Monday, 15 July 2019

Why TED Talks don't change people's behaviors: Tom Asacker

There's a lot to love about this TEDx talk by Tom Asacker.

I particularly loved the insight Tom shared from screenwriter Robert McKee:
Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Meetings that actually matter part four - Sparkenators, 21st century managers and culture champions

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

This is part four of 7.

Here's part one about value delivery.

Here's part two about Sparkenation Conversations (every day innovation).

Here's part three about learning and development.

Today I’m exploring Sparkenators, 21st century managers and culture champions meetings.

Much has changed since I first left the corporate world in 1991 and set out on my own as a mentor for business owners and leaders.

One of the actions that I took early on was to declare management dead. I received mostly negative feedback apart from a handful of people.

As I look back I’m glad I took what was then a very counter to conventional wisdom position. It helped to establish myself as a contrarian thinker which is still one of the reasons the right people for me come to me today.

I’ve also discovered that conventional wisdom usually isn’t wise!

I’d long felt back in 1991 that the old command and control management, a hangover from the industrial revolution, was actually bad for people.

Now sure command and control has its place in life and death matters. As a general rule though management of people is long past its used by date.

Even Peter Drucker, the so-called Father of management, was on the record as saying that the task was not to manage people rather to lead people.

As far back as the 1920’s Mary Parker Follett had declared that the purpose of leadership was to create more leaders.

Yet the status quo held sway. Even today there are bosses hanging on to people management.

Leadership is also in crisis today. Many religious, political and business leaders are giving it a bad name from their complete failure to lead us.

So in my view alternatives are much needed. In the research and writing of my Remarkable Workplaces book I put forward the alternative of Sparkenator which includes a special kind of leadership, and 21st century manager and culture champion.

The seven relationship enhancement roles of a Sparkenator plus the roles of 21st century manager and culture champion are all vital for the success in the modern workplace.

Meetings should be conducted as part of learning and development or standalone that enable people be better, wiser and more valuable in these roles and to increase the number of people capable of fulfilling these roles.

My research and work with clients has led me to conclude that there are 3 essential gifts or talents that I recommend should be unearthed and enhanced for each of the 9 roles so this is very much a long term endeavour.

I strongly recommend that should you not have the teaching expertise in house then you must invest in those people who have both the capability and the caring capacity so this is also a long term investment in people development.

Below are the gifts to unearth and enhance.

My recommended action

Conduct an audit of where you’re at in your workplace with these gifts and design a program to progressively raise each to a level of remarkable over the next year or so.

Should you like some help please give me a call. My number is +61 418 807 898. I also have an audit form on a page that I am happy to share with you.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Accountability is owning the value you bring

On the first Monday of the month conversation that I host for my clients. This month a part of the discussion was about accountability.

Paul Schmeja, The CEO of First Contact nailed it when he said:
"Accountability is owning the value you bring."

I think this is brilliant and the simplest and most profound definition of accountability I have come across. You?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 8 July 2019

Let's not give any more privileges to those who want to discriminate

For me the idea here in Australia of a possible Freedom of Religion Act makes my blood boil.

It seems to me that is a deliberate tactic by those who seek to discriminate against people who have different beliefs to them.

It's also seems to me to be about trying to give religion a place in our society it doesn't deserve. Think child abuse and the disrespect of women as just two reasons why religion should be a private matter.

Should you wish to have a faith that is absolutely fine by me. You are entitled to believe in what and whomever you wish. You are also entitled to speak freely about this in most parts of the world.

For you to say that something untoward could happen to me because I have a different faith or belief to you is self-righteousness and the stench of this hangs around forever. It crosses the line and lacks the love and compassion I expect to be first and foremost from anyone professing religious belief.

I think having a faith for some people has value. I think there are key distinctions between faith and religion and particularly the dogma and doctrines. They fail to benefit society and undermine the good some religious groups do.

I stand with David Marr. You?

The gobbledegook of all this is illustrated perfectly in the Australian government's response to an inquiry they instigated for political appeasement reasons into freedom of religion. Download the response here.

That BS is in direct contrast to the beauty and simplicity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which you can read here.

Freedom of Religion already is alive and well in Australia at least.

We should stand strongly against any changes of law that give any group of people rights that are not available to all.

Be remarkable.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Meetings that actually matter part three - Learning and Development

Listen directly to the podcast version of this post here.

This is part three of 7.

Here's part one about value delivery.

Here's part two about Sparkenation Conversations (every day innovation).

Today I’m exploring Learning and Development Meetings.

I’m very grateful for the work of Charles Jennings and the 70:20:10 framework

Here's an overview:

I base all design and application of learning and development meetings around this framework.

Corridor catch-ups are one great way to have a learning and development meeting.

Corridor catch-ups are my name for the many informal meetings that happen daily in most workplaces.

Asking How’s things going? when you bump into a colleague is still one of the great questions to ask.

The key is being genuine and willing to be silent while people give their answer.

Corridor catch-ups often lead to appreciation and/or accountability conversations.

Appreciation and/or accountability conversations

+ response to how’s things going?
How does that make you feel? (silence).

You respond Great, Brilliant or whatever and then ask,

Any other areas you’d like to explore with me today? (silence).

- response to how’s things going?
What happened? (silence)

What do you need to do to get back on track? (silence)

Is there anything I can do to help you? (silence)
Anything else? (silence)

The key to success in accountability conversations in particular is understanding track which refers to people’s performance possibility plans.

I use a plan and co-promises on a page you have heard me explore before. You'll find my own and a template at the bottom of this web page.

Your knowledge of people’s plans as you converse with them is important for corridor catch-ups and essential for both informal and formal coaching and mentoring.

Coaching and Mentoring Meetings

I always commence both my coaching (skill development) and mentoring (commitment development and expression) sessions with clients with the question: What’s worth celebrating and what can be better both personally and professionally?

People’s answers to this question humanise the moment and provide a context for the one focus area of the session.

One focus area at a time

My general rule for coaching and mentoring meetings and meetings in general is one focus area per meeting.

Such focus helps in keeping meetings brief, on point and leads to the best outcomes.

Structured courses and programs

Everything previous must be integrated with all learning and development through structured courses and programs.

Dr. Brent Peterson’s research findings are very valuable insights.

He found that 50% of learning happens after an event and 26% prior to an event.

So should you be sending people to courses or placing them in programs without pre and post work you are wasting your money and insulting your people!

Of course Dr. Peterson’s findings are in complete alignment with the 70:20:10 framework.

Below is an overview of my
process for all formal learning and development that I undertake with clients.

We will expand on the components in upcoming podcasts.

For now please embrace corridor catch-ups, accountability and appreciation conversations, one focus coaching and mentoring session and structured courses and programs that embrace the 70:20:10 framework principles and Dr. Peterson's findings.

Learn more.

Do Your Work.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

There is no road to peace. Peace is the road

I'm not certain it was Gandhi who said these powerful words (I found the image on Pinterest via a Google search) nevertheless they are words for our time.

Spend even just a few minutes on Twitter, read any newspaper, watch any news on TV, and likely you'll come across hate speech.


The language of hate has taken over it seems. It's coming from the far right of religious people (nothing new sadly).

And of course politicians (Trump is a main offender) seem to be all about fear and division, rather than love and interconnectedness.

We can all do our bit to stop this.

I hear lot's of talk about changing the conversation about this or that. Well to change any conversation we must change the language.

Here's what I've found. When our language is enlightened we elevate the conversation. When we do this we enrich relationships and the interactions and transactions that follow are better. I call this convention and picture it as follows in my Remarkable Workplaces book.

Who will you become today, and what will you do next to ensure peace is the road you're traveling on?

Be remarkable.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Shifting from separatism to oneness

I'm often asked by business owners and leaders when I meet them for the first time what it is that I've seen over my 30 years as a mentor to be the greatest challenge faced by their peers.

My answer is always keeping people on the same page, singing from the same song sheet, whatever you want to name it, yet at the same time enabling individuals to shine and to bring the best version of themselves to their work every day.

I literally help my clients to create organisational, team and individual plans and co-promises on a page.

Pictured opposite is my own.

Please download this and suggestions and a template to create your own.

I am one of the pioneers of one page plans.

I see lots these days with writing so small they're useless!

My insight is that the secret to success is being able get the content at a glance and then using your one page as a conversation focusing tool.

I call the headings the seven areas of shared-view.

Helping people to find and sustain shared-view in these areas is the heart of my work with clients.

Most of our troubles, personal, local, organisational, national, and international, are fundamentally based in our perceived need to hang onto the world in here (my view), our issues with the world out there (other people's views), and, our failure to focus more on the world we share (ours).

The exciting news is that when we find and sustain shared-view (ours) we can triumph over all our troubles.

There's short videos on each of the seven here and a one-page diagnostic tool that you can download and complete to see where you're at. 

From there should you like some help please contact me on +61 418 807 898.

The world right now is about separateness. Politicians, religious people, business leaders are saying my way is the only way. It isn't. The only way is ours. It's not either/or or this or that, it is always both/and.

You can change the world by changing yourself. A great first step is to find and sustain shared-view within your family and then your workplace.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.