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Behavioural DNA of Leadership

Ambassadors  and Members of The Organizational Zoo Ambassadors Network (affectionately known as OZAN) used the Zoo Character Cards to explore the behavioural DNA of Leadership.  That is, which metaphors best represents the complex behavioural capabilities required to inspire others to follow you when the situation is ideal and the organization is performing well.   Clearly, a successful leader (consciously) adjusts their behavior when the context changes and this is the critical point of facilitating "Conversations That Matter" using the Zoo concepts.  The most...

Behavioural DNA of Creativity Part 2

The Organizational Zoo character cards were used to assess the which metaphorical "animals" (representing behaviours) supported or detracted from a creative environment at Creative Bangkok.  This activity was repeated at the HEC Creativity Summer School in Montreal in June 2015.  The Montreal group was larger (about 70 people broken up into 18 groups) and of a more mixed cultural background. Despite this there were strong similarities in the outputs of the activity. For example the strongest characters supporting a creative environment...

The Behaviours of Creativity: Insights from Creative Bangkok

The participants of Creative Bangkok 2014 engaged in assessing what “animals” (Organizational Zoo metaphor characters representing behaviours) supported creativity and which were detrimental to it. After a very quick introduction (because we wanted intuitive interpretation and creative open exchange of perspectives with minimal preconception) to The Organizational Zoo, participants allocated character cards into 4 categories for the context of generating creative environment: Expected (required for creative outcomes) Desired (not absolutely required, but a positive influence on creativity) Tolerated (not desirable, prefer not to...

The new shiny thing illusion

Some reflections triggered by a post on the limitations of design thinking… The old saying “For every PhD, there is an equal and opposite PhD” highlights how some people try to get attention by being different (implying they are better than the rest). Many consultants criticise existing ideas to show they “have a new and improved way” and in doing so suggest the known things are now useless. This is of course rarely true. Often THEIR new thing is merely “rebranding” or...

Out of the box approach to behavioural impacts

The limitation of many psychometrics is the way they are used by some. Used well, they can provide insights into the preferences a person has “generally”, though this cannot be applied to all situations. However, they often are used to stereotypically categorise the person, with the implication that this may inform them what roles they may be best suited to. That is, applied in ways that puts the person in a box. This is dangerous given often this largely based...

Answers to questions posed at IKMS KM Singapore 2014

Short(ish) answers are shared here for the questions asked of myself at the IKMS KM Singapore 2014 conference. To set the context for these answers, I emphasise that as knowledge workers we need to be role models. The answers may seem simple, perhaps even overly simplistic. However, our reality is many KM initiatives fail because they try to over complicate or oversize their early goals. Genuine sustainable change requires persistence, hard work and time. This is accelerated by early benefits (both...

8.23 a good time to collaboratively reflect

Umeå Univeristy host a weekly event called 8.23 each Tuesday morning to discuss a paper in development and to share ideas around what resident researchers are working on. I participated in this firstly as someone engaging around other's ideas and later as the facilitator of my own Organizational Zoo concept.  Both conversations led to stimulating exchange of ideas.  I believe that the concept of proactively engaging others to seek their perspectives though constructive feedback enhances the value and relationships for everyone...

12 Principles of Knowledge Leadership

Leadership is a subjective participation sport of perspectives and relationships. The more effectively you influence others to play with you, the greater your own success, and the more value you generate with, and for, others. Great leaders generate trust and act in an open and trustworthy manner. In doing so, they generate an environment in which people desire to be involved in decision-making and the implementation of value-creating actions. They interact in an open manner to solicit a range of...

Moving mindsets from “What is” to “What is POSSIBLE”

“Traditional teaching” is TEACHER and CONTENT focused. This is fine - if you want to win a local pub trivia night, but it is not LEARNING. Learning requires a level of understanding of what the content is about and why it is important. Even more important is knowing when it is relevant to apply and why it is more optimal than a range of other possible options. Flip teaching is (apparently) a “new” way to teach that incorporates technology and...

Understanding and Mitigating Culture Clash

Culture is an interesting outcome of people interacting in specific environments and can be difficult to influence. The Organisational Zoo metaphor provides a simple way to understand culture as an outcome of: (i) What animals you have in the zoo (ii) Where they are in the hierarchy and (iii) How they interact with each other. The Zoo represents the organisation and each animal an individual behaviour (not a person as a whole). People are far too complex to put into a “box”. They behave...

Reflecting on behaviour for team success

We rarely afford ourselves with the luxury of engaging in sufficient time to do what Donald Schön called "reflection in action". When we do so, we realise just how much more there is to life and we enhance our learning experiences. One of the biggest challenges in our lives is productively engaging with others. Group dynamics is a double edged sword! Groups enable us to share workload, enjoy learning from other’s perspectives and engage in a deeply rewarding relationship that...

Getting started with a new client or opportunity

In the beginning of any new relationship the key is to show you can create benefits they value and build interactions you each enjoy.  Often the best way to find things they care about and value is to ask a series of questions. A perceived problem can often be a symptom of something else such as poor management generally or too focused on tactical solutions.  To find the best opportunities to tackle FIRST, you need to explore a little in...

Do (some) people truly want to learn?

I was recently discussing the intent and impact of learning (building the capability of people to think and act more productively) with a prospective client.  They were reluctant to move away from traditional learning approaches for fear of "failure".  My experience is that failure to learn is far more prevalent in traditional teaching practice than in alternative creative approaches.  I then challenged myself and the client with  these reflections...

Metaphor for Mentoring

Although I have actively engaged in mentoring throughout my career, I have proactively increased my mentoring efforts since leaving the "big corporate" world.  This increased interest and activity has resulted from a number of emergent opportunities: Firstly, my association with many young people from a range of cultures through coordinating courses for RMIT University's MBA, which led me to revamp and lead the student mentoring program in which volunteer business leaders offer their time to invest in conversation with MBA students. Secondly, my interest...