The transformational arc

A couple of weeks ago I did a tele-seminar on organizational change. You can listen to it here.

One of the ideas in the tele-seminar is healthy discontent. Simply, leaders, at any level, are not satisfied with yesterday's success. Now, I want to make two side statements about this issue.

    1) Healthy discontent is NOT a leader vomiting his dis-satisfaction all over the team. Leaders tend to be discontented, but normally in a negative manner. Healthy discontent is about a positive unrest that allows the leader/team to see a possible better future.

    2) Healthy discontent does NOT mean we should to quickly discard yesterday's success. Celebration is critical to the health of a team. When a leader moves to fast to the "next thing" without celebrating "what is" he or she deflates the team. Yesterday's success is fuel for tomorrow's opportunities.

    As a leader, it's important that you share your healthy discontent with your team and create the same dynamic in them. Organizations that rest on yesterday's success often don't have a tomorrow. Can you say K-Mart.

How might you create healthy unrest on your team?

The transformational arc2008-01-31T08:30:21+00:00

Southwest Airlines, Peanuts and Pilots

So, I'm on a flight the other day--Southwest Airlines. The flight attendants begin serving drinks and peanuts. All of the sudden, up to the front of the plane comes a Southwest pilot (simply catching a ride with us to his next destination) serving the peanuts! Beautiful. My view of that pilot, and Southwest, skyrocketed.

The pilot could have easily remained in his seat and reminded himself that he's way "above" serving peanuts. But instead, he sent a different message. And that message, made a difference for the people on that plane.

Southwest Airlines, Peanuts and Pilots2008-01-23T06:41:15+00:00

Having a degree in leadership isn’t enough

I was recently sitting with someone who described her normal reaction to her boss as, "wanting to run out of the building screaming." She eventually did. She left the company. "While I worked with him, he was getting his master's in leadership," she added. I could tell she didn't think to highly of degrees in leadership. Can you blame her?

We talk a lot about leadership, read books, go to seminars, but the reality is, massaging leadership ideas isn't enough. Putting them into practice is the only way those good ideas mean anything. I'm all for study and sound thinking. But let's face it, ideas alone are not enough when it comes to leadership. Practice is required.

Having a degree in leadership isn’t enough2008-01-19T05:41:29+00:00

Design Matters

Recently I purchased a small T.V. and DVD player. The design of TV's have evolved. The jacks for the DVD are no longer in the back of the TV. This is a good design change. How many of us have struggled with chords and plug ins on the back of the TV while using colorful language to mark the moment.

So I plugged the chords into the front. I sat down to watch the TV and realized that the chords being in the front of the TV are really no better. Now, I get to look at them all the time while watching TV.

Question: Did the designer actually build a prototype and experience his or her design. Because I'm thinking now, these plugs belong on the far back side of the TV. They would still be easily accessible and yet, out of sight.

Design matters.

How does design matter (and forethought about design) in your work?

Design Matters2008-01-08T06:03:43+00:00

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Written by Dave Fleming