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13 Principle 9 Learning Throughout the Resolution Process

Stewart Levine Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?

Lao Tzu

While focused on winning, you may not want to know or listen to the concerns of other people. Your objective is to convince everyone you are right, no matter what.

Assuming commitment and the necessary attitude of resolution, the process of coming together to resolve a conflict is an exercise in group learning. It’s all about teaching and learning. Learning is a useful way to get rid of the ego-based ideas of winning, being right, fixing blame, or doing it the “right” way. Learning and being open to influence puts you in a mind-set of discovery, allowing you the luxury of not knowing the answers or the specific path that you will take. This process lets you discover, explore, and learn with everyone else what the best solution is. As the process unfolds, people are educating each other about their perception of the situation and simultaneously learning what is needed to understand the bigger picture.

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Medium 9781609945534

1 What is the Innovation Paradox?

Tony Davila Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

NOKIA WAS A FINE-TUNED MACHINE when it came to grabbing the latest trends in mobile phone use and translating them into robust, profitable designs. Its scouters mixed up with young urban trendsetters, executives, and families, almost to the point where they understood their customers better than they understood themselves. Techniques ranging from in-depth ethnographies to early prototyping helped the company keep its healthy lead in mobile communication. For instance, the discovery that people in countries such as Morocco and Ghana would share phone conversations led Nokia to develop phones with more powerful speakers, making it easier for more people to participate in conversations.1 Incremental innovations—gradual, regular improvements to existing products and services—allowed Nokia to maintain and extend their lead in the market as they knew it. What could possibly go wrong?

Nokia’s market lead fell apart when the smart phone became the mobile device of choice. Since the company was so successful in the market for traditional mobile phones, when the market shifted away from their flagship products, Nokia was left with a nearly perfect organization innovating for a market whose relevance quickly eroded. Not only did Nokia lose its venerable market position, but it also lost any meaningful chance of making a dent in the smart phone market, allowing companies like Apple and Samsung to establish themselves.

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Medium 9781605099552

Chapter 3: The Pioneering Leader

Jeffrey Sugerman Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Pioneering leaders cut through the brush and inspire the group to venture into uncharted territory. They have a natural passion to grow, expand, and explore. These leaders seize on opportunities that others might not even recognize. We’ll elaborate on the value of the Pioneering leader in Chapter 11, but in this chapter, we want to look under the hood to understand what makes this style of leader tick. More specifically, we want to help Pioneering leaders understand some of the hidden psychological mechanisms that can hold them back.

If you’re a Pioneering leader, you’re probably fairly high-energy and outspoken. People might regard you as charming and confident, and you’re more likely to take chances than others. Erin, the vice president of a national political organization, told us, “I think the best description I’ve ever heard of my personality was [when] somebody said that I was Type A masquerading as smooth jazz.” Hiding beneath your exterior are deeper motivations, needs, and assumptions that drive you to act the way you do. The more you understand these drivers, the more you’ll be able to consciously control and shape your leadership style.

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Medium 9781576752760

CHAPTER 1: Breakthrough to a Paradox

Don M. Frick Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Great ideas, it is said, come into the world as gently as doves. Perhaps, then, if we listen attentively, we shall hear, amid the uproar of empires and nations, a faint flutter of wings, the gentle stirring of life and hope. 1


No one knows what triggers a revelation, or even an insight. Some say it is a mechanical combination of existing ideas. Others argue that inspiration comes from beyond, a luminous gift of God. Many believe dreams conspire with the non-conscious mind to dramatize fresh possibilities. Breakthroughs often come when the mind is relaxed and the doors of perception are open.

Bob Greenleaf had the revelation of his life while driving an Arizona highway, his wife at his side, with a sense of frustration gnawing at him. It happened in the unsettled October of 1968. America’s university campuses were in an uproar because of the Vietnam war, racial unrest, riots, assassinations, and the alienation and fierce idealism of youth. College presidents were worried; faculties were divided.

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6 Becoming Internally Directed

Quinn, Ryan W. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Stephen, a friend of ours, told us about an experience he had when he was a teenager. Stephen loved basketball. He was good at it, too. He won awards, dominated the leagues he participated in, and had some college coaches paying attention to him. When he joined the high school Varsity team, however, his coach almost never let him play. Stephen gave his best effort in every practice, followed the rules, outplayed his teammates, and worked constantly to improve, but no matter what he did his coach would not give him any more playing time.

Eventually Stephen and his parents found out that all of the players struggled with the coach—even the kids who had the most playing time. Apparently, this coach demoralized his teams every year. He had some of the most talented players in the state, yet his teams would lose early in the state tournament and his players would say things like “I cannot wait for the season to end so I can start enjoying basketball again.” The coach hardly ever spoke to the players, and when he did, he was usually angry, bordering on abusive.

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