5312 Slices
Medium 9781605094229

6 Step 3: Generate Meaning

Vicki Halsey Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Learning is a relationship—a relationship between you, the learners, the content, and the meaning it has for people in their lives. This step of the instructional design is the trigger for confirming the relevancy and the desire to move the learning to action. Your goal is to help your learners articulate the compelling reason to choose to act on their learning and transfer it to long-term retention and behavior. This chapter will show you how to encourage people to commit to and clearly state the meaning of the new content in their lives.

In May 2010, I spent three days at the annual American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) International Conference, and I presented the ENGAGE Model during one of the learning sessions. A week after the conference, I received an e-mail from the dynamic Kevin Eikenberry, author of Remarkable Leadership, asking me to reflect on the importance of what I had learned from ASTD. Basically, he was helping me to reengage with all I had learned by reminding me of its importance. His message was a catalyst for me to take out my notes from my conference bag, reflect on their meaning in my day-to-day world, and get moving on the commitments I made when inspired by the speakers I had heard.

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Chapter 4 Make Sense of a Chaotic World

Steven Snyder Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

What I need is perspective.… Otherwise you live
with your face squashed against a wall, everything
a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the
weave of the bedsheet, the molecules of the face

—Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

“The world as it is,” as the Struggle Lens suggests, is chaotic indeed. Such chaos might leave a leader feeling flustered, out of balance, and out of control. Seeking to discern the specific tensions underlying a challenging situation is a good next step toward managing through the complexity. With a better understanding of how these tensions work, you will gain a clearer perspective and make better choices.

Not only is change at the heart of leadership struggle, it is also a source of the emotional and physical tension a leader feels as a result of that struggle. Joe Dowling’s story colorfully captures the multifaceted relationships among change, tension, and struggle. His cautionary tale also illustrates four tension points that grow out of struggle: tensions of tradition, tensions of aspiration, tensions of relationships, and tensions of identity.

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Medium 9781609949150

1 Relapse: Harold Gets Hamsterized

Mike Song Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I couldnt believe my eyes. Harold had relapsed! Hed turned back into a two-foot hamster and was pacing to and fro on his little rodent legs, dragging his microsized briefcase behind him.

You did this to me! he shouted, pointing a furry finger at me.

Okay, lets back up a bit. Im a productivity coach, and a few years ago I helped Harold with, um a delicate little problem. He had become so overwhelmed with e-mail, interruptions, and tasks that hed turned into a hamster. Why a hamster? Because, these days, most professionals are running in place at work like hamsters on never-ending, exhausting wheels.

Today, Harold was back, as one very frustrated rodent. He dropped his briefcase and spun toward me.

Look at me! Im supposed to be prepping for a huge press conference.

Press conference?

Yes! Ive got to address the entire Foster and Schrubb executive teamand the mediain less than three hours. Were launching a new customer service app, and I am so far behind! I still need to create handouts, brief my team, polish my speech

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Medium 9781605093437

1 The End of Diversity as We Know It

Martin N. Davidson Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I met Aaron Evans when I was in Northern California conducting research at Silicon Valley high-tech firms. He struck me as a bright and thoughtful manager, and a genuinely nice guy. His peers had high regard for him, too, as I learned during my visit. As we talked about diversity and its role in his company, he was cordial and a little bit stiff—just his normal demeanor, I assumed. But as we talked, I sensed his increasing agitation. I asked if he was okay. He said he was fine, so we kept talking, but he still seemed uneasy. Finally I inquired, “Aaron, you really seem uncomfortable. Is everything okay?” He sat quietly for a moment and then replied, “To be honest, I know we’re supposed to spend this time talking with you about diversity, but I have a real problem with all this. I have an issue with this topic.”

From there, we had a long conversation about what was really on his mind. Aaron took great pains to tell me that he was not biased, sexist, racist, or any other such label. Rather, he had a problem with diversity in his company because in the fifteen years he had been a manager there, he had seen diversity efforts do more harm than good. He had felt pressure to hire so-called “diverse” people (code for women and people of color)—who weren’t easy to find—when he already had great candidates in his own pipeline who happened to be white males. And then the diverse hires often left the company within two years—or worse, they stayed but just couldn’t do the job. Promotion decisions in favor of women and minorities seemed unfair, since people were often pushed forward before they were really ready. He had attended more than a few diversity training programs, but they had had little impact on his day-to-day work. Even worse, the real diversity that mattered to him—how to manage people of diverse styles of thought and work habits—didn’t seem to count in the company’s definition of diversity.

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Medium 9781605098104

10 The Courage to Live Your Brand

David McNally Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The personal brand you create will become a dynamic presence in your life. But to remain strong, it must be renewed every day. It must become a part of everything you do.

On some days, those objectives will be easy to achieve. On other days, you’ll face situations that will challenge your ability to stand by the sense of purpose, vision, and values you’ve chosen to center your life on. You’ll also encounter times when your brand promise will be severely challenged.

At times, your brand building will seem to be on hold—when life tries to lull you into a state of complacency, even apathy. Whether the seas are rough or calm, your brand needs to be strong enough to ride out the waves and keep moving in the direction you’ve chosen.

We want to leave you with one last concept from the brand builder’s dictionary: brand moments. Those are the times when your unique combination of roles, standards, and style will be put to the test—when you’ll have a chance to be found distinctively and consistently relevant to someone else. In those moments, your brand will shine. Or fade.

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