we don’t need better leaders

“Why is everyone so hung up on Leaders, Leadership and Leadership courses – it’s what gets us into a mess. Think banking, politics, sport…”Donald Clark

If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. If all you know is hierarchical leadership by virtue of one’s position, then all solutions are in the hands of the CEO. Conversations with 150 CEO’s only yield ‘CEO thinking’. (more…)

the printed word at electric speed

In tribal organizations, influence often comes through kinship. It still does with certain royal families. In institutions, power is exerted through the hierarchy. It is positional. Even today, in a market-dominated society, many people are their institutional job title, and feel naked without it. But those who exercise power through markets can often throw off their job titles and not worry about their formal qualifications, as long as they deliver the goods (and services). [more on TIMN] (more…)

a dire shortage of alternative models

The shift from a market-dominated society to a networked society is well on its way. The TIMN [Tribes + Institutions + Markets + Networks] model shows how civilization grew from a collection of tribes, added institutions, and later developed markets, as the dominant form of organization. These aligned with revolutions in communications: from oral, to written, to print. The network era began with the advent of electric communications, though it is by no means completely established. As with previous shifts of this magnitude, there is a tendency in parts of society to retreat to the old ways. (more…)

friday’s finds #264

Every fortnight I curate some of the observations and insights that were shared on social media. I call these Friday’s Finds.

“We should discriminate in the sharpest way between fortunes well won and fortunes ill won; between those gained as an incident to performing great services to the community as a whole and those gained in evil fashion by keeping just within the limits of mere law honesty. Of course, no amount of charity in spending such fortunes in any way compensates for misconduct in making them.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1906


social media: an unrealized opportunity

“The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is a great man, gave his first interview after being elected to Eugenio Scalfari, an Italian journalist who is also a self-proclaimed atheist. It was a sign: real dialogue isn’t about talking to people who believe the same things as you. Social media don’t teach us to dialogue because it is so easy to avoid controversy… But most people use social media not to unite, not to open their horizons wider, but on the contrary, to cut themselves a comfort zone where the only sounds they hear are the echoes of their own voice, where the only things they see are the reflections of their own face. Social media are very useful, they provide pleasure, but they are a trap.” – Zygmunt Bauman

I would rather say that social media can be a trap, but are not by their nature an inevitable one. Social media don’t teach us anything. We have to teach ourselves how to use social media. For the first time in history, 3 billion people are connected to each other. Is this a trap or an unrealized opportunity? (more…)

70:20:10 – towards 100% performance

Many books provide a good read and then go on the shelf, where they stay. The latest publication from the 70:20:10 Institute, 702010 towards 100% performance, is not that type of book. It should stay on the desk of any learning & development professional and be used as a constant resource. The book is big, in number of pages, size, and content. I was amazed at how much practical information the authors were able to put into it, and how accessible it is.

The book consists of 100 practitioner-focused  articles, many of which provide checklists and examples. It is focused on helping people to implement the reference model. Five roles are identified (not all for traditional L&D professionals) with sections focused on each:

  • Performance Detective
  • Performance Architect
  • Performance Master Builder
  • Performance Game Changer
  • Performance Tracker


connecting cooperation and collaboration

According to The Collaboration Paradox: Why Working Together Often Yields Weaker Results, some of the reasons that workplace collaboration fails is due to:

  • overconfidence in our collective thinking;
  • peer pressure to conform; and
  • reliance on others to do the work.

The article goes on to show that collaboration works when:

  • we work with people with different skills;
  • we do what each person does best; and
  • we all contribute our own work.