doing? by George Day (originally published in December 2007).  Many companies avoid the risk of taking on major innovative projects. Thus, most corporate innovations (85-90%) are minor and rarely lead to significant growth. However, such an approach may spell stagnation and, worse, irrelevance.   The author has developed a risk matrix chart based on two dimensions—how familiar is the company to the market and how familiar the product is. The gradation on the Y axis about the product is from low to high: “same as the current offerings”; “adjacent to current offerings”; and “new to the company.” The gradation on the X axis about the market is from low to high: “same as present [corporate market]”; “adjacent to present [corporate market]”; and “new to the company.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HBR Innovation: Post #4: Customer-Centered

The Customer-Centered Innovation Map by Lance Bettencourt and Anthony Ulwick (originally published in 2008). We all “hire” products to get a job done. We hire/buy a cell phone to talk to people and a steak to fill our stomachs. “Job mapping” helps break down services and products by focusing on why the customer “hires” our product—turning customer input into innovation.  Jobs are a series of process steps. Watch customers to find out the critical steps.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

HBR Innovation: Post #3Disruption

How GE is Disrupting Itself by Jeffery Immelt, Vijay Govingdarajan, and Chris Trimble (originally published in 2009). In 2009, GE said they would spend $3 billion on 100 new healthcare devices, including an ultrasound machine—for only $15 K—created for emerging foreign nations and then would sell them in the US. This idea is called reverse engineering. Innovation like this is necessary for GE so that other countries, like China, don’t beat them to the punch and the market. Such reverse engineering requires decentralization and local market focus, in direct contrast to many large US companies. Many new products are being developed for emerging economies—growing at 2-3 times the developed world. One key to success was local growth teams (LTG).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

HRB Innovation: Post #2--Stop the Innovation Wars

Stop the Innovation Wars by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble (originally published in 2010). Innovation teams separated from the company core sounds like a good idea to reduce friction, but these researchers have found a better way: Establish a mutually respectful partnership between the dedicated innovative team (pick the best people you can find—inside and outside the company) and the corporate performance engine—ongoing corporate operations that keep the lights on. This partnership must be managed by a deft leader who can keep both teams in balance and manage the natural conflicts that emerge. The performance team needs the innovative team—and vice versa—to both stay relevant to customers and stay afloat financially.

Monday, September 23, 2013

HRB Innovation: Post #1--Catalysts

The Innovation Catalysts by Robert Martin (originally published in June 2011). Intuit, the well-known software development company, saw its Net Promoter (would you refer the company to someone else) Scores falling. Scott Cook, founder and CEO, developed a team of 9 innovation catalyst coaches to help run experiments and learn from clients: “painstorming”—finding customer pain points; “sol-jam”— generating solutions; and “code-jam”— generating fast code to create fast prototypes for customers . The theory was to delight (Design for Delight) not just satisfy customers. Cook wanted to build design thinking into the company’s DNA. Innovation Catalysts were to spend 25% of their time on big payoff projects for Intuit.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #8--Difference

Psychology of Difference (Personality and Intelligence): The 20th century brought a renewed interest in the study of personality. From Francis Glaton’s investigation of individual differences, to Gordon Allport’s work in psychological interpretation, to the Myers Briggs MBTI, to Frijda’s work on emotions leading to action, and finally to the big five personality traits—the march of personality and difference has pressed forward well into the 21st Century and is going strong.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #7--Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology (From Infant to Adult): With Jean Piaget’s work in the 1930s, we began to see children developmentally, not just as miniature adults. His cognitive developmental theory set the foundation for others to follow like Lev Vygotsky (child’s social development); Erik Erickson (eight stages of psychological development); Kohlberg (6 strategies of moral development); and, Bandura (human behavior learned through modeling).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #6--Social Psychology

Social Psychology (Being in a World of Others): Social psychology developed in the 1930s and reflected on how people affect groups and vice versa. American Kurt Lewin is considered the father of social psychology. Lewin studied small groups and group dynamics. Today, social psychology dominates business and social organizations. Some key social theories: Lewin—You cannot understand a system until you try to change it; Asch’s theory of social conformity; Milgram’s work on conformity and authority, and more.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #5--Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology (The Calculating Brain): The second half of the 20th century focused on moving from behaviorism to cognitive processes, due in no small part to the computer. Also, advances in neuroscience helped clear the path for cognitive psychology by being able to trace mental processes directly through the brain. The “cognitive revolution” started in part at Harvard, where George Miller and Jerome Bruner cofounded the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard University. Work by Aaron Beck (joining behavioral therapy and meditation), Paul Ekman (work on facial expressions), and others such as Daniel Khaneman (problem solving and decision making) added to the discipline of cognitive psychology.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #4--Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy (The Unconscious Determines Behavior): While behaviorism overtook the US world of psychology, Europe took a separate path. Led by the teachings of Freud, Europeans focused on psychotherapy based on case histories vs. clinical tests. Eventually Freud’s work was supplanted by those like Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers who were more concerned with the “third force” which focused on creativity, self-actualization and personal freedom. In this section, there are particularly well developed summaries of Freud’s theory of the unconscious reality; Jung’s theory that the collective unconsciousness is made up of archetypes; and Carl Rogers’ theory that a good life is a process and not a state of being.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #3--Behaviorism

Behaviorism (Responding to Our Environment): In the 1890s, behaviorists attempted to legitimize the science of psychology, and psychology labs cropped up at universities. This section covers work from Edward Torndike’s laws of effect, to John Watson’s behaviorist manifesto, to Ivan Pavlov’s conditioning experiments, to BF Skinner’s operant conditioning, to Noam Chomsky’s cognitive revolution. Behaviorists studied the effects of external stimuli on people and animals while ignoring the inner mind, but by the 1900s there was a shift back to studying the mind and mental processes.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #2--Philosophical Roots

Philosophical Roots (Psychology in the Making): Starting with Descartes, the body and mind began to be separated as fields of study. Herbart, Darwin and others extended the discussion around concepts like nature vs. nurture. In 1879 Wilhelm Wundt established the first experimental laboratory in Germany, and psychology was founded—the study of the human mind and its functions. Be sure to read the sections on Wilhelm Wundt (German) and William James (American) and their monumental impacts on the birth and evolution of psychology.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Psychology Book: Post #1--Overview

Overview: If you’re looking for a decent grounding in psychology, this book works. You
won’t be able to hang out your shingle and practice after poring over this thick but surprisingly easy-to-access textbook. The book covers the landscape of psychology from its philosophical roots to personality and intelligence. What I found most entertaining was the simple structure, especially the write-ups of the key psychologists. Take, for example, the review of Abraham Maslow (in the psychotherapy section).  The authors provide a section called “In Context” showing the theories both before and after Maslow to help readers understand the development and impact of his needs theory.  Of course, the authors included the obligatory Hierarchy of Needs—always worth another gander—as well as a picture and summary of Maslow’s life and key works. And the authors do this with rigorous consistency as they walk you through the development of psychology over the ages.

 The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (2012, DK Publishing) by Nigel Benson, et al; reviewed by Steve Gladis, August 2013.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Give and Take: Post #11--Empathy

Empathy   This makes us see others as being like us. When we have a sense of oneness

with another, it leads us to help more, endure more. Giving away to others leads to more giving.  When we see someone in pain, 33% of people might respond, and if there’s a common identity trait (i.e., age, gender, race) between victim and helper, the number of people who respond goes up to 92 percent.

That's it for Give and Take....hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Give and Take: Post #10--Assertiveness

Assertiveness   Male MBA grads at Carnegie Mellon make 7.6% more salary based on work by Linda Babcock. Men are 8 times more likely to negotiate salary than women. Lack of assertiveness has selfless givers at a great disadvantage, and often women are more susceptible. However, in one experiment (Babcock) when women were asked to imagine themselves as mentors and negotiators, women outdid men by 14%!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Give and Take: Post #9--Smart Givers

Giving Smartly   Some givers light up; others fizzle out. The most successful givers are both otherish-oriented and self-oriented. Less successful givers were mostly selfless, other-oriented. In fact, being too other-oriented can be a form of “pathological altruism.” Teachers often give too much—being overly selfless burns them out. Burnout leads to a host of physical and mental issues. Seeing that they make a difference is an antidote to burnout for teachers.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Give and Take: Post #8--Effective Powerless Communication

Power of Powerless Communication   The two ways to influence are dominance (by showing power) and prestige (by giving and earning respect).  Takers veer toward dominance language (forceful and self-centered); Givers, toward prestige (humility). Dominance is a zero sum game—if I have a lot, that means you have less. Prestige has no limits—no limit to the amount of respect and admiration you can give others.  Areas for using powerless communication to establish prestige: Presenting (be self-deprecating); Selling (ask, don’t sell); Negotiation (seek advice and take perspective); Persuasion (use powerless, deferential talk).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Give and Take: Post #7--Practice

 Interest and Talent   Many of us think talent came first, then interest. Quite the reverse. Eric Anders’ research shows it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. But the inciting element is usually a boss or teacher who is caring, kind and patient.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Give and Take: Post #6--Bloomers

Bloomers and Bias   Harvard psychologist Robert Rosenthal identified 20% of children in a San Francisco school (kindergarten to fifth grade) whom he labeled as “intellectual bloomers.” However, such bloomers were randomly chosen and identified as intellectual bloomers to their teachers. The results: Bloomers outperformed their peers and showed gains after two years—all because teachers believed in them, crafting a self-fulfilling prophecy. Teachers became more supportive and encouraging of these bloomers. Apply the bloomers study to the workplace and watch productivity soar.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Give and Take: Post #5--Perspective

The Perspective Gap  When we are not experiencing an intense situation (either psychologically or physically), it’s difficult to guess how we might feel in a given situation. For example, physicians can’t estimate accurately how people feel unless they listen intently to the patient. Takers rarely have this kind of give-and-take dialogue. We need to become empathic to get a sense of others—step into their shoes (get their perspective).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Give and Take: Post #4--Safety

Safe Environments  We need to provide a safe place for creativity to occur. Harvard researchers show that a psychologically safe environment makes a huge difference for people creating, learning, and innovating. It all boils down to whether people believe that you care for them and, thus, if they then trust you.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Give and Take: Post #3--Responsibility Bias

Responsibility Bias  This bias makes us overestimate our contribution to any project or effort. And “information discrepancy” leads to responsibility bias because we know what we did but cannot accurately know how much others contributed. Takers are especially prone to responsibility bias. Entrepreneurs, investors, and partners often break up over not getting proper credit for all their efforts.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Give and Take: Post #2--Giving and Taking

Giving and Taking  Giver values (helpfulness, responsibility, social justice and compassion) were those endorsed by most people in most countries, instead of taker values (wealth, power, pleasure, and winning).  However, whenever we feel exploited, we revert to a taker mentality and style. One of history’s big takers was Ken Lay (formerly of Enron infamy), despite his charitable corporate donations and glad-handing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Give and Take: Post #1--Overview

Overview  There are three styles of social interaction concerning reciprocity:  Takers, who take more than they give in life; matchers who give tit for tat; and givers, who give to help others. When it comes to who wins and who loses in life, researcher and author Adam Grant concludes that givers do both—win and lose. A Wharton professor, Grant makes some powerful observations to support his descriptions and analysis of all three types; ultimately, he concludes that “otherish” givers (generous but sensible) come out on top every time. Losing givers (overly selfless givers) were those who gave too much to others at their own expense,  earned 14% less, were twice as likely to be victims, and were 22 percent less powerful than either matchers or takers. In the book, Grant describes the difference between these two types of givers: The champs and the chumps!

Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (Viking/Penguin Group, 2013) by Adam Grant, reviewed by Steve Gladis, PhD, August 2013.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Innovation Myths--Post #10--Simple Plan

Simple Innovation Plan: Here’s the author’s solution for getting innovative: 1) Pick a project and start doing something (pick a small one at first); 2) Forget innovation and focus on being good (great innovators start trying to get better at solving a problem); 3) If you work with others, you need leadership and trust (keep out people you can’t trust); 4) Make the team smaller if it’s not working; 5) Be happy about interesting mistakes (they often create a path toward solution).

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #9--Problem Finding vs Problem Sovling

Problem Solving vs. Problem Finding: People try to solve problems too quickly before deciding if they’re the right ones to solve. Great inventors discover unidentified problems (by asking questions), then answer them. Framing problems helps find them and solve them, like Edison: How do you get power into homes to charge a light bulb?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #8--Five Challenges

Five Challenges to Innovation  1) Life of Ideas (treated well, ideas flourish—the opposite is also very true); 2) Environment (make it a safe place, full of laughter); 3) Protection (managers have to spend political capital to keep the heat off inventors); 4) Execution (this is the hardest part of innovation); 5) Persuasion (the fuel of innovation at every point and level of the process).

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Innovatioin Myths: Post #7--Finding Ideas

Finding Ideas It’s hard to find great new ideas because they’re not born fully formed. Rather they come as half-baked, unattractive starts and stops. What’s more, schools reward compliance, not off-the-trail exploration. Creation is a sloppy process. Often, 70% of innovators get their best ideas when exploring areas where they’re not the experts. Indeed, their new perspectives changed how they saw problems.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #6--Origins of Innovation

Origins of Innovation We think of Ed
ison as the inventor of electricity; Apple the inventor of the digital music player; and Google the inventor of the search engine. But they were not; rather, they came after a long chain of “connections.” It makes a better story for us to remember—that’s it simple and straight. The author suggests: Ask any kid who invented pancakes, and she’ll say, “My Mom!” What’s more, inventors often make discoveries simultaneously, whether it’s in fashion, sports or physics. For instance Newton and Leibniz each came up with the notion of calculus simultaneously and used different versions as a matter of national and personal pride.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #5--New Ideas

New Ideas Whether it was from Alexander Graham Bell, the Google guys, or George Lucas, every great idea has battle scars of people who rejected it early on. We don’t love new ideas; we love them only when others have tested them. Inventors often try to save a world that doesn’t want to be saved until others approve the solution: “…an unfortunate paradox: the greater the idea, the harder it is to find anyone willing to try it (Kindle, loc 1032).”  Most often inventors have heard these words: This will never work. No one will want this. This is a solution in search of a problem.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #4--Paths of Innovation

Paths of Innovation
Survival manual for innovators: 1) Gain self-knowledge (find out what inspires you); 2) Reward interesting failures (reward people for experimenting, especially when they fail); 3) Be intense but step back (intensity tempered with reconsideration); 4) Grow to size (start small and let it grow with time); 5) Honor luck and the past (the harder you work, the luckier you get).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #3--Challenges

Challenges for Innovation The author lists eight challenges: 1) Finding the idea; 2) Developing a solution (execution is tougher than good ideas); 3) Sponsorship and funding (getting someone to fork over money for an idea isn’t easy); 4) Reproduction (scaling up for profitability takes work);  5) Reaching customers (an idea becomes innovation only when people buy it); 6) Beating competitors (see how you can collaborate or compete); 7) Timing (is the world ready for your idea?); 8) Keeping the lights on (can you pay the bills while waiting for success?). Tough odds. If you’re still willing to read on, here’s a quote from Hans Solo that the author offers: “Never tell me the odds.”

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Innovation Myths: Post #2--Innovation Mehtod

The Innovation Method: The myth is that there’s some sort of playbook for innovation. And because fantasy, not reality, sells, we often make up eureka-type stories to explain the arduous task of evolving innovations. We all want to find the magical moment—the place and time a big idea started. That’s why people read biographies of guys like Steve Jobs. They hope to find the magic or secret to the next big thing. But that’s not how it happens. Innovators are humans, warts and all. Romanticizing them takes you down a rabbit hole. Innovation is more of a personal odyssey.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Innovation Myths:; Post #1--Overview

Overview: Though you may admire the brain power of Newton, Edison, Jobs, or Gates, it’s clear that discovery comes from hard work, risk and sacrifice, not some divine epiphany. Furthermore, innovation does not have a straight-line trajectory, nor does it happen overnight. In fact, many inventors aren’t seen as geniuses until after they die. Reporters try to find the “eureka” magical moment that is never really there. The inventions of the radio, the TV, the laser, and the computer were an accumulation of ideas and efforts. Small insights lead to big breakthroughs. The epiphany is really much more like putting a puzzle together. When you put the last piece in place, it just “feels” like magic.
The Myths of Innovation (O’Reilly, 2010) by Scott Berkun, reviewed by Steve Gladis, PhD, July 2013...Steve Gladis Leadership Partners. (Twitter: @SteveGladis)

Friday, July 19, 2013

WriteType: Post #5--NTs--Strategic Writers

NT's (iNtuitive Thinkers) or Strategic Writers are good structuring ideas in a cohesive manner. They lead with ideas, then data...all well structured with logic.
Watch the video about NT's on YouTube

Monday, July 15, 2013

WriteType: Post #4--NFs--Creative Writers

NF (iNtuitive Feelers) or Creative Writers like to lead with big ideas and concepts--then support them with data. They connect,synthesize, and develop new concepts from the combination of established ideas/data.
Watch the video about NF's on YouTube

Sunday, July 14, 2013

WriteType: Post #3--SF's--Correspondents

SFs--(Sensor-Feelers) or Correspondents like to correspond and communicate with people. They write often and well using clear, concise writing, good research and are rooted in the values, mores and customs of their audience.
Check out the video about SFs on YouTube

Friday, July 12, 2013

WriteType: Post #2--STs--Technical Writers

ST's (Sensor-Thinkers) or Technical Writers are very good with data and logic. Their writing is clear, concise and to the point. It also lacks a certain emotional appeal...making the writing great for certain audiences, and not as appealing for others.
Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Monday, July 8, 2013

WriteType: Video Post #1--Introduction to Personality Types and Writing Styles

Click Here for Video of WriteType (Intro)
How we write is strongly influenced by our personality styles. This video introduces a book--WriteType that explains how personality makes such a difference in our writing, how we get along with bosses, and how we express our ideas,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #6--Evaluating

Evaluate Experiments
Evaluate the leader on how well s/he conducts the experiments. “The innovation leader’s job is to execute a disciplined experiment and learn quickly from experiments to make smarter decisions. How to evaluate an innovative leader? 1. Have a clear hypothesis; 2. Identify critical unknowns; 3. Invest time in planning, analysis, lessons learned; 4. Make sure the entire team knows the assumptions; 5. Make evidence-based decisions and changes; 6. Update your plans as you learn. 4.    Final Words:  Remember that every company started as an experiment, and every company will have to continue to experiment to make it in the future.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #5--Collect Evidence

Collect Evidence
 And validate actions.  Often core business employees won’t help the new upstart business—not because they are lazy or stubborn, but because they’re compensated on the performance of the core, not on helping the new hypothetical venture. The trick with innovation is that you have to do both—sustain the core business and build a new business. Here is a disciplined innovative process: state hypothesis, predict possible outcomes, measure results, and learn and compare results to original hypothesis. Moreover, collect evidence and measure every major expenditure. Don’t spend a million dollars on a 100 dollar experiment. Also, remember the “worse-before-better” concept: You have to plow money and time into an experiment before it bears fruit.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #4--Go Lean

Go Lean
Experiment and LEARN. “Doing nothing is the riskiest choice…,” Bull tells us. Stella comes up with a great new idea to help save the farm. But the idea is only the beginning for any innovation. It’s a hypothesis. Then comes much more, starting first with experimentation. A hypothesis is just your assumption(s) about how you expect the business to succeed and prosper. Sometimes you’re right, other times you’re wrong. Growth comes through experimenting, succeeding some, and failing some. “Learning first, profits second!”(Einstein, the bespectacled rooster). So, put learning first and watch profits grow.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #3--From the Ground Up

From the Ground Up
Build it like you would a new organization--from the ground up. What got you to where you are now (the current state of your organization) won’t get you to the new place that makes you competitive in a changing environment. So, building the new innovative group from the bottom up requires rethinking and hard choices. Not everyone can or will be capable of being on the new team. However, you will need a strong sponsor on the core team—to support and sustain the new business at birth and through its infancy—or it will die before it can prosper. Things will get tough along the way. Courage will ensure that you stay on course, based on trending evidence, not simply hope!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #2--Dedicated Team

Dedicated Team
 Build a dedicated team—focused on the innovation: Make them separate but connected. Maverick (Mav) gets chosen to lead the new venture on the farm based on Stella’s idea—producing luxury wool. He must implement the process; this is how creativity goes from a great idea to an innovation, a commercial product or service that can be sold for profit. However, if the new enterprise is to survive, it must stay connected to the core business of the organization for its nourishment and support—like a child for its mother. You can’t expect to tell a new leader to just go off and “make it happen” without core support. Certain operations, like marketing and sales, might be completely independent, but production, HR and administration are more efficiently managed as a joint operation. Conflict will be inevitable; expect it, but understand that the partnership (between the existing business and the new innovative one) is critical to moving the organization forward into the future.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Saving the Farm: Post #1--Overview

How Stella Saved the Farm: A Tale About Making Innovation Happen by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble (St. Martin’s Press, NY), reviewed by Steve Gladis, PhD, June 2013.

Overview: On the surface, this is a story whose main characters are barn animals—Stella (a creative sheep), Marcus (the aging stallion CEO), Deidre (Marcus’ daughter, a mare, and successor to run the farm), Bull (the ops guy for the main farm), Mav (the renegade innovator), and others. At its core, the story about how a farm, run by (very literate) animals, competes with “humans” and their huge new tractors. On the surface, it looks like a simple fable. However, so was George Orwell’s Animal Farm! Fable and allegory have long been the craft of authors who really wanted everyday people to understand complex ideas. Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble—both experts on innovation—have written a book for everyone about how innovation works successfully in companies. Read it, heed the wisdom, and watch your organization prosper.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Positive Leadership: Post #5--FINAL: Get Positive in Your Activities (Psychological)

Get Positive in Your Activities   
You can practice getting more positive, just like swinging a golf club or hitting a tennis ball. Watch this video and try some of these psychological activities....and notice the difference in your attitude. Watch this video:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Positive Leadrship: Post #3--Get Strong at Work

Get Strong at Work  If you get the opportunity to work at things your strong at, you will enjoy work and find that time flies--otherwise the clock just drags. The ratio should be 80/ should be doing the work you like 80% of the time and the stuff you don't prefer only about 20% of the time. Watch this video:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Positive Leadership: Post #2--Get Social

Get Social
Get Social  People who are social—those who have a strong relationship with their families, friends, and colleagues at work are among the happiest people on the planet.  Watch this video:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Positve Leadership-- Post #1--Overview

Will be posting a series of YouTube videos that summarize my new book: Positive Leadership: The Game Changer at Work.

Overview: After culling through much of the research on positive psychology, I pulled together a compilation of how happiness and positivity affect leaders and how, in turn, leaders impact on direct reports. The findings are eye opening. Watch the video:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Group Genius: Post #10--FINAL Words

Final Words: Innovation is the future of any society. Governments often respond to big companies, who want to restrict competition. Such companies have the most to lose from innovation and collaboration that might be better for the whole of society. We need to pay attention to this tension to remain economic leaders in the world.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Group Genious: Post #9--Collaborative Economy

Creating a Collaborative Economy: Our future relies on the power of tapping into the magic of collaboration. Possessiveness kills creativity. We need to reward individuals but ensure collaboration to continue. Social scientist Richard Florida claims that 30% of American workers are part of the creative economy. Warning: Collaborate or become irrelevant in today’s creative economy. We need laws to protect inventors that also allow collaboration. How to do this? 1) Reduce copyright years (down from 95 years); and 2) Reward small sparks (go to more open source, collaborative efforts).

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Group Genius: Post #8--Collaborating with Customers

Collaborating with Customers: Google uses mash-ups—a combination of their technologies and customers’ applications to allow collective wisdom to fuel their search engine. Google hosts “code jams”—contests that allow users to solve their big problems; finalists come to their headquarters—big prize is only $10K. Amazon, eBay, Cisco, SAS, and IBM all use a form of collective mindshare. At Wikipedia and YouTube, customers drive the car.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Group Genius: Post #7--Team-based Companies

Team-based Companies: Cross-functional collaborative teams (innovation teams) create products more quickly. But isolated “skunk works” don’t work due to a lack of necessary collaboration across the company. “Innovation labs” consist of people from all over the company; they come together but then go back to their units—they do not become a separate entity. Key ways to measure innovation: 1) Count time on exploratory projects—up to 20% works well; 2) Measure how much time is required to terminate a project—quick is better than slow; 3) Measure how the company celebrates failure. Author suggests: “Fail often, fail early, fail gloriously.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Group Genius: Post #6--Connecting Sparks

Connecting the Sparks: Ideas build on previous ones based on four everyday mental processes:  1) Conceptual Transfer (analogies help people find a path to solve new problems); 2) Conceptual Combination (think Reese’s Pieces—nouns combine creatively, and the farther apart the two concepts are, the more creative the outcome); 3) Conceptual Elaboration (leveraging new uses of an existing product); 4) Concept Creation (hard work, collaboration, and deep familiarity—takes 10 years). Conversation is a critical place for connections and creativity to happen.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Group Genius: Post #5--Flow

Flow: Well-known psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi named “flow” as a peak experience of heightened consciousness and creativity. Four characteristics: 1) Skills match the challenge (note difference between boredom and frenzy); 2) The goal is clear; 3) Constant feedback about progress toward the goal; 4) Concentration is fully on the task—and time flies.  People reach flow most often in conversation with others, which leads to creativity.  Basketball represents pure group genius, especially pickup ball with no clock or referee—it’s “flow” in motion.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Group Genius: Post# 4--Innovative Leadership

Innovative Leadership: Self-directed groups responding to change are effective at responding rapidly. Traditional leaders break down tasks, assign them and keep track. Innovative leaders create  ”space” for creativity to happen. John Kao, Harvard Business School professor, thinks that modern business is much more like improvisational jazz because there is no script!

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