Friday, 17 January 2020

Why decision-making is an essential skill to thriving in the new world of work

Sound decision making is an essential skill to thriving in the new world of work. In this world humans are being remarkable and doing work that is meaningful for them and highly valuable for others. In this new world machines have taken over the simple, routine repetitive work.


Decision-making is human work


I am no longer surprised by people in organisations who are perplexed at decisions made by leaders, because more than 50% of such decisions turn out to be the wrong decisions.

From two decades of research by Dr Paul Nutt of Ohio State University and involving hundreds of organisations 3 key reasons why 50% of decisions fail were discovered:


"1) 1/3 driven by ego.

2) nearly 2/3 of executives never explore alternatives once they make up their mind.

3) 80% of managers push their decisions through by persuasion or edict and not by the value of their idea."

Should any of the above be happening in your organisation what change/s can you make beginning today?

Another big problem that I see Lack of Transparency


For BIG decisions never make a decision until all the angles have been thoroughly viewed and debated.

Have a process!

Below is what I give to my clients to get them started. NB NEDS = Needs, Expectations and Desires.



Having a process means transparency of decision making which means greater acceptance and higher support for decisions.

Having a process also means a greater likelihood of

  • buy-in by those affected by the decision.
  • higher probability of making the right decision,
  • less poor decisions!
  • and less decisions You need to make in the first place!

The third problem I see is leaders unnecessarily involving themselves in decisions they shouldn't be


If this is happening at your place carry out a review as soon as practical to ensure that every day decisions are being made by the people doing the work and who are involved in customer/client transactions and interactions. Make sure that they are genuinely empowered to make decisions and that you have clarity with them about how they will be held to account.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Every country and company should have a leader of possibility

This year I'm cranking up everything to do with Possibility Leadership as I complete the writing of the book and roll out the new program.

I'm coming across all kinds of interesting things in my research including the fact that the UAE government has a Ministry of Possibilities.

Every country and company should have a leader of possibility.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

5 insights for more conscious, catalyst and creative conversations

This digital age doesn't have to mean the continued deterioration of great conversation and communication that is evident in many organisations.

Here's 5 insights for more conscious, catalyst and creative conversations. These are my tried and tested methodologies in my work with clients over 30 years.

In all conversations and communication the key characteristics for the greatest success are candour, conviviality and compassion.

1) Discovery/Decision


Have an open mind. There must be no forgone conclusions if you are to have a truly conscious, catalyst and creative conversation.

Start with a blank page yet be clear on the topic. My suggestion is one topic per conversation. Have a declared starting and finishing time. 45 minutes at a time works best.

Seek to answer this question What will our greatest achievement in insert topic look like?

Use a talking stick to encourage all participants having their say and being uninterrupted in doing so.

Make decisions about the path you're going to follow to act on your insights using a proven decision making process. If you don't have one get in touch with me and I will run you through some options.

2) Possibility/Planning


It's critical to your success in turning possibility into reality to co-create a possibility plan. Limiting your plan to one page is highly recommended. As one of the pioneers of plans-on-a-page I know from vast experience that keeping your plans to a page is key to guaranteeing success.

You should be able to glance at your plan and know instantly what is happening. I recommended 7 sections. I call these the seven areas of significance for sustaining shared-view. I recommend watching the short videos or listening to the short podcasts here. There's also my own current possibility plan-on-a-page at the link that you can download.

This conversation 45 minutes also. It can be more than 45 minutes just take a break at 45 minute intervals.

3) Practical/Process


Answer these questions post your planning conversation:

How will we ensure we're always practical in the execution of our plan?

What proven processes will we follow to keep us real and positive?

4) Progress/Adaption


I've written about the 'progress principle' many times. The latest is principle 8 in my mini ebook '11 proven principles for embracing the art and practice of possibility leadership.' You can download the mini ebook here.

5) After-action/Integration


There's plenty to contemplate and act on in your own best way about after-action-reviews and integration work in the above mini ebook. See principle 10. Here's the heart of it:

After-action-reviews are a game-changer because while every detail is still fresh in people’s souls, hearts and minds is really the only time to effectively reviewperformance. This is why all the great sports coaches get their teams in the room privately straight after the game and before they speak with anyone else.

The following is the process I follow for conducting after-action-reviews:

1) Review one action at a time and answer the following questions what happened and why? what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? Who will we become? What will we do next?

2) Determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you.

3) Upgrade your individual, team and organisational plans-on-a-page accordingly.

4) Reflect new perceptions in appropriate standard operating procedures, policies and practices (SOP’s).

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.

My recommended process for integrating new perceptions with what is already working well for you:

1) Choose one new perception to be integrated with one thing that is working well for you.

2) Decide who will be doing the work and how progress will be made visible.

3) Agree on a deadline for the integration.

4) Do an after-action-review of the integration!

5) Repeat.

Who will you become?

What will you do next?

Should you love some help, please get in touch with me. You may wish to take advantage of the very special 3 session offer here. Offer expires on 31st January 2020.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Monday, 6 January 2020

Will you join me at my next Possibility Leadership Preview Seminar?

On January 20th between 4 and 5.15 pm AEDT I'm conducting a complimentary preview seminar via Zoom of my all new Possibility Leadership online program.

You can learn more about the program here. Very special investment offer available until 5 pm 31st January 2020.

Download the mini ebook where I explore my top 11 proven principles of Possibility Leadership that you can begin to apply immediately in your own best way.

Register for the preview seminar here.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Friday, 3 January 2020

Can you help me find proven purpose-driven corporations and privately owned businesses?

My major writing project this year is my book Possibility Leadership. You can download the mini ebook version here.


As part of my research I want to interview leaders worldwide in

1) proven purpose-driven corporations,
2) privately owned businesses, and
3) solo professional service providers to these people.

If any of the three above is you, and you're happy to have our interview published once you have approved it please get in touch with me.

My telephone number is +61 418 807 898.

Be remarkable.
Ian

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

11 proven principles for embracing the art and practice of possibility leadership

Happy New Year! May 2020 be your best year yet.

Your best tomorrow depends on how well you master leadership today. What's your next move?

For over 30 years I’ve been working with leaders in privately owned or family businesses, proven purpose-driven organisations and corporations; and solo professional service providers to these people.

It's become obvious to me that the most successful leaders have found their own way to live sustainably in the top right hand quadrant below.


Where would you put yourself?

You probably find yourself there sometimes.

Below I explore 11 ways that you can choose to be there most of the time.

This post is also a mini ebook.

You can download the mini ebook here.

"Stress is caused by being here and wanting to be there."
Eckhart Tolle

I suggest keeping Eckhart Tolle’s wisdom prominent in your heart, mind and actions as you adopt the 11 proven principles herein in your own best way.

My highly recommended method for doing this is through taking quantum leaps and aggregating the marginal gains.


Introducing Possibility Leadership

The People Leadership Component: 
unearthing, magnifying and enhancing people’s essence (character, uniqueness);

The Process Management Component 
ensuring processes, which include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems, mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work;

The Sustainable Progress Component 
the art of keeping progress in meaningful work visible and desired value delivery a consistent and delightful experience for employees, clients/customers and other stakeholders.

Introducing the 5 interconnected roles

Possibility Leadership is:

seeing and bringing out the best (essence) in people, including yourself,

supporting people with powerful processes,

playing 5 interconnected roles to enshrine the above into your value delivery, and to ensure sustainable progress.

To see where you’re at in the 5 roles and where you could shift to take the pulse check at my website.

11 proven principles  for embracing the art and practice of possibility leadership

Principle 1.
See every person’s essence first and foremost, every time


One of the many wonderful insights of quantum science is that we live in a world of infinite possibilities.

When it comes to us humans this is also true.

There are no duplicates. 80 - 100 billion people have walked planet earth. Only one you!

Each one of us is a one-of-a-kind human being.

Seeing every person’s essence first and foremost, every time, is the first step into possibility leadership.

Every time you meet someone see their uniqueness, their one-of-a-kind character. From there inspire and support them to unearth, magnify, and enhance their essence.

I find Goethe’s insight from about 200 years ago timeless:

“When we treat man as he is we make him worse than he is.

When we treat him as if he already was what he potentially could be
 
we make him what he should be.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Possible Actions to integrate principle 1 into your life and work

1) Never judge another person’s intentions, feelings, thoughts or actions, rather help people to be accountable, while being an accountability role model yourself.

Focus on competing with yourself and seek to collaborate with everyone else.

This short online course ‘Reasons, Relationships, and Routines Guarantee Results’ may help you.

2) Never ask Who? when something doesn’t go according to plan, instead ask What happened? And then Who do you need to become and what must you do next to get back onto your path?

3) Show appreciation, gratitude, care and compassion in everything you are and do.

Principle 2.
Sustain shared-view in the seven areas of significance


Possibility Leadership is never this or that or either/or.

It’s never left or right in politics or right or wrong in any form.

Rather Possibility Leadership is always looking for both/and as well as and/also.

About 2500 years ago the Buddha called this the Middle Path.

Much more recently Stephen Covey called this The Third Alternative.

About 30 years ago I began to call this shared-view based on an insight from Jungian psychologist Robert Johnson.

In a presentation I attended Robert Johnson called a circle the Sanskrit word mandala, meaning whole. (Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a 3,500-year history!)

He called the almond shape that happens when two circles overlap the mandorla (perhaps an old Italian word) meaning sacred piece.

This struck a deep chord within me and I created the model below.

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.

In the most Remarkable Workplaces at a macro level shared-view is sustained in seven areas of significance:

1. Reality
2. Possibility
3. Purpose
4. Strategy
5. Execution
6. Progress
7. Culture

Possible Actions to integrate principle 2 into your life and work

1) With your team watch the short videos and/or listen to the short podcasts and then then complete the one page diagnostic.

2) Co-create a possibility plan-on-a-page for your team to close performance gaps identified. As an example see my plan below the podcasts at the above link.

3) Create an individual possibility plan-on-a-page for yourself and have your team mates do the same.

4) Use your possibility plans-on-a-page as conversation focusing tools in your team meetings, 1:1 check-ins, mentoring sessions and corridor catch-ups.

Principle 3.
Lead so that everyone including yourself, can sing their own song regardless of the situation


My favourite metaphors for our essence are music and song.

To learn more please play the short video below:



One of my favourite ways to not die with our music locked in us is learn to not worry about what other people think is good enough as this 1971 Joe Raposo song written for the children's television show Sesame Street as its signature song illustrates:

Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song
Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me
Sing, sing a song

Other people wanting us to sing their song seems to lie at the heart of many of the world’s challenges


I printed out this diagram and placed it on the whiteboard in my office. I then invested a part of each day for a week studying it and deciding what more I could become and do. i.e. sing my song to help solve the world's problems and overcome the challenges affecting us all. You can read more about this here.

It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by these challenges.

Recognising that there are 3 kinds of leadership helps: self, leading for others, and leading for leaders, and behaving accordingly, reduces overwhelm and feelings of change fatigue.

Possibility Leadership is a willingness to sing your own song regardless of the situation (self-leadership).

Possibility Leadership is valuing others and demonstrating this through appreciating them so well that people cannot do anything else other than to sing their song regardless of the situation (leading for others).

Possibility Leadership is being a mentor (leading for leaders) for other leaders as they sing their song regardless of the tests, tribulations and triumphs of self-leadership and leading for others.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 3 into your life and work

1) What is theme song for your life right now. Mine is “This is the moment”.

2) Ask your team mates what their theme song is right now and have conversations around why they chose their song, what the words mean to them, and how they are influenced in their lives by their song.

3) Also discuss what playlists you and your team mates have on your smartphones via Spotify or whatever platform you use. Explore your choices and why you listen to the songs and music that you do.

4) Ask How are your favourite songs influencing you to unearth, magnify and enhance your essence?

Principle 4
Choose your response to every moment


Possibility Leadership concurs with the wisdom of Yoda.


Yet before doing we must decide from a field of infinite possibility.

Our freedom to choose is possibly our greatest human capacity.

I often look at the picture below and contemplate the wise words of Viktor Frankl to remind myself of the power of choosing.


I often think too of my friend and colleague W. Mitchell's famous edict:


The future is full of infinite possibilities. What are you choosing?

Possible Actions to integrate principle 4 into your life and work

1) Examine with your team your last 5 major decisions and answer the following questions: Do you follow a process that means your decisions are transparent meaning people can see how you made the decisions even when they don’t agree with them?

2) Look back over the last week as an individual reviewing the every day choices you’ve made. How aligned were you with your essence? How many times did you feel unable to sing your song? And how often did you sing it? What lessons are here for you to take on board and sing your song more often?

3) Explore this blog post with your team mates and decide what your one word will be as a team and as individuals for the next year.

Principle 5
Bring your whole self to your response to every moment and inspire and support others to do the same


There are 5 facets to being a whole human. I call them the 5 faces of a human being fully alive. 

You can learn more about this concept in my books which you can download with my compliments via the PDF at this link.


To sing our song and to enable others to sing theirs we must bring our whole being to every moment.


I like this insight:

“In the past jobs were about muscles, now they’re about brains, 
but in future they’ll be about the heart.” 
so says Minouche Shafik, Director of The London School of Economics,
and recently a candidate to lead the Bank of England. 

I‘m going a few steps further. I’m suggesting that the future of work is about the heart, the head, the hands, and the soul, and aligning with the universe (one song) which to me is understanding that there is an energy, a vibration, a force if you like that connects us with everything there is.

Many folk call this force God referring to an external being. Today we know that this force lives within us all.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 5 into your life and work

1) Listen to your heart more. Explore/research what this means for you. There’s research out there that suggests listening to our heart is much more beneficial, faster, and wiser than listening to our brains.

2) Invest time and energy designing and implementing the special combination of soul (be) heart (feel), the head (see), the hands (do), and aligning with the universe (one song) (is) into your work.

3) Select soul mates willing to work with you and you with them on living the 5 faces of a human being fully alive. 

Principle 6
The result/outcome we truly want has happened
in possibility land long before we see it manifested as reality.


Adopting this principle in your own best way takes listening to yourself to a whole new level.

No doubt you have heard famous sports people talk about visualisation. This is seeing desired performance in your mind first and then translating the visual into reality.

Be (soul), Feel (heart), See (mind), Do (hands) = reality is the full process I’m suggesting.

Below is a screen shot from this Gregg Braden video.
It’s a new take on Ask and You Shall Receive. Turns out it's not that simple as some people think yet it is more profound.

You may find Gregg a bit out there. Look past that feeling. We live in a world of infinite possibility right?

Often we don’t see texts like the quote above which is from the Gospel of Thomas, because it was deemed by religious figures as not worthy of inclusion in the bible.

I suspect this is because a lot of what is said in the Gospel of Thomas doesn’t fit the dogma and doctrines of religious leaders.

Dogma and doctrine of any kind kill Possibility Leadership because they place limits on the limitless.

This is why it’s so important to adopt this principle of ‘The result/outcome we truly want has happened in possibility land (i.e. the soul, heart and mind) long before we see it manifested as a physical reality.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 6 into your life and work

1) Do more soul, heart and mind work. Whatever these mean to you.

2) In your soulmates group (you might call it your master-mind) explore the above.

3) Invest as much time and energy as you can in Being, Feeling and Seeing before any Doing.

4) In your after-action-reviews (see further in Principle 10) review Being, Feeling and Seeing as much as you review what you did.

Principle 7
Match words with deeds and documentations.


In every organisation you will find varying degrees of sophistication for standard operating procedures (SOP’s) manuals.

Often they have been written by consultants or people who don’t actually do the work. This often means that the procedures are too contemplated (or lacking common sense) for people to bring their essence to their work.

The new management is ensuring processes, which include policies, procedures, practices, philosophies, principles, structures and systems, mean it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 7 into your life and work

1) Begin today to have people who do the actual work to systemically review and rewrite where appropriate every process, policy, procedure, practice, philosophy, principle, structure and system in your organisation, so that it’s simple for people to bring their essence to their work. Start with customer interactions and transactions and then employee to employee interactions and transactions.

2) Create the above as checklists and visuals wherever possible.

3) Review your daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly and yearly business and personal rituals and routines. Create a plan-on-a-page like mine.

Principle 8
Keep progress in meaningful work visible.


For most of my 49 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. I highly recommend getting the book.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 8 into your life and work

1) There’s a whole section on this in my Remarkable Workplaces book. You can listen to the podcast and check out the recommended actions here.

2) You can download the book with my compliments via the PDF that you’ll find here.

Principle 9
Appreciate people in public, hold people to account in private.


Of course you know the adage praise in public, criticise in private. I think praise and criticism are both inadequate descriptors. My preferences are appreciation and accountability.

The eminent psychologist William James said 
“the deepest human desire is a craving to be appreciated.” 

Appreciating people can improve in most organisations. Equally so can helping people to be accountable. Both are discussed yet walking the talk seems to be a challenge.

Integrate the simple technique below into your daily routine and you will immediately improve both appreciating people and helping people to be accountable.

The Double A Technique

Ask: “How are things going?”

When you get a positive response:
Ask: “How does that make you feel?” (be quiet and pay attention)
Then say, Great, Brilliant or whatever is appropriate.
Then ask: “Any other areas I can help you with?” (be quiet and pay attention)

When you get a negative response:
Ask: “What happened?” (be quiet and pay attention)
Then Ask: “What do you need to do to get back on track?” (be quiet and pay attention)
Then Ask: “Is there anything I can do to help you?” (be quiet and pay attention)
Finally, Ask: “Anything else?” (be quiet and pay attention)

You may find watching the video of me demonstrating the above technique with your team valuable.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 9 into your life and work

1) Hold a creativity session with your team mates around the theme of catching people doing things right and how you will better integrate doing so in daily work.

2) Agree on appropriate places for public and private conversations.

3) Using your plans-on-a-page previously created as focusing tools have conversations like the Double A technique for appreciating people and helping people to be accountable.

Principle 10
Conduct regular after-action-reviews and carefully integrate new perceptions with what is already working well for you.


After-action-reviews are a game-changer because while every detail is still fresh in people’s souls, hearts and minds is really the only time to effectively review performance. This is why all the great sports coaches get their teams in the room privately straight after the game and before they speak with anyone else.

The following is the process I follow for conducting after-action-reviews:

1) Review one action at a time and answer the following questions what happened and why? what did we learn, relearn, and unlearn? How can we be better, wiser and more valuable in applying these learnings? Who will we become? What will we do next?

2) Determine with your colleagues how your answers will be integrated with what is already working well for you.

3) Upgrade your individual, team and organisational plans-on-a-page accordingly.

4) Reflect new perceptions in appropriate standard operating procedures, policies and practices (SOP’s).

5) Upgrade learning and development materials.

My recommended process for integrating new perceptions with what is already working well for you:

1)Choose one new perception to be integrated with one thing that is working well for you.

2) Decide who will be doing the work and how progress will be made visible.

3) Agree on a deadline for the integration.

4) Do an after-action-review of the integration!

5) Repeat.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 10 into your life and work

1) Get started on incorporating after-action-reviews and integration work as a part of everything that you do.

2) Share your learnings and successes and failures with me and anyone else you feel would value your experiences.

Principle 11
Sustain magnificence through playing your best in 5 interconnected roles and in sharing stories.


Your objective is to become and remain remarkable in each of these roles.

Possible Actions to integrate principle 11 into your life and work

1) See where you’re at in the 5 roles and where you could shift to through taking the pulse check at my website. 

2) Participate in my online or in person events where I often host experiences about these roles and everything Possibility Leadership.

3) Share your stories at these events or email me ian@ianberry.biz

More on sharing stories and a story from me here.

4) Consider working with me to master the roles in your own best way. Options are overviewed and linked to below.

Applying these proven principles in your own best way leads to 
more people feeling valued, living values and delivering value. Imagine that!


Maybe I can help you.
Below are links to the ways we can work together.

Complimentary discovery session and then 3 - 9
Sessions via Zoom + unlimited telephone conversations.

This is my Foundation Program.

Recap

Principle 1.
See every person’s essence first and foremost, every time.

Principle 2.
Sustain shared-view in the seven areas of significance.

Principle 3.
Lead so that everyone including yourself, can sing their own song regardless of the situation.

Principle 4.
Choose your response to every moment.

Principle 5.
Bring your whole self to your response to every moment and inspire and support others to do the same.

Principle 6.
The result/outcome we truly want has happened in possibility land long before we see it manifested as reality.

Recap continued

Principle 7.
Match words with deeds and documentations.

Principle 8.
Keep progress in meaningful work visible.

Principle 9.
Appreciate people in public, hold people to account in private.

Principle 10.
Conduct regular after-action-reviews and carefully integrate new perceptions with what is already working well for you.

Principle 11.
Sustain magnificence through playing your best in 5 interconnected roles and in sharing stories.