Showing posts from April, 2007

"Socialize That"

Some years ago, when I was with a telecom company in New York, I learned a concept, socializing, that has proven to have tremendous value in change management.

I remember my co-worker (and mentor) Thad saying, "I'll go see so-and-so and socialize the idea with him."

When I first heard it uttered, I was baffled by it. But I soon figured it out.

The concept of "socializing" refers to the interpersonal communication process of building support for an idea or course of action by visiting with key stakeholders one at a time.

It takes time and seems slow, but it's an investment that pays off in winning support and commitment to a change.

Added Note on July 2: Nemawashi

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/21/07

The End of Kongo Gumi

When the world's oldest continuously operating family business closes shop, it makes sense to stop and note its passing.

Revisiting the Nine Dots

At Narayan Mantri's blog, there is an entry that revisits the old "nine dot" problem, which gave rise to the oft-used expression "thinking outside of the box."

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/19/07

Technology of Joy, Meaning, and Commitment

Through the NJODN, I had the good fortune of hearing Kenny Moore speak. As an internal consultant who says his job description is "awakening joy, meaning, and commitment in the workplace," he does organization development, change management, and leadership development for Keyspan Energy in New York.

An ex-priest, poet and artist, Moore is the bestselling author of The CEO and the Monk - One Company's Journey to Profits and Purpose.

In a brief presentation, Moore offered a lot of nourishment for the spirit, including:

- OD is concerned with predicaments, where there are no clear solutions. The challenge: find the right questions and create movement.

- OD is about mystery: Shut up and enter in with awe.

- OD is the practice of the impossible. It's a rare place. Not a lot of competition. Almost any small action can have big returns. You can't fail.

I like that approach to the impossible.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/13/07

You Gotta Manage Knowledge, Savvy?

In a LinkedIn correspondence earlier today with a customer-focused project manager named John Kingston regarding knowledge management, I had an "aha" moment when he pointed out that the French word savoir means knowledge.

I thought, Savoir must be where the slang term savvy originated.

So I looked it up in the Online Etymology Dictionary:

~ Savvy - 1785, as a noun, "practical sense, intelligence;" also a verb, "to know, to understand;" W. Indies pidgin borrowing of Fr. savez(-vous)? "do you know?" or Sp. sabe (usted) "you know," both from V.L. *sapere, from L. sapere "be wise, be knowing" (see sapient).

Could this idea of savvy --the practical street-smarts and wisdom in an organization that facilitate sensemaking-- be a path to a breakthrough in knowledge management?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/09/07

KUBA to Change

Blogger Fraser Kelton, at Disruptive Thoughts, offers KUBA as a change management tool:

K Know

U Understand

B Believe

A Act

He says: "It deconstructs nicely - individuals can’t act until they believe. They won’t believe until they understand. And they can’t understand until they know."

I like it.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/08/07

The Pope's BHAG

Just got back from the Easter Vigil Mass at my church. What a great celebration! Twenty one neophytes were welcomed tonight.

As I basked in the warmth of my faith community, I thought about Pope Benedict. In today's NY Times magazine, there is an article about how he has set a goal to re-Christianize Europe, to save it from the slide that started long ago toward relativism.

What a BHAG! To save the West by helping it find its way back to its authentic Christian roots.

I'm afraid I don't have much enthusiasm for his goal. Even if he could lead the West back to its roots (which I seriously doubt is possible), would it be worth the trip?

The world is headed to its future, not to its past. The Church needs to face the perils and the promise of the here-and-now. It needs to take a leadership role that will help everyone find paths to peace and justice.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/08/07

RIP: Paul Watzlawick

I just read at the Change Management blog, that Austrian-born psychologist and philosopher Paul Watzlawick died, on April 2, at age 85.

His book Change (co-written with John Weakland and Richard Fisch) was one of the texts I studied in Human Communication at Rutgers.

His ideas about change, communication, relationships, and therapy, had a major influence on several fields, including organization development.

The well-known axiom "You cannot not communicate" is one of many coined by him as a result of his deep understanding of how we communicate with one another.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/07/07

Learning Conversations and Soft Skills

Couple things I noticed over the weekend...

A blog about Learning Conversations. Blogger and leadership development guy John Inman has some interesting thoughts about leaders and change. For example, he says:

"I have noticed that it is very easy for both me and my internal customers to focus on tasks and forget that the power of leadership comes from being in conversation. Executing tasks is important but will not create a world class organization. So the notion that I am exploring is how to reinforce conversation as a leadership practice."

And at Lauchlan Mackinnon's blog, Ideas and Innovation, he has anentry on a Bain report about Soft Skills, where Bain sees an increasing importance of such "soft" management skills as organisational culture, knowledge management, and innovation.

Mackinnon says:

"Organisations need to gain organisational development capabilities - culture is as important as strategy, and intangibles such as knowledge and creativity matter.&qu…


What do you get if you add blogging to networking?

~ Blogworking!

Sounds good to me.

The term came to my notice via blogger Alexandra Levit, at Water Cooler Wisdom, where she discusses "blogworking" as the newest addition to networking.

As someone who added blogging to his job search strategy a couple years ago, I'd give blogworking a thumbs up, though I have not gotten a lot of support from my colleagues in HR.

For me, blogging has a number of rewards, the best being all the new connections I have made to people around the world.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/01/07