Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Craft of Consulting’

2010-09-14 We Are The Network: Is Today’s Pop-Psych Right… You Can’t Change Anyone Else?

September 12th, 2010 No comments

Is Today’s Pop-Psych Right… You Can’t Change Anyone Else?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, Sept 14 at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

Is Today’s Pop-Psych Right… You Can’t Change Anyone Else?

Once upon a time, the focus of management, marketing and sales was spin, change people’s interests, views, and desires towards your goals. For the last few years, it seems that the pop-psych current thinking has flipped to a completely opposite position, that not only can you not change anyone else, the only thing you can do is hope to attract them to you, and to attract them to change.

Is one or the other of these positions more accurate? Are there ways to change another person? If not, then why is advertising and marketing still effective, and why does management focus on improving performance (which could be looked at as a direct attempt to change behavior towards corporate goals)? If we can change other people, why do so many attempts to do so result in failure, even to the point of destructive side effects? Does refusing the concept of changing others result in a self-focused, narcissistic society? Does one or the other position, by design, improve society over time?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and see you soon!

Read more…

2010-07-06 We Are The Network: Can an Organization have a Personality Disorder?

July 5th, 2010 No comments

July 6, 2010 1:54pm Added “The Neurotic Organization: Diagnosing and Changing Counterproductive Styles of Management” to the reference links section. Thanks to John Jainschigg for pointing out this title.

Can an Organization have a Personality Disorder?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, July 6 at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

Can an Organization have a Personality Disorder?

Organizations talk about internal culture and market it as a selling point, both to customers and to potential staff. organizational culture reflects a concept of shared personality, often described in flashy, positive terms.

If organizations have an organization-level personality, can organizations (collection of many people) have collective personality disorders? Do organizational personality disorders map directly to individual personality disorders defined by mental health professionals?

How can organizational personality disorders be resolved? Are such resolutions possible?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

2010-06-29 We Are The Network: Personal Stress Management in a Chaotic World

June 29th, 2010 No comments

Personal Stress Management in a Chaotic World

Please join our global discussion group every Tuesday at 12pm U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time


This Week’s Topic

Personal Stress Management in a Chaotic World

It goes without saying that today’s world events, financial and work situation, and lifestyle can create substantial stress. There are plenty of “you should just tell yourself to feel better” web sites and books, but this sort of advice is often of limited value in the real world. What stress sources are significant to you, and what are effective ways to deal with them? Are there techniques for creating positive results from stress?

What are your best practices for recognizing and handling stressful situations, relationships and events?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and see you soon! Read more…

The Collision of Photography, Coaching, the Craft of Consulting and Project Management

June 20th, 2010 No comments

We meandered through the Boston Museum of Fine Art today, and on the path I noticed a saying on the wall, in a gallery of photographic prints. In a flash, I realized it captures why I do photography, and it’s essence is why I am a coach, how I practice the craft of consulting and one of the key strategies to releasing project teams from obstacles so they can generate better results.

Revealing a subject in a new way is the core of so many things, as the generator of insight, as the trigger to see new approaches to help organizations and individuals to get “unstuck”, as the way to build collaboration and help teams to be more powerful, and often as the key in the lock of an issue that others haven’t yet found a way to open and solve.

Breakthroughs in coaching people and organizations, practicing the craft of consulting and navigating complex projects depend on a knack to take “what everyone knows” and turn it around to look at it from a unique direction. The moment this hidden vision is unlocked, new and sometimes seemingly impossible things become possible.

I think this I’ll put this one up on the wall here too!

Revealing the subject - image of saying on the wall at Boston Museum of Fine Arts

2010-06-15 We Are The Network: The Many Faces of Corporate Announcements – A Case Study

June 14th, 2010 No comments

The Many Faces of Corporate Announcements – A Case Study

Please join our global discussion group every Tuesday at 12pm U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

New Location! Tuesday, June 15,  we will be on the web using voice and group text chat (yet another platform experiment!)

This Week’s Topic

The Many Faces of Corporate Announcements – A Case Study

Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life™, have announced the release of 30% of the company’s staff, in order to “Generate Efficiencies and Support Investment in New Platforms.” Along with an official press release, there have been interviews with the CEO and numerous blog posts attempting to both divine the future path that the announcement foretells.

Corporate press releases serve many purposes, and this week we will analyze this release and related commentary to explore how to mine such releases for evidence and facts. It is tempting to stick with emotional “feel good thinking” or “disaster scenario thinking” responses to major corporate announcements, however it is often possible to reveal significant information from announcements by using critical analysis skills.

We will explore the stated and unstated elements of this announcement in case study form, in order to learn techniques for critical analysis of all manner of corporate and organizational announcements.
Read more…

An Agile Answer to “Are we Agile if…?”

June 3rd, 2010 No comments

The Agile software development movement and the realization that Agile techniques work in non-software environments have led to practitioner discussions asking “Are we Agile if…?”, or the Agile-but counterpoint “We’re Agile, but we don’t…”

Of late, many have repeated the mantra that Agile is a mindset, not just a set of cookie-cutter elements to be applied unilaterally. These elements need to be tailored to fit the organization based on it’s stage of development and environmental factors in order to create positive results.

It seems to me that deciding an organization’s level of agility based on adherence to a prescribed practice and ceremony list is not an evaluation process that fits with the key concepts of Agile itself!

The first element of the Agile Manifesto is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.” Here is my approach, focusing on individuals and interactions, for answering the question “Are we Agile if…?”

Read more…

2010-05-25 We Are The Network: Does Social Network and Virtual World Experience Build Marketable Skills?

May 23rd, 2010 No comments

Does Social Network and Virtual World Experience Build Marketable Skills?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12pm noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm Eastern time

This Tuesday, May 25 at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

Does Social Network and Virtual World Experience Build Marketable Skills?

While some people see social networks and virtual worlds as purely social or game-focused environments, others use these platforms to experiment with business ideas, build skills and either create and deliver educational services or to learn new skills.

Does this experience translate to real-world marketable skills? What are marketable skills? What skills are learned implicitly by participation in these environments? Which skills can be learned purposefully? Are skills learned in this way equivalent to skills of the same names learned in person? Are there good and bad ways to describe, explain and market such skills to people who are not familiar with these platforms?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / 3pm U.S. Eastern time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and Read more…

Three Simple Steps to see if Your 3D Virtual World Scene is a Low-Performance Computer Killer

April 28th, 2010 No comments

Have you checked your 3D  virtual world scenes on a really low powered machine like a netbook? If not, you may be in for a surprise. Users with low performance machines like netbooks may find a huge performance penalty when they visit your virtual space. In other words… things may look just fine and performance may be “totally ducky” on your machine, yet with a low performance machine your space may be close to unusable.

Isn’t There a Simple “Follow This Rule” Design Guide?

It would be nice if there were simple “follow this rule” guidance that would make design for low performance machines easy. Unfortunately every simple rule I have seen is either incorrect, incomplete, or creates unnecessary compromises.

In other words, simple rules don’t really work well in creating performance optimized builds for a wide range of hardware. Because of the number of variables, testing is the only reasonable way to be sure your build works well with lower performance machines.  When there is a build-induced performance issue, the cause is often that one aspect of the scene exceeds the complexity and performance levels low performance machine graphics systems.

A Recent Example of a Surprising Answer

I recently diagnosed a problem in a well known virtual world environment where even mid-level computers were showing 25-50% frame rate reductions, and netbooks showed extreme performance problems with no other avatars present. We found that the grass surrounding the stage was constructed in a way that caused particular problems for low performance computers.

Removing the grasss and replacing it with a different ground cover improved the frame rate on mid-level computers by 25-50% and a netbook by over 100%, all by replacing ONE graphical element in the scene! This illustrates that a single element can have a surprising and large impact on user experience.

A Simple Three Step Test Read more…

2010-04-13 We Are The Network: The Changing Employer-Employee Relationship – What is a Career Today?

April 8th, 2010 2 comments

The Changing Employer-Employee Relationship: What is a Career Today?

Please join our global discussion group
every Tuesday at 12PM noon U.S. Pacific / SL time

This Tuesday, Apr 13, at the Epoch Institute in Second Life

Click here to teleport to the Epoch Institute in Second Life
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Wells/97/56/27

This Week’s Topic

The Changing Employer-Employee Relationship: What is a Career Today?

The concept of career has changed dramatically in our lifetime. For our parents, a career was often a single track kept throughout your working life. It was common to have a job working for one employer for years and sometimes decades. A 2008 data release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the average worker aged 18-42 held 10.8 jobs. On average, workers now change jobs every 2.2 years (from data that precedes the recent severe recession, which has likely further altered these numbers.)

Where companies used to take care of their employees based on an unwritten contract of long-term responsibility, the contract, if it exists, has dramatically changed.

What are the expectations of employers towards their employees now? How do current hiring practices, on-going management practices and release practices illustrate new employer beliefs? What are the expectations of employees towards employers? What are best practices for finding and keeping jobs in a world in which increasingly the employee’s first interview is with a machine?

How have these changes altered the nature of work and of the career concept?

Join us Tuesday at 12PM noon Pacific/SL time for an interactive discussion, and thanks for being part of “We Are The Network”!

If you do not have a Second Life account and would like a quick start to attend the session, please contact me for more information.

Best regards,

Joel

Reading links below – have fun and Read more…

Why Ducking ROI Questions Hurts Your Career, and What You Should Do Instead

April 5th, 2010 1 comment

The Hidden Return on Investment Discussion

There is an untold perspective, amid the blizzard of posts and comments about measurement of, inability to measure, or the non-sensical nature of measuring ROI (return on investment) for projects. When you are asked “what is the ROI of this?” you are often being asking a set of questions—only one of which has anything to do with money, investment or returns.

An effective response to an ROI question requires an understanding of the organizational view of ROI. Absent an awareness of the organizational view, answers may be seen as disingenuous and evasive. Neither attempting to divert a reasonable question, nor attempting to demonstrate that there is no basis for the question are productive strategies, regardless of the language used to disguise the maneuver.

There is a better, more productive path to answering questions about Read more…