Facilitator Journal | Issue #0247, March 14, 2006 ....
We can scarcely go a day without hearing the importance of change
and innovation in our organizations, both large and small. While
we're called to distinguish ourselves from the background noise
of the status quo, once we do, our innovation, in time becomes commonplace
and we are compelled to innovate yet again. This is the force of
evolution at work in the business world.
This week's article, "Facilitate a Climate of Innovation,"
draws on the work of Brian McDermott and Gerry Sexton in their book,
"Leading Innovation," where they call on
today's leaders to improve the structures and processes of human
interaction. This is exactly the promise of facilitation and
facilitative leadership and a wonderful validation for this skill
set that we explore each week. Read the tips and perspectives they
offer to building a climate of innovation and realize that these
fit squarely in the center of your skill set as a group facilitator.
Online-to-Offline Follow up and Referral System.
I recently came across this online system that makes sending out
hard copy greeting cards via snail mail as easy as sending an email.
It's a brilliant system that's combined print-on-demand with autoresponder
technology. I've begun using it in my business for thank you, follow
up and referral cards. If you send out cards, you'll want to try
this system. Learn more by clicking
here and if you'd like to give the system a spin, I'll set
you up with a free gift account so that you can send a couple of
cards to see how it works. Just email
me with your name, phone number, and a couple of good times
to call and we'll get you set up.
Need a Telephone Bridge Line? Two fellow coaches and I are
looking for a fourth, and possibly a fifth person to share the yearly
lease of our telephone bridge line which renews April 1st. If you
or someone you know is interested in this, please contact
me for details.
Have a great week!
Click here for details
here for details
Facilitate a Climate of Innovation
that facilitation paves the way for innovation
We hear a lot today about the importance of innovation in our enterprises.
We're called to distinguish ourselves from the background noise of the
status quo. Once the majority catch on to the current trend and begin
to replicate it, change is required once again. This is the process of
evolution at work in the world of business.
In the forward to the book, "Leading Innovation," by Brian McDermott
and Gerry Sexton, Leonard Schlesinger says that "To meet the critical
challenges of innovation, today's leaders must improve the structures
and processes of human interaction. This is exactly the promise of
facilitation and facilitative leadership and a wonderful validation for
this skill set that we explore each week!
Here are some of the perspectives they recommend for leaders seeking to
foster innovation in their organizations. As facilitators, we'll recognize
these things that we do everyday in our groups.
What role does Facilitation play in Innovative Leadership? The following
tips from "Leading Innovation" validate the fact that facilitative
practices foster a climate of innovation in organizations.
- Rather than
trying to change people, help them become more of who they already are.
Faced with the pressures to control the course of an organization, leaders
are often tempted to control their people's actions too much. McDermott
and Sexton say that Gallup research shows that "...leaders who
excel at getting great performance from the people they lead don't try
to re-wire people or try to put in what was left out. Instead, they
try to draw out the gifts and energy already there, just waiting to
be tapped." This speaks to the "Appreciative Inquiry"
approach of exploring and building on what works--a solution/strength
focus versus a problem/weakness focus.
- Constantly define
and communicate the desired outcome and free people to figure out how
to get there. This is one of the key roles we play as facilitators.
We help our groups define their desired outcome, remind them when they're
off course, and design environments to help them get the results they're
- Cultivate and
maintain relationships with your people. McDermott
and Sexton say that the relationships leaders have with their people
is a critical factor needed to build a workplace where people excel.
With regard to attrition they say that "People don't leave companies--they
leave managers." They go on to say that "In nearly every
employee satisfaction survey we have ever seen, challenging and meaningful
work are consistently critical factors in ensuring people feel positive
about the work they do. Challenging
and meaningful become clearer and stronger the more you involve people
in decisions that affect their work." A clear vote for Participatory
is no answer. There never was an answer.
There never will be an answer. That's the answer."
- Quit looking
for THE answer. McDermott and Sexton include the quote above in
the context that there just aren't any single simple answers to life's
complex questions. As facilitators we know that there are many ways
to view all situations, problems, and solutions which all depend upon
the context and perspectives within which we explore them. This is why
keeping our sites on our desired outcome is so important, and the very
stuff that makes constant innovation possible. Holding the vision we
seek to fulfill molds our actions, sometimes even our circumstances.
And infinite answers we can derive from a single question provides the
stuff of future innovations.
pave the way for innovation. Knowing this, feel confident that your facilitative
skill set is an asset to any organization seeking to become more innovative.
I look forward to
your comments, insights or feedback about this article - just click reply
and type them directly into this email.
Innovation: Creating Workplaces Where People Excel So Organizations Thrive,
by Brian McDermott, Gerry Sexton
From the first quote by Kahlil Gibran in Chapter 1, McDermott and Sexton
show us how to immediately give ourselves permission to celebrate the innate
skills and talent of those who work for us. Then, they show us how, by delivering
concrete models of implementation and the research to back it up. Far from
ignoring the societal trends of bullying and conforming particularly espoused
by television shows such as Donald Trump's, "The Apprentice,"
or "The Weakest Link," the authors expose the long term danger
of trying to quash the freedom for all of us to create, think, and deliver
new and 'innovative' ideas in the workplace. They remind us that an organization
is nothing without the people who work there; that its success depends on
leaders who can galvanize employees by directing their efforts with strategy
that venerates ingenuity and enterprise. --Dina (Connecticut)--
you like to republish this or other articles from the journal? You are free
to do so providing you follow these guidelines.
to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch
teleclass for facilitators, trainers,
Steve Davis and Marion Franklin
April 17th-21st, 2006, 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 PM Eastern
(NY Time), one hour each day.
Secrets to Designing Dynamic Workshops from Scratch, 5-Day Teleclass
you been talking about developing and offering your own workshop but
don't know where to start?
you unsure about how to choose a great topic and title that will attract
you confused about all the pieces that have to be in place to design
and deliver a great workshop?
you unconfident in dealing with the unexpected that might arise?
This class covers
all the elements of workshop design using a simple, well-organized,
and proven approach. This course, that you can take from the comfort
of your own home or office, is for facilitators, trainers, coaches,
who want to design relevant, engaging, experiential workshops for groups
using a simple, proven formula that's easy to apply to any workshop
Many thanks for a great experience. I received enough value before
the first class to justify all of my costs – and it just kept
getting better! I am now really looking forward to creating and delivering
my upcoming workshop on retirement success -- can't honestly say that
was true before the workshop. -- Doug Leland, Executive Coach &
here for full details and registration