There is in the human soul a desire for reproducibility. Not reproduction, (we have that for sure!), but a need to reproduce things, perfectly and repeatably.
Traditional MBA programs are built on that desire; on the belief that the behaviours that constitute good management can be learned and repeated in any context. Those programs suggest, by making management a discipline, that if you get the basic skills down, you can manage a retail business or a bank or a restaurant, each with equal success.
The trouble is, it just isn’t true. But it seems that the desire to create . . . → Read More: A System or A Symphony?
Information theory. Physics. Classical music & jazz. Monastic orders. The sciences of the brain and cognition. Statistics and probability.
Each of these disciplines have rules at the heart of them.
So why do I find myself constantly going back there to think and act out of the box? Isn’t getting out of the box, out of the rut, all about breaking the old rules?
No. This is a complete failure of insight. We are not boxed by rules. We are boxed by habits, instincts, and unexamined emotions. One prejudice creates a prison of a box more . . . → Read More: Back to the Middle to Get Outside
Ideas are easy. Consistency is hard.
I think that one of the reasons I return to that epigram so often is because of my music training. The business world has much to learn from the musical world.
In music we keep going back to the fundamentals over and over again. You keep practicing all the time. Inspiration and creativity matter, but if you are a professional, it is your chops that really matter. No one expects to get it right the first time. You make mistakes, but you keep practicing until you don’t make mistakes any more. Yes originality . . . → Read More: Play it Again. And Again. And Again.
What gives you the right to expect ‘more’ from your employees?
When you provide only the very basics on your side of the relationship as the employer how can you expect more than the very basics from your employees? If all you give me is money, all you get is my hands.
If you want my heart and my head, you’ll have to put yours in there too.
Brett Simons has written another excellent and thoughtful piece. This one explores Enabling Covenantal Relationships. As Brett writes:
“Unless and until you are willing to hold yourself accountable for performing your . . . → Read More: Will You Be Mine? The Employer As Covenant Partner
Saying yes is a frame of mind. It is an approach to life, creativity, and leadership.
Say yes until you have to say no. In everything.
Even in sales, it is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get people into a “yes” mindset by warming them up with questions to which “yes” is the most likely answer:
“Hello, are you having a good day?” [good manners usually have us answering ‘yes’]
“Are you looking for a car today?” [of course, that is why we are on the lot]
“Are you . . . → Read More: Improv in the Cubicles: Yes Let’s!
Patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time…
Carrying on a conversation with a customer while preparing their complicated order at the counter…
Calling in sick when you are actually on your way to the beach for the day…
Coming up with a new idea when all around you people are trotting out clichés…
Throughout life we are asked to do more than one thing at once, and be creative about it to boot. To do any of those things successfully requires that we get past the normal ‘grooves’ of behaviour that are our first instincts.
. . . → Read More: Improv in a Suit: What are you Doing? (Dissociation)
We spend our life waiting for cues.
It’s all about trying to get the timing right. We look for cues to speak our turn, to ask for a raise, to lean in for a kiss…
Act too soon, and it sends the wrong signals of pushiness or desperation. Too late and the moment slips by.
Getting it right takes skills they don’t teach at school. It’s one of those things we have to figure out on our own, usually painfully. It takes empathy, good listening skills, confidence, some intelligence, and a fair degree of luck to make our entrances . . . → Read More: Improv in Heels: Exit Game