Showing posts from January, 2006


A ryzer named Bob Jasper sent me this devotional message from The Rev. Dr. Robert Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral/Hour of Power fame:

"Today, I want to introduce you to a new word - possibilitizing. It means coming up with solutions where none were apparent; creating a way when there has been no path. This leads to new inventions. Are you faced with a seemingly unsolvable problem? Then possibilitize! Play "the possibility thinking game." It's an incredibly practical and extremely valuable technique for solving rugged problems.

"Make a list of one to ten on a sheet of clean white paper. Now open your mind to God in prayer. Then list every possible way of accomplishing the impossible problem, no matter how wild, how far out, or how preposterous it seems - until all ten lines are filled."

I think this concept can be fruitfully applied to the field of organization development, especially to those "wicked problems" that have no obvious solution.

Posted …
It's All About Talent

As I said previously, talent is the lifeblood of organizations. Now HR agrees, according to SHRM.

There are a lot of smart HR people who are thinking and writing about talent management these days including Yves Lermusiaux, Double Dubs, and Regina Miller.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/26/2006
The System is Us

Many have wondered why knowledge management solutions have failed to deliver. One of the many problems encountered has to do with motivating and getting people to enter their knowhow into the KM application.

While reading this piece, We Are The Web, by Kevin Kelly, the answer to the KM quandary occured to me.

Here is a tiny bit of what Kelly says: "What we all failed to see was how much of this new world would be manufactured by users, not corporate interests. What a shock, then, to witness the near-instantaneous rise of 50 million blogs, with a new one appearing every two seconds. There—another new blog! One more person doing what AOL and ABC—and almost everyone else—expected only AOL and ABC to be doing. These user-created channels make no sense economically. Where are the time, energy, and resources coming from? The audience."

So, the answer to the KM quagmire? The system is us!

Freely give the knowledge workers the tools at their desktop to publish their …
Top Jobs for 2006

Fast Company's list of the top jobs for 2006 includes Training and Development. Hurrah!

It feels good to be hot.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/23/2006
Losing Knowledge. Still Dangerous.

Can an organization lose critical knowledge, but still perform?

Homeland security blogger Christian Beckner has an interesting piece about terrorist tradecraft and organizational learning.

"Terrorist tradecraft" is defined as "those subtle skills needed to maintain secrecy and operations in a hostile environment." This body of terrorist "street smarts" cannot be learned from a manual downloaded off the internet. As terrorist cells, embedded in a host country like the U.S., become separated from their leadership command, access to this knowledge is reduced.

Clearly this topic is of interest to intelligence experts in homeland security. It also brings up some interesting questions for those in KM, HR, Training, OD and other fields concerned about organizational learning and effectiveness.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/21/2006
Becoming a Thought Leader

Although I started blogging several years ago, I recently read that job hunters should consider starting a blog as a way to position themselves as thought leaders and thereby differentiate themselves from their competition. Seemed like a good idea to me.

Subsequently, I attended a job seekers support group meeting. As we went around the room introducing ourselves, I mentioned that I was blogging and that I was curious to hear their views about the thought leader strategy.

To my surprise, the room erupted in derision. No one liked the idea. No one supported it, even half-heartedly. To sum up the comments: It would be foolish to invest time and energy on such a project.

That reaction convinced me that becoming a thought leader is the right thing to do.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/20/2006

We Don't Need Your Stinkin' Experience

As I am actively job hunting, I look at a lot of job leads, some that are forwarded to me by networking contacts. In this category, I sometimes get to see the unvarnished requirements of headhunters.

Yesterday I saw this interesting statement:

- The client does NOT want to see anyone with over 15 years in the field.

Is this thinly veiled ageism? What is the client company trying to avoid?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/17/2006

This is a very funny send-up of consultants.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/16/2006
Business and I.T. - Can They Work Together?

Web strategistJeremiah Owyang has an interesting white paper on the challenges facing I.T. folk and the business folk that they support.

From an OD standpoint, I was happy to see a reference to RACI (though I know it as RASCI) as a tool for clarifying accountability and enhancing decision making.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/15/2006
The World According to Me

Another OD Guy, named Bennett "Dutch" Driver, asked this question: "What would the world look like if everyone did everything you told them to do?" For some reason, my thoughts emerged as a poem.

If everyone did
what I told them to do
Terrorists would stop
Fighters would love
Politicians would listen
Capitalists would give
The Haves would share
The Complacent would dance
The Dead would rise
and The Poor would bless
all of the above

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/14/2006

The Bathtub, The Bed, and the Bus

Where do most of your creative ideas occur to you? Go get the latest (Jan. 16) issue of TIME magazine for an interview (p. 89) with R. Keith Sawyer on the workings of the creative mind.

In my case, creative ideas come to me mostly:
- in the car
- in the park while walking
- in conversation with other people

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/10/2006
Smart Tables - A New Product Idea

Do you ever get inspired with a new product idea and say to your spouse or friend or self, "You know what the world needs is a . . . ?" And then you keep going and do nothing with the idea, only to hear or read, some months down the line, that some guy has come out with the very product you had thought of?

My wife took me out for a birthday dinner the other night and, while we were enjoying our date, I had a brainstorm that would revolutionize eating out, especially for out-of-towners on travel for business.

Imagine this: You are sitting at a restaurant and you are wondering if there is a showing of King Kong at a local theater after you are done. The table under your plate can tell you the answer you seek.

The table is more than a table. Underneath a thick washable surface, there is an ever-restless image scrolling with information about the restaurant you are in, e.g. "Hi. You are seated at Evelyn's, a Lebanese restaurant in New Bruns…

Try A New Way

I am often inspired when I listen to my pastor, Fr. Doug, at Sunday morning Mass. Today was a good one.

It's Epiphany (in Greek, "revealing"), and today we heard the Gospel about the Magi from the East who travelled, following a star, in search of a savior that had been born in Israel.

When these strangers reached Israel, they stopped to see King Herod, who was very interested in their reason for coming to his land. Secretly hoping to find and slay the newborn, he told them to be sure to stop by his palace again on their way home to tell him where the infant could be found.

After they found the child, an angel visited the Magi in a dream and warned them not to go home the way they came, but to go another way.

What rich imagery and food for the creative soul:

- following a star

- an angel in a dream

- returning home a new way

As he dismissed us at the end of Mass, Fr. Doug suggested that we go home a different way.

As 2006 dawns, this year I think I will try some new ways.

Posted b…
Chaos and Order - Together Again!

In the eternal quest for better ways of organizing, some have championed the ideas of Dee Hock, retired executive and zen-like business philosopher who coined the term chaordic, a blending together of order and chaos.

In his book, Birth of the Chaordic Age, Hock argues that most organizations and most managers have the wrong focus and the wrong priorities. Instead, Hock recommends a distinctly different approach, to what managers should be doing in organizations, that amounts to a new leadership model.

Hock's ideas have been influential, even spawning a virtual communitydedicated to exploring new ways of organizing.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/5/2006

One of the many cool things about wikipedia is that you can look up your birthday. Today, January 5th, is my birthday. And, according to wikipedia, it is Mungday as well.

Among the various presents that I have received so far . . .

- My lovely wife Joan made me blueberry pancakes for breakfast

- My son Kevin gave me a book about the Hammer horror movies

- My son David gave me The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/5/2006
Some Trends for 2006

One of the things I like about this time of year is all the Top Ten lists that come out, some looking back at the prior year, some looking ahead at things to come.

As I think about my field, organization development, and ponder the world around me, a few things come to mind

- Technology: As an OD person, can you spell "wiki" or "blog"? Do you know what they are? Are you blogging yet? Here is one list, looking at trends in organizational learning, with some interesting topics and links.

- Change: Always the sine qua non of OD work, we need to ask ourselves: Are we changing enough? Are we keeping pace? Do we know our competition? Are we partnering with other change agents (e.g. HR, IT)? Do we see the threats and opportunities around us? Are we following Gandhi's maxim, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." in our practice?

- Triple Bottom Line: Although many in business believe that it's all about profits, it isn&#…
Getting Started in the New Year

Happy New Year! Though I have a head cold and a sore throat, I am feeling motivated by the dawning of a new year, 2006.

Helping with my motivation is world-class networker Vincent Wright, moderator of My Job Tiger, who has shared some acronyms to stimulate the job hunters out there.

As a fan of, and dabbler with, acronyms myself, I am impressed by his. Bravo!

Here is a favorite of mine, called ACTION. (Note: Though I have added some little twists, ACTION was originally created and developed by consultant and trainer Richard DeFiore of Interpersonal Technology Group.)

A.C.T.I.O.N. =
- Act with an Ambitious Attitude
- Close to Customer / Creative
- Trusting in Teamwork
- Individual Initiative / Innovative
- Open and honest, direct and constructive Communication
- Never-ending Improvement

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 1/2/2006