Leverage Diversity for Greater Success

From http://thefutureleadershipinitiative.wordpress.com

As Adam Vaccaro points out, diverse workplace might ultimately create better results, as some new studies suggest.

“The study, detailed by NPR, looks at the work of scientific researchers and finds that papers written by multicultural teams were cited in other research more often than those written by homogenous groups. In the world of research, citations are seen as a metric of quality.

Ethnic diversity wasn’t the only harbinger of success. The same study also found that groups with members from geographic areas-perhaps three cities in the same country-also created better papers than those with members from the same place.

“It’s a matter of looking at individual teams and making sure they’re different perspectives, different points of view, different backgrounds,” NPR’s David Greene says.

The principle isn’t an entirely new one. The idea that different perspectives result in better work has been explored from a more macro-economic perspective, as research shows that diverse cities experience more economic growth. The idea is also at play in research showing that companies with females on their boards financially outperform those that don’t (have females on their boards).

From http://www.meritor.com

People tend to think of diversity as simply demographic, a matter of color, gender, or age. However, groups can be disparate in many ways. Diversity is also based on informational differences, reflecting a person’s education and experience, as well as on values or goals that can influence what one perceives to be the mission of something as small as a single meeting or as large as a whole company.

Diversity among employees can create better performance when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary creative tasks such as product development or cracking new markets… The researchers found that informational diversity stirred constructive conflict, or debate, around the task at hand. That is, people deliberate about the best course of action.

Diversity is the crucial element for group creativity. Innovation teams tasked with creating new products or technologies or iterating existing ones need tension to produce breakthroughs, and tension comes from diverse points of view. This is the opposite of groupthink, the creativity-killing phenomenon of too much agreement and too similar perspectives that often paralyzes otherwise great teams.

From http://www.nissan-global.com

 According to McKinsey Quarterly, between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers. That’s probably no coincidence. There are many reasons companies with more diverse executive teams should outperform their peers: fielding a team of top executives with varied cultural backgrounds and life experiences can broaden a company’s strategic perspective, for example. And relentless competition for the best people should reward organizations that cast their nets beyond traditional talent pools for leadership.

Leverage Diversity for Greater Success

😉

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Authentic Communication

From http://hr.toolbox.com

 Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis of successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work. Yet people constantly back away from honesty to protect themselves and others.

As Sheryl Sandberg points out, this reticence causes and perpetuates all kinds of problems: uncomfortable issues that never get addressed, resentment that builds, unfit managers who get promoted rather than fired, and on and on. Often these situations don’t improve because no one tells anyone what is really happening. We are so rarely brave enough to tell the truth…

From The Grumpy Poet

However, authentic communication is not simply about saying what we think at all costs. Communication works best when we combine appropriateness with authenticity, finding the sweet spot where opinions are not brutally honest but delicately honest. Speaking truth fully without hurting feelings comes naturally to some and is an acquired skill for others.

 From http://vinylzart.com

Communicaid identifies the following key elements of authentic communication:

  • Take responsibility for your communication and this means not only for what you say but also ensuring it has been fully understood.  You need to have ownership of the message and be responsible for any fall-out or negative response.
  • Be clear in your use of language so that you are not misinterpreted.  Avoid ambiguous language and technical or specialist jargon that may not be understood.
  • Tell the truth – make sure your facts are accurate and don’t make false promises or leave people to make assumptions that are misplaced.  Also be wary of not making promises that you will not be able to deliver on.
  • Don’t over-generalise or make sweeping statements such as, ‘Nobody thinks it’s a good idea’ or ‘This always happens’.
  • Work with the facts and be aware of the difference between your subjective opinions and the objective facts.  Avoid second guessing and making assumptions about what others are feeling, thinking or meaning.  If in doubt, ask for clarification.
  • Build a connection with the people you are communicating with.  Show them that you care and are interested in them.
  • Be consistent both in what you say but also how you follow up.  Your words should match your actions and you should always endeavour to do what you say you will do within the timeframe you have promised
  • Create mutual understanding by being prepared to share a little bit about yourself and by being curious about others.  Empathise with other perspectives and always try to imagine yourself in the others’ shoes.
  • Build your self-awareness and keep learning about yourself.  Be aware of your own judgements and prejudices and the obstacles that prevent you from communicating authentically.  Monitor your own negative responses and learn to manage your reactions to certain triggers.

From http://www.webbstar.net

In addition to creating better relationships, building trust, managing conflict more effectively and improving team spirit, authenticity helps to create happier, more self-confident and open individuals.

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Smart Trust


From http://thehearttruths.com

At different times in our lives and in different situations, most of us tend to look at our personal relationships, our teams, our organizations, and our governments through one of two sets of glasses: “blind trust” (naivete) or “distrust” (suspicion). At times, we may even go back and forth between the two.

These glasses have been created by a number of factors, including the way our parents and grandparents may have seen the world, the experiences we’ve had in our personal and professional lives, the people we interact with, the things we read, the things we watch, and the things we listen to. However, most of us don’t even realize that we have these glasses on.

Only as we understand how we’re seeing the world now can we truly appreciate the difference a new pair of glasses can make.

From http://quotes-pictures.vidzshare.net/

The reality is that there is a high cost to both blind trust and distrust. And whether you’re looking at the world primarily through the lens of blind trust or distrust, neither approach is sustainable in the long term. Those who live with blind trust eventually get burned; those who live with distrust eventually experience financial, social, and emotional losses.

Though we’ve become very good at recognizing the cost of trusting too much, we’re not nearly as good at recognizing the cost of not trusting enough… Though we think we’re being smart in taking precautions to protect ourselves against all the things that can happen in this low-trust world, the cost of this approach can be incredibly high, particularly in terms of prosperity, energy, and joy.

From http://izquotes.com

 What is Smart Trust?

Smart Trust is judgement. It’s a competency and a process that enables us to operate with high trust in a low-trust world. It minimizes risk and maximizes possibilities….

The propensity to trust almost always provides the best starting point of Smart Trust… We approach situations with the belief that “most people are basically good,” and the reason we do this is because it opens up a whole new world of possibilities…

From http://izquotes.com

To exercise Smart Trust, however, we need to combine a high propensity to trust with equally high analysis. Analysis refers to our ability to assess, evaluate, and consider implications and consequences, including risk.

From http://www.managementsite.nl

 Smart Trust analysis involves the assessment of 3 vital variables:

  1. Opportunity: clearly identifying what you’re trusting someone with. E.g., Grameen bank trusts its borrowers to pay back their loans.
  2. Risk: evaluating the degree of risk involved. What are the possible outcomes? What is the likelihood of the outcomes?
  3. Credibility: the character and competence of the person or people involved. Just as you likely wouldn’t want to do business with someone who, though very skilled, was a known liar and cheat, neither would you want to do business with someone who was honest but incompetent. Credibility also involves the relevance of the person’s competence to the job to be done. Though you might trust an associate to take over your job while you’re on vacation, you might not trust that same person to cut your hair or operate on your daughter’s knee.

From http://izquotes.com/

Because judgement is developed through experience, we sometimes make mistakes. But the more we can recognize and exercise our propensity to trust and our ability to analyse situation, risk, and credibility effectively and the more we can create the empowering synergy between them, the more successful we will be in creating high-trust relationships and opportunities and increasing prosperity, energy, and joy.

From http://thefrontofthejersey.com

Trust is contagious. When we extend trust, we generate trust; when we withhold trust, we generate distrust. Our actions lead ether toward a virtuous upward cycle of prosperity, energy, and joy or toward a vicious downward cycle that eventually results in the destruction of those outcomes….

Trust is contagious – and so is distrust: in our personal lives, our families, our communities, our teams, our organizations, our nations, and the world.

From http://izquotes.com

Smart trust involves the following 5 steps:

1. Choose to believe in trust:

  • A belief in being worthy of trust
  • A belief that most people can be trusted
  • A belief that extending trust is a better way to lead

From http://goodngreat.com

2. Start with self – the foundational action to create trust not only in ourselves as individuals but also in our organizations.

From http://meetville.com

3. Declare your intent and assume positive intent in others. There are two parts to effectively declaring intent: stating what we want to do and stating why we want to do it. Declaring intent is authentic and transparent, which connects us with people not only intellectually but also emotionally. It gives us the confidence that we are acting intentionally and with purpose. It encourages reciprocity.

From http://izquotes.com

 4. Do what you say you’re going to do

From http://www.prestigeprivateschool.ca

5. Lead out in extending trust to others: trusting people inspires them to want to be worthy of that trust. It brings out the best in them. It helps them develop their capabilities.

From http://thoughtfulandinspirational.blogspot.co.nz

From “Smart Trust”
by Stephen  M.R. Covey and Greg Link

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Are You a Genius or a Genius Maker?

From http://naomisimson.com

 We’ve all had experience with two dramatically different types of leaders. The first type drain intelligence, energy, and capability from the ones around them and always need to be the smartest ones in the room. These are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the diminishers of talent and commitment.

On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who use their intelligence to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around them. When these leaders walk into a room, lightbulbs go off over people’s heads, ideas flow, and problems get resolved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the Multipliers.

 


From http://multipliersbooks.com

Multipliers are genius makers. Everyone around them gets smarter and more capable. People may not become geniuses in a traditional sense, but Multipliers invoke each person’s unique intelligence and create an atmosphere of genius – innovation, productive effort, and collective, viral intelligence.

Diminishers on the other hand are absorbed in their own intelligence, stifle others, and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability.

Accidental_Diminisher_Chart_Twitter_Version
From http://multipliersbooks.com

The mind of Multiplier

Multipliers and Diminishers tend to hold radically different assumptions about the intelligence of the people they work with. These assumptions appear to explain much of the difference in how Diminishers and Multipliers operate.

The Diminisher’s view of intelligence is based on elitism and scarcity. Diminishers appear to believe that really intelligent people are a rare breed and I am one of the few really smart people. They then conclude, other people will never figure things out without me.

Multipliers on the other hand have a rich view of the intelligence of the people around them. They see intelligence as continually developing. Therefore their key assumption: people are smart. They will figure this out and will get even smarter in the process.

From http://kellysopeningworld.wordpress.com/

In analysing data from more than 150 leaders, Wiseman and McKeown have identified five key disciplines that distinguish Multipliers from Diminishers:

  1. The Talent Magnet: Attract and optimize talent
  2. The Liberator: Create intensity that requires best thinking
  3. The Challenger: Extend challenges
  4. The Debate Maker: Debate decisions
  5. The Investor: Instill ownership and accountability

Multiplier
From http://www.monkeymagic.net/2013/07/

* * *

1

The Talent Magnet


From http://izquotes.com

Talent Magnets get access to the best talent because people flock to work for them knowing they will be fully utilized and developed to be ready for the next stage. Talent Magnets:

  • Appreciate all types of genius: genius comes in many forms. Some minds excel at quantitative analysis or verbal reasoning – capabilities measured through IQ and other tests of traditional cognitive intelligence. Other minds offer creative genius, innovating through fresh thinking and bold ideas. Some minds are critical, spotting every problem or landmine lurking within a plan; the genius of some others is to find a way to tunnel around these landmines.
  • Ignore boundaries: Talent Magnets live in a world without walls and without hierarchical or lateral restrictions. Instead, they see talent networks.
  • Find people’s native genius: A native genius is something that people do, not only exceptionally well, but absolutely naturally. They do it easily (without extra effort) and freely (without condition). It is something that gives them inherent satisfaction, and they offer their capability voluntarily, even ardently. Native genius can be so instinctive for people that they may not even understand their own capability, like the fish that discovers the water last. By telling people what you see, Talent Magents can raise their awareness and confidence, allowing them to provide their capability more fully.
  • Utilize people to their fullest by connecting people with opportunities that allow them to be used at their highest point of contribution.

From http://www.chopcow.com

* * *

2

The Liberator

From http://wwwawesomequotes.blogspot.co.nz/

Liberators create an intense environment that requires people’s best thinking and work. As a result, people offer their best and boldest thinking and give their best effort.

Liberators:

  • Release others by restraining themselves: it is a small victory to create space for others to contribute. But it is a huge victory to maintain that space and resist the temptation to jump back in and consume it yourself.
  • Shift the ratio of listening to talking: liberators are ferocious listeners who listen to feed their hunger for knowledge.
  • Operate consistently: The consistency in the liberator’s actions establishes a predictable pattern of behaviour. This allows others to know when it is their turn and where there is space for them to contribute. It also creates safety with all people knowing what to expect.
  • Level the playing field: in any formal organization, the playing field is rarely level, and certain voices are inherently advantaged. These include senior executives. Unless managed, other voices that are perhaps closest to the real issues can become muffled.
  • Demand best work: Asking whether people are giving their best gives them the opportunity to push themselves beyond their previous limits.
  • Distinguish best work from outcomes: people feel positive pressure when they are held to their best work, however it is important to avoid creating stress by holding people accountable for outcomes beyond their control.
  • Generate rapid learning cycles by admitting and sharing mistakes and insisting on learning from mistakes.


From http://www.mindwerx.com

* * *

3

The Challenger

From http://ieet.org

Challengers define opportunities that challenge people to go beyond what they know how to do. As a result they get an organisation that understands the challenge and has the focus and energy to take it on.

The Challengers:

  • Seed the opportunity by allowing people to discover it, challenging the assumptions, re-framing the problems into opportunities, and providing the starting point.
  • Lay down a challenge by asking the hard questions and letting others to fill in the blanks.
  • Generate belief in what is possible by laying out a path, co-creating the plan and beginning with small early wins.

From http://www.notable-quotes.com

* * *

4

The Debate Maker

From http://www.savemarinwood.org

Debate Makers engage people in debating the issues up front, which leads to sound decisions that people understand and can execute efficiently.

Debate Makers:

  • Frame the issue by defining the question that unearths and challenges the assumptions entrenched in the organization, forming the team, and assembling the required data.
  • Spark the debate by creating safe environment for best thinking and demanding rigor.
  • Drive sound decision making.

From http://www.freshbooks.com

* * *

5

The Investor

From http://quotespictures.net

Multipliers operate as Investors. They invest by infusing others with the resources and ownership they need to produce results independent of the leader.

The Investors:

  • Define ownership by naming the lead, giving ownership for the end goal and stretching the role
  • Invest resources by providing mentoring, coaching and backup
  • Hold people accountable

 
From http://www.nwlink.com/

Multipliers also tend to have a great sense of humor. They aren’t necessarily comedians, but they don’t take themselves or situations too seriously. They can laugh at themselves and see comedy in error and in life’s foibles. Their sense of humor liberates others. Multipliers use humor to create comfort and to spark a natural energy and intelligence in others.

 From “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter” by Liz Wiseman with Greg McKeown

 From http://izquotes.com/

The concept of Diminishers and Multipliers however is not limited to business leadership only. It can be easily applied to any relationship, including marriage, family, parenting, friendship etc.


From https://otrazhenie.wordpress.com

Are you a Diminisher or a Multiplier, a Genius or a Genius Maker?

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The power of storytelling in the world obsessed with data

“Stories tell us of what we already knew and forgot, and remind us of what we haven’t yet imagined.”

Anne Watson


Story
From Emotive Storytelling

For thousands years telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. The rise of big data however shifted focus on metrics undercutting the power of storytelling and leaving off the agenda those things that can not be measured. Is storytelling a dying art form then?

To answer that question, lets have a deeper look at data-driven decision making. Decision making is lying across a broad spectrum. At one end of that spectrum are operational decisions, which are generally highly structured, routine, short-term oriented and increasingly embodied in sophisticated software applications. At the other end of the spectrum are strategic decisions. These are usually taken by high levels of management as they set the long-term directions and policies of a business, government or other organizations. They tend to be complex, and unstructured because of the uncertainty and risks that generally accompany longer term decisions. In between are many kinds of decisions, including non-routine ones in response to new or unforeseen circumstances beyond the scope of operational processes, and tactical decisions dealing with the necessary adjustments required to implement longer term strategies.

Given their structured nature, data analysis have long been applied to automate routine, day-to-day operational decisions, such as logistics and inventory management, personalized marketing offers and recommendations, and fraud detection in financial transactions. Beyond automated operational decisions, however, there are many situations where data alone might not be enough. As an example, strategic decisions aimed at shaping the future by setting the long term directions and policies of an organization, often cannot be ferreted out from the available data. In complex matters, what begins to matter more than mere data is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact. When dealing with complexity, “narrative imagining” or storytelling can become a powerful instrument of thought as well as a key communication tool.

As cognitive scientist Mark Turner points out, “most of our experiences, our knowledge and our thinking is organized as stories”. Narrative helps us make sense of a world that is rapidly changing as it can be focused on the next generation of change, not just an extrapolation of the present. Stories fuel innovation. They hold the power to transform listeners; to take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel or act. Stories can elicit emotional connections that make them a very powerful persuasion tool. Studies also show that we are wired to remember stories much more than mere data, facts, and figures. While mere numbers and graphs often kill a presentation’s soul turning into an insomnia relief for the listeners, stories have the power of transforming presented data into knowledge eagerly absorbed by the audience.

Not surprisingly,  legendary vizier‘s daughter Scheherazade has chosen the power of storytelling  in an effort to save the lives of thousands of women. After 1,001 nights, having been made a wiser and kinder man by Scheherazade and her 1,000 tales, the king not only spared her life, but made her his queen.

scheherazadeFrom Scheherazade 

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Taming paradoxical creativity for business success


Creative_mind__by_Uribaani
From DeviantArt

Creativity is the common theme that drives both entrepreneurs and artists alike. But creative people are often also paradoxical and full of contradictions.

Eminent psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that creative people ‘contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.’

Mihaly describes ten traits often contradictory in nature, that are frequently present in creative people. In Creativity, Mihaly outlines these:

 1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.
 They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm.

 2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.
“It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure and that most workshops try to enhance.”

 3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.
But this playfulness doesn’t go very far without its antithesis, a quality of doggedness, endurance, and perseverance.

“Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not. Vasari wrote in 1550 that when Renaissance painter Paolo Uccello was working out the laws of visual perspective, he would walk back and forth all night, muttering to himself: “What a beautiful thing is this perspective!” while his wife called him back to bed with no success.”

4.Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.
Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.
We’re usually one or the other, either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show. Creative individuals, on the other hand, seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.
It is remarkable to meet a famous person who you expect to be arrogant or supercilious, only to encounter self-deprecation and shyness instead.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.
When tests of masculinity and femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.
It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.

9.Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.
Without the passion, we soon lose interest in a difficult task. Yet without being objective about it, our work is not very good and lacks credibility.

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.
It’s impossible to be creative without having a deep understanding of an area of culture, but a creative person has to be rebellious and iconoclastic to break away from the safety of tradition and make something different.

Although a creative person’s contradictions are perplexing and frustrating to others, they are the source of their creativity. They can see the world in all its complexity. There is pressure in our culture to be clear what you stand for, make a decision and stick to it. It’s practically a criminal offence to change your mind. The result is rigid thinking. The creative mind has to contain multiple perspectives simultaneously. Contradicting yourself is a sign that you are thinking creatively.

CreativityFrom Creativity at Work

What is Creativity in Business?

Creativity is a crucial part of the innovation equation. Creativity requires whole-brain thinking; roght-brain imagination, artistry and intuition, plus left-brain logic and planning.

Creativity is a core competency for leaders and managers and one of the best ways to set a company apart from the competition.

Corporate Creativity is characterized by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions. Generating fresh solutions to problems, and the ability to create new products, processes or services for a changing market, are part of the intellectual capital that give a company its competitive edge.

EmployeesFrom 6 Ways to Cultivate Creativity in Your Company

Are you looking to hire creative employees at your company?

As Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner points out, “if you want to find and hire exceptionally creative people, you need to find people with diversity in their backgrounds. This is not only a sign of creativity, but it also indicates a potential employee with more diversity of experience, knowledge and thought than a person who has followed a clearly defined career path.” He suggests to look for the following:

  1. Diversity and International Experience
    “The most important thing you should look for is international living experience. Not international travel, but living and working (or studying) experience. Research has demonstrated that living overseas permanently boosts an individual’s creativity. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, it is the only proven way to boost permanently creativity. So, look for foreigners living in your country as well as nationals who have lived and worked overseas. Presumably, though it has not been tested, doing multiple international stints and living in very different cultures further enhance creativity.The second best characteristic to international experience is diversity of experience. Rather than look for people who have followed a very narrow career path, look for people who have had more varied experience. Look for people who have done work significantly different from that of the position you are seeking to fulfill. If you want an IT manager, someone who has spent two years selling furniture or a year teaching skiing and has additional IT experience is likely to be more creative than someone who has only had IT experience. Moreover, she will bring diversity of thought to the IT department — and that boosts collaborative creativity.Aside from work experience, look for evidence of diversity and unusual points in education, hobbies and elsewhere. A marketing manager who has a degree in philosophy followed up by an MBA will probably be more creative than the marketing manager who has a business administration degree and an MBA. She will certainly bring new perspectives to the marketing department.”
  2. Humour
    “Having an original sense of humour — that is, being able to make jokes or be funny on your own, rather than repeating well known jokes — is an indicator of creativity. Humour is about seeing things in unusual ways that are unexpected. To be able to do that requires creativity. This does not mean that every creative person has a sense of humour. Many do not. But anyone with an original sense of humour is almost certainly very creative.Having a sense of humour will probably not be apparent in an applicant’s CV and most people believe they have a sense of humour. But if the applicant keeps a blog, is active on Twitter or participates publicly in other social media where she demonstrates an original sense of humour, she is probably more creative than most.”
  3. Rebelliousness
    “Highly creative people tend to be rebellious. They think differently from averagely creative people, they tend to do things in unconventional ways and they are not afraid to provoke others, including senior management. This is not usually because they choose to be rebellious. Rather, highly creative people think differently and make decisions differently than do averagely creative people. Often, highly creative people are blind to the relevant conventions. They are likely to believe their ideas are better than more conventional ideas.”

“That pretty much sums up highly creative people: they are different. They will have different backgrounds from averagely creative people — and that background may very well include international living and working experience. They will behave differently from averagely creative people and they will offer different results: creative results. If you keep this in mind, it will not be hard to find and hire creative people. The challenge will be challenging them sufficiently to keep them!”

Employee
From Forbes

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