After each workshop, intervention, and training I lead, I have participants fill out an evaluation. This is important to me since I work in a myriad of industries, with various sized groups, and with different problems to solve. Evaluating my performance and the impact of my work on my clients is vital. The more feedback I receive on what went well or what could use improvement supports me in enhancing my work with every client interaction. That being said, as I review my latest batch of evaluations and reflect on the many other sources of feedback from previous workshops, I have a clearer understanding of the many ways I can evaluate my impact.
“Job creation” is, once again, a major national talking point. The U.S. economy is strong, yet while unemployment is at a record low, poverty is at a record high. This is because many of the jobs that are available are low-paying, contract-based and/or routine-based (e.g. Lyft driver, cashier).
While our president boasts of bringing back jobs, there is a more sustainable way to support workers. Bringing back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. is not the solution. Those jobs are no longer relevant or reliable. Besides, workers in Taiwan, China and Vietnam, our current manufacturing workforce, will soon lose their jobs too, not to cheaper labor, but to robots.
Requests are powerful tools for making things happen, and we often avoid them in our hyper-individualistic culture. Yet, to expand our impact, we must enroll others. When we make effective requests, expectations get clarified, needs get met and thus the objective and relational aspects of our work are improved.
CNN reported that Hillary Clinton took 54% of Millennial voters and that 37% of Millennials voted for Donald Trump. In 2008, Barack Obama won 66% of the Millennial vote and in 2012, Barack Obama won 60% of the Millennial vote.
You’ll notice that Millennials were less liberal in 2016 than they were in 2012, and even less so than in 2008.
Are Millennials shedding their liberal values? Have Millennials given up on hope of positive change after eight years of Obama-filled with gridlock and some serious liberal letdowns?
To engage your stakeholders, you must first ignite their imaginations, which will increase their participation, which will foster their commitment to your shared work and the desired results. These three pillars of engagement are broad, so to help ground these concepts in practice, I am excited to share with you the following list of ways to ignite your stakeholders’ imaginations and get you moving down the road to meaningful engagement.
We are at a time when we face many challenges and stakeholders are increasingly polarized in their thoughts on how to solve the issues at hand. This makes engaging certain stakeholders even more difficult. This is why we need become more creative in how we engage each other - our colleagues and our peers across “the aisle.”
Generational stereotypes abound, leading us to believe Millennials are entitled, boomers are tech-phobic, and so on. Yet, these stereotypes, just like generalities about race or religion, limit our thinking. Whether conscious or unconscious, the biases that stereotypes perpetuate lie somewhere between inaccurate to extremely harmful
American culture supports & rewards the analytical left-brain thinking; yet it is in the right brain where the magic happens. We can logically think through problems with our left-brain, but how often do we become blocked or stuck on an issue? Or, how often do our solutions actually solve the problem as we intended without creating new problems?
It’s been said that creativity is the survival skill of the 21st century, -- creativity is the multiplier of intelligence and it sharpens our competitive edge. In this day and age, everyone must learn how to be a better problem solver. And this is vitally important because, after all, aren’t we all paid to solve problems?
Just as vital as clear goals are for teams to perform, are quality relationships between team members. People working together well need to respect one another, trust each other and feel seen by their colleagues. Recent studies have shown that the most effective teams exhibit the following behaviors:
Who is responsible for what? If a team member doesn’t perform, what happens? How do our distinct roles play together in pursuit of our shared goal? Who holds the authority here? If the Warriors didn’t know who to look to when calling the plays, why certain skilled players sat on the bench while others got to start and how they could leverage their individual skills, collectively, this season would have looked a a lot different.
Networking, that essential business skill, is undergoing a makeover.
Instead of corporate happy hours and awkward special events in hotel lobbies, workshops, co-working and collaborative events are bringing folks together, with creativity and casual fun along the way.
I recently had the opportunity to lead a series of communications workshops. Together we explored conflict styles, giving feedback, having difficult conversations, individual and organizational communication patterns and how to improve the teams’ ability to work together given the various styles and stressors of my clients’’ workplaces. While the workshops were very well received, I realized that almost all of the philosophies and activities I designed and facilitated revolved around “I” statements. This is only half of the equation...
Many organizations are launching new strategic planning efforts. Some have resources, others do not. To support the strategic planning efforts of your organization I have interviewed a strategic planning guru, Jonathan Kaufman, and wanted to share his insights and strategies below.
Jonathan Kaufman is co-founder & Principal of Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies. In this role, Jonathan collaborates with nonprofits and social entrepreneurs all over the world, helping them expand and deepen their impact. He specializes in business and strategic planning, metrics development, community and millennial engagement, and impact assessment for a wide array of Third Plateau’s clients.
At MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory, we have identified the elusive group dynamics that characterize high-performing teams—those blessed with the energy, creativity, and shared commitment to far surpass other teams. These dynamics are observable, quantifiable, and measurable. And, perhaps most important, teams can be taught how to strengthen them.