leadership elastic …now that’s fantastic!

Leadership Elastic …Now that’s Fantastic!

I love this article by WordPress blogger, LeadershipFreak:

Stretched, Not Crushed

Every time things start going wrong we look to the leader for solutions. Beware! The pressure to provide solutions crushes leaders. When solutions come from the top, organizations crumble from the bottom.

A C-level leader recently said, “When I wake up stressed out over problems in the night, I know I’ve forgotten it’s about the team. Things go better when I include others.”

Stretching others: Leaders who can’t ask people to do hard things can’t get hard things done. Meaningful contributions require deep commitment and effort. Weak leaders assume others can’t or won’t step up. They rule out before they ask.

Ruling out: That’s too hard for them. Making it easy prevents people from stepping up. Give people the opportunity to do hard things. I’m not suggesting you intentionally make things hard for others.

  1. They already contribute so much. Translation, they can’t make meaningful contribution in new areas.
  2. They wouldn’t be interested.
  3. They’re too valuable where they are. If anyone says that to you, update your resume’.

The big ask: The big ask is about values before programs. Programs, methods, and techniques are small things when compared with the power of shared values. Align shared values before making the big ask.

It’s the team:

Carrying the load alone crushes;
carrying the load together stretches.

Shared values are magnetic; they pull people together. Success is always about people before it’s about programs and initiatives. People committed to shared values make deep commitments to each other. Connections sustain and energize when things get hard. Blame separates and defeats.

How do you ask others to do hard things?

What should be in place before you ask for deep commitments?

via Stretched not Crushed, by LeadershipFreak

Story Spines Can Inspire Change

Once Upon a Time, You Created Change…

Storytelling has long been a vehicle for creating a journey of the imagination, a journey in which a transformation happens. In his March 2012 Fast Company article, “Using Great Storytelling To Grow Your Business,” Kaihan Krippendorff writes about how to use effective storytelling to drive change and growth in an organization. He references a tool called a Story Spine, which is a simple bunch of sentence stems that provide the skeleton for building a story. The Story Spine is a tool developed by Kenn Adams as a way for improvisers (actors who work without a script) to build a classic story.

The basic Story Spine structure

Once there was…
And every day…
Until one day…
And because of that…
And because of that…
And because of that…
Until finally…
And so…

Optional ending line: The moral of the story is…

Sound familiar? Many fairy tales and children’s stories, as well as novels and movies,  fit in this story structure. Elegant & easy! So, what if we could use story spines to map out a vision for changing ourselves? Simple genius! Here’s a great Harvard Business Review article that guides us on using Story Spines to craft a vision for changing our own circumstances: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/a_simple_exercise_to_help_you.html.

Bonus Freebie

There are hundreds of possible Story Spine variations, and here’s one:

  • [The balance]: Once upon a time … and every day …
  • [The un-balance]: But then one day …
  • [The quest for a resolution]: … and because of that … and so … until finally ….
  • [The new balance]: … and ever since that day ….


Your Turn

Now, how will you use a Story Spine to create change in your own life? Share your thoughts in a comment here!

In Praise of Vid-eLearning

Creating quick knowledge bursts with Vid-eLearning…

Josh Bersin’s We-Learning “Modern Enterprise Learning” chart


 The glory days of the week-long workshop or the 6-hour eLearning module have faded. It’s not that face-to-face training or carefully-designed eLearning courses are going away.

 It’s just that in this new age of We-Learning (as coined by Josh Bersin), there are so many more options for learning and performance support. 

Today, let’s focus on just one of these alternative ways of delivering learning content: videos.

Not Your Grandfather’s Video

It used to be that videos were high-cost, high-production affairs involving fancy vendors with titles like, “Production Coordinator” and “Digital Editor,” “Sound Editor.”  Now, with iPhones and other smartphones to capture good-enough quality video, and with YouTube, Vimeo and the like to post it, anyone can create and share their short movie with the world.  We consumers-as-producers are creating, sharing and aggregating our own collaborative learning assets.

Just the Tacks, Ma’am

I visit the video section of  lowes.com all the time for video how-to’s on DIY projects. When I just need to know how to reupholster a chair or ground a GFI outlet, I don’t want to have to sit through an hour on furniture and fabric styles or theories behind Copper vs. Aluminum wiring. I just want to be shown a step-by-step example of what I need to do.

How Can the Learning Organization Evolve

A colleague recently proposed the idea of using QuickTime mini-movies for learning & performance support. This idea really resonates with me. Salman Khan, founder of the Khan Academy, exemplifies the idea of delivering learning through small video chunks in his 2011 TED talk.

Now it’s your turn. Why not create a video to share your thoughts on using mini-videos for learning & performance support? Send me a link and I’ll post it here!

Looking forward to continuing the vConversation.