Thursday, September 27, 2018

How to Measure the Life Impact of a Change

Transcript (edited from Temi.com)


Like most coaches, we’re going to work with the wheel of life.

There’s going to be a couple of key differences though between how you and I are going to work together with this versus other coaches.

First – I wanted to make sure you could see how whatever area you’re focusing on impacts the other areas of your life because it’s going to impact other areas of your life.

What we’re going to do is work together to define how you see the areas of your life. We’ll start with this rough template.

We’re going to wind up ultimately with between five and 10 areas. Then, we’re going to work together to define which area you’re going to focus on for the 12 weeks and also which area we need to keep an eye on to make sure that it at least stays stable. We don’t want that area impacted.

For instance, over the past three months, I’ve been working on putting together this coaching practice, so I’ve been very focused in this work and education area. It was important to me to not impact my relationships negatively. So the area I’m keeping an eye on is relationships.

I’m not working to improve them necessarily. I just don’t want them to get any worse. Thankfully I’ve got really solid relationships with my family and friends. I’m very grateful for that. Work and education has been my area of focus. Relationship is the thing I’m keeping an eye on to make sure that’s not negatively impacted, and then these other areas are going to improve or decrease depending on whatever else is happening. In the health and appearance area, my workout regimen hasn’t been terribly consistent because I’ve been spending more time on work and education.

These things happen. If you’re focusing on one area, other areas are going to be impacted. Hopefully not negatively, but that is a risk. You need to decide what you’re willing to tolerate. We’re going to make sure that all of that is very clear during the course of our engagement.

The other thing that we’re going to be keeping an eye on (and I’m going to click on this progress tab) is any trends because what we don’t want to have happen is, “I’ve been focusing on work to the complete detriment of my health and appearance.” You don’t want to go from a level four to level one, so we want to keep an eye on that.

I think by using a dashboard, it’s going to be easier for both of us to really see what’s going on. We can see trends and whether things are trending up or down. Also, we can see what the current overall changes are in the averages. This is one of the tools that we’ll be working with in the coaching practice. I hope this helps.


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If you are looking for a safe space to practice new skills and you would like some help defining and creating a plan to implement important changes to the way you work or your career – go to http://middlecurve.com/coaching/  .

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Reiteration of the Importance of Safe Spaces

For real learning to occur, you have to have a safe space to practice.

To create a learning organization, the organization has to be a safe space to practice.

If you want a coaching culture, coaching interactions need to be safe spaces.

These safe spaces can’t be “separate and apart” from the day-to-day work.

Google discovered during their research into high-performing teams that the #1 most important predictor of team success was psychological safety. Is a team a safe space for risk-taking in the face of seeming incompetent, disruptive, negative or ignorant?

You can’t have your only “safe spaces” be the training room. Or the 30-minute “coaching conversation.”

If you have a culture that fears failure, is highly competitive, and has no patience for experimentation – even those “safe spaces” aren’t safe.

Most employees know this. No wonder they resist – unless you have spent months (and, often, years) proving that you can be trusted.

——————

I’ve written about this before: Reskilling Prong 4 – Safe Space

Resources – Google’s Project Aristotle, Research on Teams

What Google Learned (NY Times)
Results: Google Project Aristotle


I have some free resources available that you may find useful. Each button will send you to a video and supporting PDF after requesting your email. Check “I would like to receive future communications” if you would also like to subscribe to my newsletter.

If you are looking for a safe space to practice new skills and you would like some help defining and creating a plan to implement important changes to the way you work or your career – go to http://middlecurve.com/coaching/  .

Thursday, September 20, 2018

How to Avoid Expensive Mistakes

This is a 1978 Chevy Camaro.

Chevy produced the second generation from 1970 – 1981, with minor body modifications in response to new safety standards and changes to the motors in reaction to the early 70s gas crisis.

If I were to purchase a classic car, I have the following requirements.

– A 6’5” man (my partner) needs to be able to drive it.

– There needs to be enough trunk space for it to fit 2 sets of golf clubs

– And it needs to work well enough to be a daily driver. That means

+ AC

+ Unleaded gasoline

+ The car runs

+ The transmission shifts

+ and the brakes work

This is my type of classic car – a 1971 Camaro that has been restored within an inch of its life, with a modern engine, modern features, a fancy interior and a brand new paint job.  I thought this one was gorgeous. Understated. Looks fast. Is fast.

I knew it would meet all the requirements. Except one.

Would my 6’5” partner fit in it?

I was by myself. I’m 5’6”. I am not a very good gauge for whether he would fit in the car.

A little later, I ventured back to this car and found 2 men taking a closer look.

One was 5’11”, the other 6 feet.  I asked how comfortable they found it.

Not very was their answer. There was no way my 6’5” partner would fit in the passenger seat, nevermind the driver seat.

If I had the money and went into this without a set of requirements, I likely would have purchased this car, brought it home, and encountered one very disappointed partner.

How many large enterprise purchases has your company made because someone with money saw something shiny and didn’t go into the purchase with any requirements?

What did that ultimately cost you?

In this case – if I purchased this Camero – it would have been a 90,000 mistake.

Ouch.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Overlooked Value

The 1974 Dodge Dart Swinger. This was considered a compact car by American manufacturers in the early 70s.  This was originally around $3000, maybe a bit more with the factory air conditioning.

This was the type of car that my high school friends used to drive as $100 junkers back in the mid-1980s.

One of the great things about car auctions is watching those $100 junkers go for thousands of dollars.

In this instance, this car was bid up to $10,000. And didn’t sell – at least, on the auction block.

Still, someone was willing to pay ten thousand dollars – not including the auction fees – for a mid 70s era Dodge Dart. Of limited special provenance, other than being low mileage, still running with the original engine and in decent shape.

Amazing.

It made me wonder – what do we have lying around that may have value? What are we over-looking that we can use?

 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Mastery Through Chaos

This past August, I went down to Radford, Virginia with some friends to watch the Tour of Destruction.

I thought the Tour of Destruction events were great examples of using creative constraints to increase mastery.

In this particular event – drivers in barely-running junkers race backwards around a wall.

Many of these cars have unreliable steering, unreliable breaks, iffy visibility, and threaten to break down at a moment’s notice.

These same drivers at other points in the evening, raced these same cars forward while circling another dead junker – adding a demolition derby component, played car soccer, and raced buses.

I have a hard enough time backing a car into a parking space in a vehicle with working power steering, even with today’s backup cameras.  To me – this seemingly chaotic bit of racing was a demonstration of mastery.

————

Part of the Tour of Destruction is a demonstration of the Green Mamba – a homemade jet car that burned so hot you could feel the heat at the top of the stands. It was an impressive feat of garage engineering.

One week after Radford’s Tour of Destruction, the Green Mamba crashed into a wall during an exhibition run, killing Doug Rose – the driver.

 

Please help the Tour of Destruction raise money to help Doug’s wife Jeanne restore the car. 

 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Dave Grohl on Learning and Creative Constraints

Despite becoming a legend in rock, Dave Grohl continues to keep learning.

Sonic Highways, for instance, was an exercise in traveling to a city, writing a song on-the-spot, recording it in a local studio, and filming the process.  The first constraint was more than enough. Adding movie production on top of it? Because…Dave Grohl.

In this clip, he links how he uses the occasionally ridiculous challenges he sets for himself as a way for him to extend his mastery and get better at his craft.

The constraints force him to get creative and extend his skills into uncomfortable areas.  He’s forced back into the uncertainty of the beginner. Can I do this?

Dave Grohl is well past the point where he needs to get uncomfortable.  He does it because he wants to keep learning and growing.

This is what lifelong learning is about.


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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Change Planning As a Project Decision Tool

All projects are change initiatives

Classical project planning goes through initiation, planning, execution and closure cycles.  Agile projects follow a similar model, just with faster and more frequent cycles between planning and execution.

Typically – Change Management activities occur sometime during execution when the project team realizes that they need to implement their project to others. Most of us have seen how well this works.

Organizations with more mature project and change management practices put change planning during the planning phase. This is typically where the stakeholder and communications management plans are developed, along with any RACI matrices.  It is assumed that the project is a good idea and will be accepted when we get to the planning stage.

I believe that if we put Change Planning in front of the project process, we can determine whether we should spend the time, money, and human resources on the project in the first place.

We can better predict the chances of a project succeeding.

And we can identify simple activities we can do to lay the groundwork for the change you wish to make.

All projects are change initiatives.  We are messing with how people do their work.

And, frequently, whether we plan this or not, these projects have an impact on the culture – for good or ill.

By putting our change planning at the FRONT of our project cycle, during initiation, we can see whether the organization is ready for the change and start laying the groundwork well before the allocation of money and resources.

You may find that the project may not need to be done in the first place.


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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Meaningful Flow Lab Status Report – August 29, 2018

Cross-posted to Medium


Thank you to everyone who has provided feedback on the project to date.

Notes from this month:

  • I have separated the Book project from the Change Planning Model project. Having a new Change Planning Model within the book weakens my argument for the book that much of what we need for the Transformation is already available. Furthermore, this buys me some time to test the Change Planning Model (thank you Dave Grey for the advice to test until I can easily have others execute the model without having to be there to explain it)
  • I received some great feedback from Robb Smith at Integral Life around incorporating developmental level analysis into my Change Planning Model. He suggests that it may not be necessary. Furthermore, there is no “quick” way of determining someone’s “level” or identifying a center of gravity for a culture without lengthy observation. Doing level assessment also runs the risk of inappropriately labeling people/situations/cultures in a way that is too simplistic.
  • The first video (Book Project) is a dress rehearsal for my Conscious Business Change Agent Certification (CBCA) final project presentation. I am presenting August 28, 2018.
  • The video of the Change Planning Model (2nd video) includes level analysis since I had filmed this before my discussion with Robb Smith. I decided to share anyway so I can accurately show how the model evolves.

Video 1 (46 minutes)

Video 2 – Change Planning Model (22 minutes)

Activities for September 2018

  • Complete and publish experiment designs for the Change Planning Model for review.
  • Get cracking on the writing for the book. I have set the due date for the survey section to November 1, 2018.
  • Identify funding sources for this work.

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter!

Each month, I will share resources and materials centered around a theme.

Subscribers will have access to

– Any freemiums and PDFs I develop without having to submit your email (again)

– A first glance at projects I am working on

– Special subscriber-only offers

– First-dibs on new services and offerings

You are trusting me with your attention and energy.

I promise not to spam you with repeated emails during marketing campaigns and I will do my best to provide value with each interaction.

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