Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
by Garr Reynolds
Similar to Tony Buzan's book on Mind Mapping, this book has too many gems to blog. The whole thing was powerful and transformative. Thank goodness a colleague purchased it!
Here's a link to the website: http://www.presentationzen.com/. Definitely adding this to my RSS feeds.
Quality bumper music you can use without worrying about licensing implications, here are a couple of sites that might have what you’re looking for:
- Google stock music to find more
- Show prep for broadcasters/podcasters radioearth.com, preplinks.com, radio411.com/prep.htm
Colour illustrated throughout, this definitive guide is packed full of examples of amazing thinking tools and practical Mind Map examples, including running a meeting, preparing for an interview, starting up a new venture, planning family events, shopping for gifts, designing a garden, getting fit, and writing a speech for a wedding.
This book is definitely in the running for one of my top books of 2008. I would have flagged the entire book... I now mind map practically everything!
This first flag does a great job of explaining the book’s concept…
pg 6 The leaders I have studied share at least one trait, aside from their talent for innovation and long-term business success. They have the predisposition and the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads. And then, without panicking or simply settling or one alternative over the other, they’re able to produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea. Integrative thinking is my term for this process – or more precisely this discipline of consideration and sythesis – that is the hallmark of exceptional businesses and the people who run them.
However - not fair! The concepts in this book are so powerful, and yet I wasn't able to blog my flags. Here are the pages I flagged...
The Spark – Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives Within Us All
Cirque Du Soleil
Created by Lyn Howard and written by John Bacon
pg 25 Diane noticed my lingering gaze. You’ll see our show posters all over the building. It's important to remind people that whatever they do for Cirque du Soleil – whether they're acrobats or accountants – these shows are why you do what you do. It helps keeps us motivated.''
Never losing sight of the reason for your work – it was an idea I felt certain any business could benefit from.
pg 35 ''Well,'' I said modestly to Diane, ''She's probably a better gymnast than she is a singer.'' Maybe so,'' she said, still gazing at Cari with an appreciative smile. ''But I'll tell you what's important: she is very gutsy. And if a person is courageous and generous enough, we can teach them the rest. To me, creativity is, first and foremost, all about courage – a willingness to take risks, to try new things, and share the experience with others. And that girl's as lionhearted as they come.''
pg 43 After unpacking, I found a fridge full of fresh fruit, a Cirque ID card, and an itinerary for my time here. I didn't recognize any of the names of coaches, instructors, or directors on the list. But I was struck by the broad range of people I'd be meeting – from creative directors toe clowns. As Diane had promised, there was also a daunting list of activities, including training on the same bungee-trapeze I had seen on my first visit. (Amanda's note – this is an interesting approach to 'onboarding'.... like something similar I read at IBM or Microsoft.)
pg 45 At first, Bernard said, the creators studied other circuses. Later, they asked the artists to do the same. Over time, everyone at Cirque was drawing upon as many outside influences as possible, from almost every field – painting, film, music, you name it. This sort of cross-pollination, Bernard explained, was one of the keys to Cirque's extraordinary freshness and vitality. (Amanda's note: this is a key idea from IDEO's innovation model.)
pg ''So how do you turn these random ideas into an act?'' Deadlines!'' He laughed. ''Of course, they always come too fast, but without them, your mind is not focused. With them, on the other hand, your panicked mind starts coming up with crazy ideas it never would have otherwise. If you have two days to design a transition from a trapeze act to a trampoline, you will think of something!'' .... if there are too many restrictions, you stop thinking about what you can do and start thinking about what you cannot do. ''Picasso did not ask for approval from the legal department before he started painting
pg 47 ''Trust me: In this business – in all businesses – your people will rarely work harder than the boss. That's why my first decision was to be at every show. If they had to be there, I did too.''
''The second thing I do is give them notes after each show about little things I noticed – what worked, what didn't, what's coming along. That way, they know I'm paying attention and their work matters. And I've learned not to give only negative notes. If you do that, after a while, whenever you give them a note, they just groan! So it's important to be positive, too.''
''But the best thing I've done,'' she said, ''is to help them see their work through the eyes of the audience.'' ... ''Watching a show from the audience lets them see how beautiful it all is,’’ she continued. ''They sit next to a woman seeing the show for the first time and understand why she cries at the end of the show! They finally see what they've been work for – why they're sweating, training, and rehearsing so hard. ... They never realized that it is the ensemble – the whole show, with all its parts – that is so evocative. After just one night in the audience, the artists themselves are transformed.
pg 48 The second thing I do is give them notes after each show about little things I noticed – what worked, what didn't, what's coming along. That way, they know I'm paying attention and their work matters. And I've learned not to give only negative notes. If you do that, after a while, whenever you give them a note, they just groan! So it's important to be positive, too.''
... (about watching a show from the audience).. ''The same thing is true here in
pg 53 ''You mean a balance between safety and the artistic?'' ''No!'' he said. ''No! That is the most common misperception of what we do. There can be NO compromise on safety, and NO compromise on appearance. We must be a hundred percent safe, all the time, AND a hundred percent aesthetic.. And that is what makes it so challenging. That's what forces us to be creative: no compromise!''
pg 56 ''If there is an accident – and we've had only a few – we fly out and conduct a thorough investigation. So far, it has usually been attributed to human error, like an unlocked harness or performance error; only very rarely is it related to equipment failure.''
''So it's not your fault,'' I said.
''No!'' Rene exclaimed. ''It is still our fault, because it means we did not design it simply enough, or we did not train the artist well enough, or we did not stress to them enough how important double-checking their safety harness is. We cannot afford to blame the artist. It is too easy, and it would make us sloppy, knowing we can blame someone else. If something goes wrong, that means maybe we didn't provide the right system for them to use.'' (Amanda's note: this is what I love about design thinking, and systems thinking.... but sad to think of all the organizations that don't think this way – far easier to place blame.''
pg 63 Once again, however, I fell just short; clearly, I was afraid of overshooting the trapeze – or perhaps just afraid of grabbing it. It's amazing how much we fear the unknown – even when the unknown carries with it the possibility of success. We are so determined to stick to our comfort zones that we learn to live with disappointment, as long as it's familiar and safe. This was the lesson, I knew, this training session was all about. Our fears hold us back, make us fall short of our goals. Only by taking risks can we hope to accomplish the extraordinary.
pg 103 I told Maurice I found his anxiety surprising given the history of the show and the experience of the performers. He said, ''Au contraire, my friend! We face our fears every day. The fact is, we WANT to scare ourselves some – to reach our limits and then go beyond them. We have to shove ourselves off the cliff before we start flying. The greatest danger is not failing but getting comfortable, of reaching a certain altitude and putting the show on auto-pilot.'' (Amanda's note – their answer to this is the Cirque form of cross-pollination – inviting those they encounter to do a workshop for their artists.)
pg 104 Looking around, Maurice said, ''I have become convinced that the more we nourish our artists and support staff – the more they'll give back in return. Our goal is to make the artists comfortable in just about every way possible, so we can make them uncomfortable in their thinking – challenge them, destabilize them. The more we do that, the more they'll throw themselves into their roles.''
pg 116 ''In fact, Cirque purposely teams up people from different backgrounds with different personalities, in the hopes that we'll come up with something more original. Working with a teammate like Tai, I know I'm not in it by myself. And together, we came up with the right solution.''
pg 135 What caught my attention, though, was the warmth of her smile, and her liquid, expressive eyes. Rarely had I seen anyone more fully present, more completely alive. I couldn't resist smiling and waving good-bye. With her hands spread on the floor for balance, she waved back – with her right foot. And that, I realized, was Cirque's creative spirit, the creative spark that burns within us all; it was as innocent and powerful as the improvised wave of a little girl's foot.
The Ten Faces of Innovation
by Tom Kelley with Jonathon Littman
IDEO's Strategies for beating the devil's advocate and driving creativity throughout your organization.
The Learning Personas (humble enough to question their own worldview, open to new insights every day)
The Organizing Personas (complex game of chess, play to win)
pg 2 ''Let me just play Devil's Advocate for a minute.'' .... the Devil's Advocate may be the biggest innovation killer in
pg 7 By developing some of these innovation personas, you'll have a chance to put the Devil's Advocate in his place. So when someone says, ''Let me play Devil's Advocate for a minute,'' and starts to smother a fragile new idea with creativity, someone else in the room may be emboldened to speak up and say, ''Let me be an Anthropologist for a moment, because I personally have watched our customers suffering silently with this issue for months, and this new idea just might help them.''
pg 8 So who are these personas? Many already exist inside of large companies, though they're often underdeveloped or unrecognized. They represent latent organizational ability, a reservoir of energy waiting to be tapped. We all know plenty of bright, capable people who would like to make a bigger contribution, team members whose contributions don't quite fit into traditional categories like ''engineer'' or ''marketer'' or ''project manager''. In a post disciplinary world where the old job descriptions can be constraining, these new roles can empower a new generation of innovators.
pg 13 We have too many people out there playing Devil's Advocate when they should be in a learning role like the Anthropologist, when they should be invoking an organizing role like the Collaborator, when they should be adopting a building role like the Experience Architect. The innovation roles give you a chance to broaden your creative range, with the flexibility to pick the right role for the right challenge.
pg 16 The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes. - Marcel Proust
pg 25 After seeing the video and talking to Roshi, I'm convinced that we're just scratching the surface for this novel technique. Digital video technologies have greatly advanced in the last few years, opening up many previously high-end capabilities to people without deep technical expertise. Through Roshi's media training helped her conceive, capture and edit her time-lapse film, you don't need Steven Spielberg on your team to turn out evocative minivideos. ... The next time you're looking for new discoveries, instead of holding a focus group, why not focus a lens on real customers...
pg 34 Jane has helped me to see how anthropological fieldwork can be a disarmingly simple source of innovation ideas. Why do so few organizations practice this technique? Perhaps many just fail to act on the insights received. Good observations often seem simple in retrospect but the truth is that it takes a certain discipline to step back from your work routine and look at things with a fresh eye. I think organizations would send a lot more teams out into the field if they understood just how many business opportunities or cost savings simple observations can bring.
pg 36 Any good architect, engineer, designer, or machinist could come up with a host of simple solutions, but if and only if someone took the time to notice the problem in the first place. I only hung around for five minutes of field research and general entertainment (turnstile at Charles de Gaulle airport), but presumably there are people who've been working near those turnstiles many hours every day for years. I'm sure most of these people have witnessed this calamity hundreds of times. I suspect it's just considered to be ''the way things are'', something they'll fix in a decade, maybe when they expand the station or put in new electronic turnstiles. If only they'd first done a prototype – or even considered that international travelers carry suitcases. Take the time to watch people or anticipate their needs, and I daresay they are less likely to get stuck.
pg 37 ''If I had asked my customers what they wanted,'' said the inventive Henry Ford, ''they'd have said a faster horse.'' Don't expect your customers to help you envision the future. Make that mistake and you're likely to get lots of suggestions for ''faster horses''.
pg 47 I encourage the executives of the companies we consult with to ''squint'' a little – to ignore the surface detail and just look at the overall shape of the idea. The informal communication system will spread the word quickly. If the ''people who matter'' in your organization learn to squint in this way, it will send a message to all the budding Experimenters that it's OK to try new things. In a culture of prototyping, you get previews of lots of ideas – even those not quite ready for prime time.
pg 51 The lesson of this story applies to all kinds of companies – from finance to manufacturing and retail. If experimenting is part of your culture, you can respond in hours or days, changing your offerings to meet market shifts and customer demands. Quick reflexes and fast turnaround can be part of what sets you apart from the pack.
pg 55 Experimenters believe that more is always better when it comes to prototypes. One prototype is like having a single rabbit: it has some value, but two can be more interesting, and can start you down the path to more and more. ....
pg 57 That's the heart of an Experimenter, someone who loves to prototype. London-based IDEO designer Alan South calls it ''chunking risks''. Breaking down seemingly large problems into miniature experiments to the point where – lo and behold – you've generated system change without even knowing it. The power is in making lots of little steps at the same time, building momentum and optimism, the sense that one or a combination of approaches will deliver the necessary improvements.
pg 69 In the corporate world, you can usually spot people in Cross-Pollinator mode if you look for. They're the project member who translates arcane technical jargon from the research lab into vivid insights everyone can understand. They're the traveler who ranges far and wide for business and pleasure, returning to share not just what they saw but also what they learned. They're the voracious reader devouring books, magazines, and online sources to keep themselves and the team abreast of popular trends and topics. Well rounded, they usually sport multiple interests that lend them the experience necessary to take an idea from one business challenge and apply it in a fresh context. They often write down their insights in order to increase the amount they can retain and pass along to others. They're dedicated note-takers, capturing insights in notebooks or electronic form. Cross-Pollinators have eclectic backgrounds and develop a distinctive point of view by combining multiple strengths and interests.
pg 75 Cross-Pollinators retain the childlike ability to see patterns others don't, and to spot key differences. But they've also honed the very adult skill of applying those subtle differences in new contexts. They often think in metaphors, enabling them to see relationships and connections that others miss. The act as matchmakers, creating unusual combinations that often spark innovative hybrids. Cross-Pollinators frequently approach problems from unusual angles. They sometimes make a practice of ''doing without'' – tackling a problem by considering solutions without some key element popularly considered standard or essential.
pg 78 To create something new, you may have to take something away. For example, MTV does what they call ''deprivation studies'' where they get there most frequent viewers to go ''cold turkey for thirty days of no MTV, just to see what clever alternatives they come up with. So try your own version of scarcity. Spend a day generating and communicating ideas without the aid of technology. Pass an afternoon prototyping without conventional tools. The next time your ideas seem stale, challenge a team to come up with something on the cheap. It can be a great innovation exercise.
pg 87 Could you benefit from a reverse mentor? Be one yourself? The best part of this cross-humanization technique is that everyone gains. Consider opening a new line of communication, adopting an attitude that frees you to learn from the youngest members of your staff. David calls it the eggs teaching the chickens. (Amanda's note – love this!!)
pg 89 Those who practice cross-pollinating, perhaps more than any other persona, intuitively understand the role of serendipity and chance. By actively seeing and connecting with more ideas and people, the Cross-Pollinator becomes a bit like the unlikely bumblebee. Many have wondered how the bumblebee flies at all, with its bulky body and tiny, fragile-looking wings. Perhaps the answer lies, as it does with so many things hard to comprehend, in the sum of the parts. And so it is with the Cross-Pollinator, a sometimes unsung role in the business world, the person who tirelessly spreads the seeds of innovation.
pg 92 ''We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.'' - John F. Kennedy, 5/25/61
pg 100 With that insight and his drive to solve the auto painter's dilemma, Drew experimenting with vegetable oils, resins, chicle, linseed, and glue glycerin to create a superior adhesive. When the president finally caught on to what Drew was up to, he ordered him to drop his quest and get back to making better sandpaper. Drew appeared to listen to his superior's request for about a day. As the weeks went by, the president learned that Drew had returned to his passion, but this time he said nothing. Finally, Drew asked for company funds to purchase a papermaking machine to make his tape. The president considered his proposal and then turned him down. But Drew was far from finished. As a researcher, he was authorized to approve purchases of up to $100. So he paid for the machine with a series of $99 purchase orders that slipped under the radar. The result? In 1925, Richard Drew successfully produced the world's first masking tape, a two-inch wide tan tape with pressure-sensitive adhesive backing. Fittingly, the first customers were
pg 131 (talking about the men's American relay team in Barcelona Olympics) Each of them runs the 100-meter dash in about 10 seconds, so you might guess that their combined time would be about 40 seconds, right? Sounds logical. Yet these four remarkable men, each running 100 meters and passing the baton three times, put together a combined performance of 37.4 seconds for a world record – averaging more than 26 miles an hour! But how is that possible? It's possible because at the moment starter Marsh executed a smooth-as-silk handoff to Burrell, his teammate was already nearing top speed. When the legendary Carl Lewis took the final handoff, he blew by the competition – hitting 28 miles an hour at the finish and helping his team take home Olympic gold.
Relays are won or lost in the handoff. ...We've all seen botched baton passes – on the track and in business. They're invariably due to a lack of coordination and communication. (Amanda's note – what about our handoff in our process? hmmm)
Passing the baton in a modern organization can be even trickier than in a relay, but the metaphor still applies. Success depends on picking the right team and casting them in the proper roles. All participants strive to achieve their personal best while thinking of the team's performance throughout. If you work on those exchanges to the point where they become smooth and fast, you'll be amazed at how much you can achieve together. (Amanda's note – remember coaching the beach team – writing down their personal goals? good idea for project teams too?)
pg 132 So how do you pull off an international project? Start with some genuine face time (video conferencing doesn't count). Going out for coffee or lunch is how you make the personal connections that build the kind of relationship to enable you to phone someone an ocean away and ask for a favour asap. Humans are still hardwired to believe that breaking bread with one another matters. (Amanda's note... project team 'coffee' excursion after kickoff meeting?)
Once you've made that initial human connection, you can better maintain the momentum by establishing multiple lines of communication. E-mail is not enough. At IDEO, we build e-rooms, virtual spaces dedicated to projects carved out on the company's digital network. Team members make and manipulate a project-specific Wiki (an extremely malleable form of Web page). We often do Web-enabled meetings where we are all looking at the same presentation or documents. We're not in love with any one technology, but we are willing to adopt whatever tools increase the human bandwidth of team interaction. (Amanda's note: C – we HAVE to pilot a wiki. How?)
pg 140 It's a wonderful lesson in co-opting your opposition. Instead of being offended by their arguments, why not listen and respond to their concerns? They often have valid points. The payoff can be extraordinary. There's nothing like the conviction of a convert to boost team momentum.
On another collaborative project with an architectural firm, a senior partner at the firm told our team up front that we were wasting his time. In turn, we requested that he give us a chance and join our team. Not only did he embrace the process, but midway into the work, he asked if he could write a case study about our process for an architectural magazine. And just like that, a onetime critic morphed into a passionate advocate.
pg 248 In preparation for that kickoff meeting, Jane asked each member of the group to do a little personal homework: recalling a really bad or good health care experience they had witnessed firsthand. Something personal.
Within minutes of going around the room, people were laughing. And crying. One nurse recounted an intense day when a dying man asked her to call his wife, but in spite of all her efforts, the nurse couldn't locate her. She was frantic. The patient was slipping away. She had to find his wife. The man grabbed her arm. ''It's OK,'' he told her. ''Now we've got something to do together. You're going to teach me about dying, and I'm going to teach you about living.'' The wife never arrived, and the nurse realized that some part of her role that day wasn't just about trying to save this man. Instead, she could offer him a priceless gift, letting him share his last moments on earth with another human being. .... There's nothing like stories to connect you with a subject, to pull a team together to work on human issues in a human way.
pg 249 (about the storyteller) No, we aren't always working to save lives or comfort the dying, but most of us believe in the value of what we do. Go out and find some real people. Listen to their stories. Don't ask for the main point. Let the story run its course. Like flowing water, it will find its own way, at its own pace. And if you've got patience, you’ll learn more than you might imagine.
pg 255 Seven reasons to tell stories:
- Storytelling builds credibility.
- Storytelling unleashes powerful emotions and helps teams bond.
- Stories give ''permission'' to explore controversial or uncomfortable topics.
- Storytelling sways a group's point of view.
- Storytelling creates heroes.
- Storytelling gives you a vocabulary of change.
- Good stories help make order out of chaos.
pg 262 I'm a firm believer in the galvanizing power of personas. Adopting even one new role can bring both cultural and business benefits to your organization. But the real payoff comes when you gather several roles together and blend them into a multidisciplinary team. Innovation is ultimately a team sport. Get all the roles performing at the top of their game and you'll generate a positive force for innovation.
pg 265 The message is that it is possible – even desirable – to blend a traditional, discipline-based role with an innovation persona. You can be an Anthropologist even if your business card calls you a systems analyst. You can be a Cross-Pollinator in the Marketing Department. You can be a Hurdler in Accounts Payable. A Set Designer in Human Resources. A Storyteller even if your degree is in finance. Don't let a title or job description hold you back. Show me a list of people who changed the world, and I'll show you a group of people unconstrained by traditional roles.
additional flags missed in my blogging:
pg 146 You are not just in charge…
pg 149 You could sponsor lunchtime brainstorms once a week…
pg 156 I’d like to say… J
pg 157 At every step... (Amanda’s note: idea – take a picture of all the people within our organization who have expressed interest in helping us and put them up on a wall with their interests/talents)
pg 162 Years ago when IDEO thought of itself…
pg 168 When you’re in the “zone”…
pg 171 Wise experience architects know…
pg 190 Many gen x’s…
pg 197 Some workplaces are so dull..
pg 205 Not only…
pg 206 Look around your organization…
pg 209 I’d argue… (Amanda’s note: think of our floor. Where is there dead space? Can we use that for impromptu meetings?)
pg 217 We saw… (Amanda’s note: new employees… can we give them a card/map like this?)
pg 220 Best…
pg 234/235 I call it the poor… (Amanda’s note: map for ID/PM tool with images)
pg 242 The universe…
pg 245 In books like…
pg 247 Jane doesn’t… (Amanda’s note: ID idea here – how do we gather stories, not just content?)
Helping People Think Better – Don't Tell Them What to Do!
by David Rock
''People don't need to be managed, they need to be unleashed.'' Richard Florida (2002)
pg xxii When a big change initiative comes along, the first job of a leader is to change people's thinking. Again, most leaders have been trained to change processes, not people.
There is a metaphor called the Iceberg model used by cognitive behavioural therapy and various behavioural sciences. The Iceberg model describes how our performance at anything is driven by our sets of behaviours, our habits. These are driven by our feelings, which in turn are driven by our thoughts. In the Iceberg model, our performance and some of our behaviours are visible, while other behaviours, feelings and thoughts are below the water. There's a lot more driving our performance than just the few habits we see on the surface. And at the base of all this is the way we think.
In other words, what we achieve at work is driven by how we think. Yet when a leader wants to improve some one's performance, they tend to stay at the surface and focus on the performance itself. They rarely discuss which habits might be driving the employee's performance, or discuss their feelings, and even less often have a conversation about the person's thinking. Yet if you want to improve performance, the most effective way to do this is to start at the bottom – to improve thinking. This might sound complex, yet my experience is that if you focus on just improving thinking, rather than trying to understand or unravel it, the conversations are surprisingly quick and simple.
Freud's model of the human mind:
understand conflict dynamics:
pg 6 1. To take any kind of committed action, people need to think things through for themselves;
- People experience a degree of inertia around thinking for themselves due to the energy required;
- The act of having an aha moment gives off the kind of energy needed for people to become more motivated and willing to take action.
It becomes clear that our job as leader should be to help people make their own connections. Instead of this, much of our energy goes into trying to do the thinking for people, and then seeing if our ideas stick. ... usually a big waste of human resources...
pg 9 All this is quite logical; however, we are a long way from living like this is the truth. When we are trying to help a colleague think anything through, we make the unconscious assumption that the other person's brain works the same as ours. So we input their problem into our brain, see the connections our brain would make to solve this problem, and spit out a solution that would work for us. We then tell people what we would do and are convinced it's what they should do.
pg 17 There are big upsides to the fact that we perceive the world according to our wiring. Now let's explore the downsides:
- Changing the way people think is one of the tougher challenges of leadership, as people tend to fight had to hold on to their view of the world. They feel that if they change their thinking the whole world might collapse, and in a sense this is true, given that we perceive the world through our own mental maps. Confronting people head-on can make them dig their heels in further. A more subtle approach may be needed here.
pg 24 Lots of research has been done on this fascinating gap – the gap between a thought and a habit – by fields as diverse as neuroscience, sports psychology, education, adult learning theory, behavioural science, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Here are some of the findings that are most relevant here:
- New habits take time, but not that much: .... Studies show that physical new branches, called dendrites, were emerging after just an hour after stimulation. ... It doesn't take long to create new habits. What's hard is trying to uncreate them.
- Positive feedback is essential: ...''The brain needs a happy face and to hear occassional laughter to cement its neural circuitry. The encouraging sounds of 'Yes! Good! That's it!' help to mark a synapse for preservation rather than pruning.'' Thomas Czerner
- Too many thoughts, too little time: ... we can make a tremendous difference to other people's thinking by helping them clearly identify the insights they would like to hardwire, and over time reminding them about these insights.
pg 25 A new field of neuroscience called Darwinism is studying how the brain constantly prunes and removes unused links. Just as your ability to do complex mathematical multiplications in your head quickly in your youth largely disappears if not used for years, any pathways you don't use for a while slowly become less connected. So if you want to change your habits, just give less energy to the habits you don't like.
pg 29 ''We may need to solve problems not by removing the cause but by designing the way forward even if the cause remains in place.'' Edward de Bono
pg 35 The first step to being a Quiet Leader is to think about people's thinking. In other words, to become passionate about improving not what people are thinking about, but the way they think.
pg 38 Here's an easy way to picture the idea of self-directed learning. Imagine you're talking to someone whose performance you'd like to improve. The issue you're working on might be how to deal with a deadline. Let's conceptually put that issue on the table. Imagine that what you're talking about is sitting in front of both people as a physical object. Now, if you're facilitating self-directed learning, as the leader you're not interested in the issue on the table, you're interested in the other person's thinking process. The person opposite, on the other hand, would be thinking about the issue on the table. ... There are five big reasons why a self-directed approach is so useful when we are trying to improve performance: People still need to make their own connections about anything you tell them; you'll never guess the right answer anyway; it allows people to become energized by new connections; it's less effort, and it's faster.
pg 41 A ladder of approaches to self-directed learning:
Approach 1: support the other person to come up with their own answer
Approach 2: support the other person to go find the answer for themselves
Approach 3: provide an answer in a way that is in line with the person's way of thinking
pg 46 Problem focus vs Solution focus
Why didn't you hit your targets? vs What do you need to do next time to hit your targets?
Why did this happen? vs What do you want to achieve here?
Where did it all start to go wrong? vs What do you need to do to move this forward?
Why do you think you're not good at this? vs How can you develop strength in this area?
What's wrong with your team? vs What does your team need to do to win?
Why did you do that? vs What do you want to do next?
Who is responsible for this? vs Who can achieve this?
Why isn't this working? vs What do we need to do to make this work?
pg 58 If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought and could be. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
pg 63 If we want to transform people's performance, we need a new model for feedback that's not just new packaging of the same thing. A new approach would follow these types of questions:
What did you do well, and what did you discover about yourself as a result?
What were the highlights of this project and what did you learn?
What went well and would you like to talk about how to do more of this?
What did you do well and what impact do you think this had on everyone else?
I'm not saying that we should gloss over the facts if a person completely messes up; there are times for honest and direct conversations about poor performance. I am proposing that because people are so tough on themselves, and because it works better to focus on creating new wiring than solving problems, that overall we will be better at improving performance if we accentuate the positive and let people handle the negative on their own.
pg76 Imagine you're at a weekly team meeting wit your direct reports and someone you are managing says: ''I'm not sure what to do about this project.'' If you were listening for potential you might say something like the following:
How can I best help you think this through?
Do you want to use me as a sounding board?
Do you have a sense of what you want to do, and want to explore that with me?
pg 101 To learn is to change how you think. - Michael Merzenich
pg 106 Studies have shown that during reflection we are not thinking logically or analyzing data; we're using a part of the brain used for making links across the whole brain. We are thinking in an unusual way, allowing our unconscious brain to work. We're tapping into more intelligence than the seven pieces of information we can hold at once in our working memory.
pg 109 The Four Faces of Insight is a guide to the anatomy of the aha. It is useful is several ways. For example, if you're talking to someone and their eyes go up, the best thing might be to say nothing for a moment. And when people have an insight, it's important to get them to act on their ideas quickly, as the energy for the action fades fast.
pg 131 I call these types of questions ''thinking questions''. These are one of the most useful tools I have ever found for improving performancce. Asking thinking questions means you are now focused on one thing: people's thinking. If people are being paid to think, isn't it about time we helped them improve their thinking?
Thinking questions aks about the nature of people's thinking, in ways that have them become more self-aware and take more responsibility. More examples of thinking questions:
How long have you been thinking about this?
How often do you think about this?
How important is this to you, on a scale of one to ten?
How clear are you about the issue?
What priority is this issue for you in your work or life right now, top five, three, or top one?
What priority do you think it should be?
How committed to resolving this are you?
How motivated are you to resolving this?
Can you see any gaps in your thinking?
What impact is thinking about this issue having on you?
How do you react when you think that thought?
How do you feel about the resouces you have put into this so far?
Do you have a plan for shifting this issue?
How clear is your thinking about the plan?
What are you noticing about your thinking?
What insights are you having?
How could you deepen this insight?
Would it be worth turning this insight into a habit?
Do you know what to do to turn this into a habit?
Are you clear about what to do next?
How can I best help you further?
pg 179 Questions you could ask to deepen people's learning include:
What was your big insight this week?
What did you find out about yourself?
What other insight did that open up?
What did you discover about your thinking or habits?
What new habit did you notice starting to emerge?
pg 206 Questions you could ask here include (to help someone identify what he or she did well):
Tell me six things you did really well.
Tell me three things you learned about yourself here.
Tell me about two big challenges you faced and overcame.
Tell me what resources you had to find, internally and externally, to get this done.
pg 208 People thrive on positive feedback. Daniel Goleman, in his book Emotional Intelligence, found that social isolation was roughly twice as detrimental to our health as smoking. The opposite of social isolation is social connectedness, and what better way to be connected than to get regular direct feedback about the impact you have on others?
pg 209 The exercise is to give positive feedback once a day for a whole week, pracicing being succinct, specific, and generous. Then make some notes about the impact this has on you and your team at the end of the week, being as specific as possible with your notes.