Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The great battle is not good v evil rather self-interest v enlightened self-interest

I recently completed a study of this book.

It contains many great insights. So many I'm begun to read the next two books the author has written since this one, 'Homo Deus' and '21 Lessons for the 21st Century'!

Through reading this book and watching videos like this one I've become a fan of Yuval Noah Harari.

One insight that's really intrigued me is the concept of 'Imagined Order' or 'Imagined Realities'.  This concept highlights that the world's systems, legal, economic, political, business and religious, are all made up by us, for us, and increasingly obvious to me for the benefit of the few rather than the many.

Studying this book has rekindled my passion for standing for enlightened self-interest and standing against self-interest.

Enlightened self-interest

"Enlightened self-interest is a philosophy in ethics which states that persons who act to further the interests of others (or the interests of the group or groups to which they belong), ultimately serve their own self-interest." Source Wikipedia

Enlightened self-interest for me is simply acting to further the interests of others without attachment, knowing that my own interests will be taken care of as a consequence.

Zig Zigar had a lovely way of putting this



This is very different to self-interest which seems to drive many of our politicians and so-called business leaders who act according to their own selfishness.

All over the world I see self-interest destroying businesses, families, lives in general, and of course, being in the grip of self-interest means we are not yet able to avoid the catastrophes caused by our inability and unwillingness to live in harmony with our planet.

The good news is that I also see productivity and positivity going through the roof, and the changing of what’s normal for the good of people and our planet, when the awesome power of enlightened self-interest is at work. 

In an article almost a decade ago in CSR Wire, John Elkington, one of my heroes, and the father of the triple-bottom line, said:

Properly understood, sustainability is not the same as corporate social responsibility (CSR)—nor can it be reduced to achieving an acceptable balance across economic, social and environmental bottom lines. Instead, it is about the fundamental, intergenerational task of winding down the dysfunctional economic and business models of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and the evolution of new ones fit for a human population headed towards nine billion people, living on a small planet already in “ecological overshoot”.

John's dream can easily be achieved. 

We simply reimagine our systems and models and replace the nineteenth and twentieth century ones!

Of course the stumbling block, the barrier, the mountain to climb over is self-interest.

In his 'Sapiens' book Harari walks through key moments of The Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century. More has happened i.e. been invented and imagined in the last 500 years, than at any other time in history.

One of the triggers for this revolution no doubt was the idea of the earth revolving around the sun by Nicolaus Copernicus. Prior to his publication in 1543 the so-called infallible sources such as religions believed that the earth was the centre of the universe.

Questions to consider and act on

Is enlightened self-interest driving you? Could you do more for your world and therefore for yourself?

How many of your actions yesterday feathered your own nest and cost somebody else something they didn’t want to give away?

In your lifetime what have been the ideas, theories etc once accepted as truth that are no longer believed in or relevant?

In your business what 'imagined orders' in the forms of processes, policies, procedures, practices and systems will you reimagine and replace?

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

PS I've been a keen student of what the last 500 years of history has brought us and the consequences for most of my adult life.

Below is a selection of works I recommend in addition to the 'Sapiens' book referenced here.

Here's my full recommended reading list.

Elkington, John; Hartigan, Pamela; The Power of Unreasonable People, Harvard Business Press, 2008

Flannery, Tim; The Weather Makers, Text Publishing, 2005

Friedman, Thomas; Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Allen Lane an imprint of Penguin
Books, 2008

Friedman, Thomas; The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Anchor Books a division of
Random House, Inc. 2000

Friedman, Thomas; The World is Flat, Penguin, 2006

Gerzon, Mark; Global Citizens, Rider, 2010

Gore, Al; The Assault on Reason, Bloomsbury, 2007

Gore, Al; The Future, W H Allen, 2013

Goldin, Ian and Kutarna, Chris; Age Of Discovery, Bloomsbury, 2016

Grayling, A. C.; The God Argument The Case against Religion and for Humanism, Bloomsbury, 2013

Grayling, A. C.; The Age of Genius The Seventeenth Century & The Birth of The Modern Mind, Bloomsbury, 2016

Heffernan, Margaret; Willful Blindness, Simon & Shuster, 2011

Hitchens, Christopher; God is Not Great, Allen & Unwin, 2007

Holiday, Ryan; Ego Is The Enemy, Profile Books Ltd, 2016

Hollender, Jeffrey and Stephen Fenichell; What Matters Most – Business, Social 
Responsibility and the End of the Era of Greed, Random House, 2004

Hollender, Jeffrey and Bill Breen; The Responsibility Revolution, Jossey-Bass,
2010

Hurst, Aaron; The Purpose Economy, Elevate Publishing, 2016

Keen, Andrew; The Internet Is Not The Answer, Atlantic Books, 2015

Kiel, Fred; Return On Character - The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win, Harvard Business Review Press, 2015

Korten, David C; Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth, The People-Centred Development Forum, 2nd edition, 2010

Laloux, Frederic; Reinventing organisations, Nelson Parker, 2014

Leonhard, Gerd; Technology vs. Humanity The coming clash between man and machine, Fast Future Publishing Ltd 2016

Macdonald, Hector; Truth How the Many Sides to Every Story Shape Our Reality, Bantam Press, 2018

McKeown, Greg; essentialism The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Virgin Books, 2014

Neumeier, Marty; Metaskills: Five Talents For The Robotic Age, New Rider, 2013

Newport, Cal; Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, GrandCentral Publishing, 2016

Peters, Tom; The Excellence Dividend Principles for Prospering in Turbulent Times from a Lifetime in Pursuit of Excellence, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2018

Pinker, Steven; Enlightenment Now - The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress, Penguin 2018

Porritt, Jonathon; Capitalism as if the World Matters, Earthscan, 2005

Raworth, Kate; Doughnut Economics Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, rh business books, 2017

Sisodia, Raj, Sheth, Jag, Wolfe David B; Firms of Endearment, Wharton School
Publishing, 2007

Yunus, Muhammad; A World of Three Zeros, Scribe Publications, 2017

Monday, 12 November 2018

Competency based assessment is only a tiny part of the success story

Competency based assessment has a place however it is a small place compared to all the others pictured.


To improve recruitment, induction, and retention of employees, everyone’s overall well-being, and ultimately of course performance, assess all seven pictured.

If you’d like some help please give me a shout.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 9 November 2018

The great story of Change Please Coffee and Virgin Trains

This is a great enlightened self-interest story of big business helping a social enterprise make a big impact in solving a social problem.




Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Words to eliminate from your business language

I like this article by Eric J. McNulty and the diagram below is from his article.


What words have you/should you ban from your workplace?

I also like Eric's use of the word harmony in his article. I much prefer harmony to alignment or balance. Here's my best example of harmony.

Language is the fertile ground (starting place) for achieving your personal and business purpose and any outcome you desire. When language elevates conversations and conversations enrich relationships the work (transactions and interactions) is enhanced and results take care of themselves.

The model above is a favourite with my clients.

Like some help in applying the principle/s in this post in your own best way?

Choose a presentation/conversation/mentoring package.

Speak with me about a 1:1/group mentoring program.

Speak with me about a mentoring your mentors program.

Be remarkable.
Ian


Monday, 5 November 2018

When your call is not urgent or important

The tram is jam packed. Some of us are literally hanging from the rafters!

A guy two bodies away from me is oblivious. He's on his so-called smart phone speaking loudly on a call that's obviously not urgent or important.

In my view this guy is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

A few minutes after I get off the tram a young girl runs into the old lady walking near me because she's glued to her phone. She doesn't apologise or even recognise the older woman.

In my view this girl is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

A few hours later I'm on the train going home. A middle aged man opposite me never stopped taking or making telephone calls for the next hour. I now know lots about him, none of which is very impressive.

In my view this man is rude, ignorant and self-obsessed. What do you think?

When your call is not urgent or important don't make it. You don't need to be on your bloody phone every waking hour.

According to recent research from Harvard Business School, being always on lessens our effectiveness. Read more.

I gave up on a 24/7 always on world a long ago. I knew it wasn't good for me or anyone else. I choose when to email, when to call, when I do anything. I also choose when to receive calls from others and when to read anything others send. You?

By all means take pictures whenever you like, however please show respect to other people and their privacy. And please don't forget to experience the wonders of life in the moment without your bloody phone.

One of the great joys of life is to ignore electronic devices for as much of every day as possible.

I personally love the weekends because most of the time my electronic devises are switched off and in the cupboard out of sight.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 2 November 2018

Making progress in meaningful work visible

I’m currently presenting and hosting a series of master-classes as I complete the writing of this final book in a trilogy.

Learn more about the master-classes held in Ballarat on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

Each master-class is standalone and is on one of the 9 fundamentals of value-driven leadership aka law of the farm leadership.

The 9 are pictured at the bottom of this post along with a link to the pulse check where you can assess where you're at and where you can move to in each of the 9 as well as the other key areas of value-driven leadership.

This post is from the content component in the change leadership section of the book.

In a nutshell

For most of my 48 years working life I’ve observed that in the very best workplaces progress towards shared objectives has been visible via scorecards and/or scoreboards of some kind.

When ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ concept began to be adopted from 1996 not only did the pictures get better, so did what was being pictured.

In the last 8 years there’s been a further raising of the bar as the wisest people apply ‘The Progress Principle’ which was rated by Harvard Business Review as the breakthrough idea of 2010.

You can learn more about ‘The Balanced Scorecard’ and ‘The Progress Principle’ via this link.

The key for me about ‘The Progress Principle’ is the insight "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

I’ve never thought much of the idea that what gets measured gets done. I’m much more aligned with the following:

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”
William Bruce Cameron in 'Informal Sociology' published 1963.

3 recommended actions

1) Have a candid, convivial and compassionate conversation with your team about your keeping score philosophy.

Ask these questions:

How much is our focus on tangibles or outcomes/results?

How can we get better at focusing on intangibles or processes or routines/rituals, i.e the things that lead to our outcomes/results.

2) Explore the concept "making progress in meaningful work visible” with your team. 

How could you embrace it and make it integral to daily work in your workplace?

3) Use visual formats and processes that the people involved relate to

Beyond traffic lights, graphs, thermometers and the like, what visual formats will you use to “making progress in meaningful work visible,” and that people really relate to?

Recommended Deep work

1) Over time create harmony between Key Human Indicators and Key Performance Indicators.

I first learned the phrase Key Human Indicators from futurist Gerd Leonhard.

I also love Gerd’s idea of androrithms "those qualities that makes us human" having more meaning than algorithms.

In my work with clients the behaviours that demonstrate the living of values are key human indicators. Here’s an example from Jamie Wilson, Sales manager for Victoria, Australia for Haymes Paint:

“In all interactions and transactions with fellow employees and business partners we perform with passion, pride in our work, professionalism, and the highest levels of honesty.”

Key Human Indicators are also the essential skills required to thrive in the new world of work.

Below is a partial list of these skills. What would you add to the list?

empathizing, collaborating, creating, leading and building relationships. Source.

Influence, Self-leadership, Communication, Agility, Resilience, Proactivity, Teachability, Curiosity,
Vulnerability, Humour. Source.

2) The skills referenced above are all critical to value delivery. What other lead value delivery indicators need to be maximised in your workplace.

The format is which people receive what they want is one such lead indicator.

Elements of your customer’s experience when doing business with you are indicators.

I love the insight that it's jobs being made redundant not people. Learn more about this.

Make a list of the jobs that you believe will never be redundant? What you've listed are a key to value delivery.

Being of value is the great quest we're all on. As Einstein put it:

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value"
Albert Einstein

3) Create and execute a plan over the next year to improve your communication, conversations and presentations in general and also about "making progress in meaningful work visible.”

These are the outer ring of the essential skills and attitudes essential to thriving in the modern world. Learn about my unique program where you can improve in these areas in your own best way.

Be remarkable.
Ian
Assess where you're at and where you can move to in each of the 9 above as well as the other key areas of value-driven leadership by completing the pulse check from here.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Simplify Your Slides To Enhance Your Presentations - Guest post by Michael Dodd

This is a guest post by my friend and colleague Michael Dodd, and HT to friend and colleague of us both Derek Willians who features.

Imagine you’re told that a great guru has something vital to tell you.

The guru lives at the top of a mountain – as gurus do.

You cross deserts and crocodile-infested rivers before climbing the rugged slopes to reach him.

Finally you meet.

But instead of looking you in the eye and spouting wisdom, the guru holds up a big sheet of cardboard with lots of tiny writing on it.

He expects you to read all the words.

This is difficult because, while you try to decipher the meaning, the guru looks at the cardboard himself and simultaneously seeks to explain it.

You don’t know whether to focus on what the guru says or the written words.

Eventually you give up trying to read – and give up listening to the guru.

By now you don’t think he really is a guru – and you’re almost asleep.

INJECTING LIFE INTO PRESENTATIONS IN THE TECH WORLD

Alas this experience is much the same as when you sit through a poorly planned presentation with a bad set of wordy slides.


Presenters who do the equivalent of this to their unfortunate audiences may know masses of useful stuff.

But little enlightenment usually takes place – and, in the end, such presenters undermine their status as potential gurus.

This happens with particular frequency to audiences in high-tech industries.

I know because I’m increasingly asked by those in high tech industries to rescue them and their unfortunate audiences.

It’s a pleasure and privilege to do so, especially as technical experts frequently prove to be quick, keen and delightful improvers with important things to say.

But while they’re not typically what you might call “natural” presenters, techy folk like to know useful formulae, quick tips and simple guidelines to put them on the right track – and they often surprise themselves with how well they can put it all into action.

FEWER WORDS AND MORE WITH PICTURES

Here’s the key tip for everyone who wants to avoid inflicting bad slide presentations upon their audiences.

Make your slides better by using fewer words and more pictures!

As a real guru on presentation might say: Too Many Bullet Points Kill.

Ask yourself, how many words are there on the front of a great movie poster that you remember – or a great book cover or a great pop album?

It’s very few.

A great slide can often help you get your message across in a similar way if it’s largely pictorial.

If you look closely at the picture below you can see a speaker showing slide of a movie poster with just one word – “Jaws”.


One emotive image (in this case a set of fierce set of shark teeth) enables a speaker to grab attention visually and say something verbally at the same time without overloading audience members and while looking directly at them.

If you need to convey a lot of factual information, make a self-contained written handout that everyone can read through afterwards when you’re not talking to them at the same time!!!

A good graphic slide doesn’t need to be self-contained, because you can add information verbally as it’s examined.

But a good handout must be self-contained, so it can be understood by audience members on the train or plane on the way home.

If the graphic slides in your presentation are memorable, audience members will understand the handout all the better.

THE LESSON OF ONE EFFECTIVE PICTORIAL SLIDE

Let me tell you about one single effective slide from a colleague in the Professional Speaking Association, Derek Williams.

Derek is a fantastically positive person who has built an organisation designed to give positive feedback to those who deserve it.

Rather than catching people doing things wrong – as so many do – Derek and his organisation catch people doing things right.

Derek also reckons many companies are more geared towards dealing with complaints than to receive praise.

In his presentations, Derek conveys this with just one slide.


It just takes a quick glance at the slide, with a short verbal explanation to get point!

WOWING THEM WITH POSITIVITY

Derek’s business is called “The WOW! Awards”.


It helps deserving organisations and their people to avoid the problem of too many complaints and not enough praise where its due.

This is good for morale, engagement and productivity.

There’s more at: the wow awards. 

WOWING THEM AT THE TOWER OF LONDON

If you want to know more, there’s a chance you can get a ticket to a hugely positive WOW! Awards ceremony at the Tower Of London on 30 November.


If you’re interested in taking advantage of this possibility, email: michael@michaeldoddcommunications.com

Warning: there will be a lot of positive “wow” stories at the Tower.

This could be a shock to the Tower Of London itself, as the venue is better known for less positive things like hanging and torturing.

But it is a place of intriguing stories.

And stories should make up a chunk of what your presentation contains – ideally supported by largely pictorial slides, or no slides at all.

Telling the right stories or informing people about real life examples is a great way to enliven presentations.

If your team would benefit from knowing how to do this, you can book a keynote speech for your conference on “Becoming Inspirational Communicators”.

There’s more at:
http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/speaking-at-your-event/

And to ensure you and your team fascinate your audiences – rather than kill with too many bullet points – you can book master classes or one-to-one sessions on “Presenting With Confidence, Impact And Pizzazz”.

Details are at:
http://www.michaeldoddcommunications.com/presenting-with-confidence-impact-and-pizzazz/

I'd also highly recommend Michael's great book. 

Free chapter and more here.