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Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Start Your Career Transition: Step 2 – Engage Others

October 10, 2011 2 comments

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Step 2 – Engage Others

Now that you have a clear picture of yourself (see Step 1 post), take some time to engage others who know you, such as:  friends, family, co-workers, peers, clients, professional colleagues, fellow volunteers, etc.  Think of ~15-25 people who you can invite to participate in your journey – more is better.  Tell them you are seeking some feedback from people who know you or who you’ve worked with as you do some career and life planning.  Ask for 15 minutes of their time (or take the opportunity for a longer coffee meet-up or lunch, or …).

Questions

  1. How would you describe me and my work?  As if you were recommending me for a job or someone asked you as a reference.  Please be honest with things you think are good or might seem bad.
  2. How does it FEEL to work with me?  They may struggle with this one a little, but allow them time to think and process.  You may need to offer one word that another person used in response to this question to help get them started.

What You Are Doing During the Conversation

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Start Your Career Transition, Step 1- First Know Thyself

October 3, 2011 2 comments

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I was privileged again recently to speak with someone interested in making a career transition.  She wanted to make sure she didn’t just transition without being thoughtful in how she proceeded.  Frustration and longing for something different can actually get in the way of thinking about how to tactically move forward.  This series offers several steps to help you get moving forward in a purposeful way.

Step 1 – First Know Thyself

Use several different sources to get a crisp picture of who you are – to take a long, slow, inquisitive look into a looking-glass to discover and learn about how you are uniquely designed:

  • What you are great at doing
  • What you love to do
  • What you are passionate about / what gets you jazzed-up and excited
  • What you want in life
  • In what way / environment you do your best work
  • How you communicate and relate with others
  • What is most important to you

Do some assessments and use other resources to better understand yourself.  If you have access to these types of tools at work, say YES!  If not, there are some great reasonably priced resources (several provided below).  Read more…

Focus on Learning: 5 Tactics to Fuel Your Mind

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As a grad school graduate, I’ve done a great deal of thinking about how to satiate my renewed appetite for learning and how to keep it alive going forward.  It was surprising how easily I had forgotten my own love for learning and never want to be in that position again.

Recent brain science reveals useful information about how we fuel creativity, innovation, and make go-forward changes in our lives by changing the way we think as well as the health benefits of keeping our minds active.  All are tied to fueling the mind and learning.  So the question to ask yourself is…

What are you doing today to fuel your mind and keep learning?

Following are five tactics to consider:

1. Read Different Things

Not just the usual books or reading material that you have always enjoyed, but stretch yourself to read unexpected topics and resources.  Subscribing to various blogs can be a great way to expand exposure to different fields and perspectives.  One thing I do is to always have a couple of different books going.  For example, I am currently reading about Abraham Lincoln’s rise to the presidency and how he built his unique cabinet (history, politics, leadership and team-building), A Passage to India (a classic historical fiction novel), a couple of books on complexity science, a book on how to be a successful “free agent” in the emerging world of work, a fun teen oriented fiction novel from a series that my daughter is also reading, and I just finished a book about the history of philosophy.

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5 Steps to Make Your Vision for a Balanced Life Possible

August 9, 2011 4 comments

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So many of us struggle with how to have focus in our life and how to find better balance with work and family, and other things we care about.  Following are some steps that I find works best:

Step 1: Define Your Vision

Know what you want in life (&/or what you are called to do) as a mother / wife / family member, as a professional, and as a person (we are more than just our roles of Mom, Wife, and Professional!). Listen to your heart, identify what you get excited and passionate about, talk with people who care about and know you well.  You may find that taking some assessments, doing reflection activities, or even working with a coach can help you find clarity in this step.  The key is to be confident in what you define, write it down, and keep it somewhere where you can review it often. So many people fail in this step and find themselves blown around by other forces instead of creating their own life force by defining what is important, what you want, and creating a vision of what that looks like.

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The Intersection of Social Media, Organization Change, and Complexity Science

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An interesting intersection exists in organizations between social media technology and practices, knowledge management programs (including communities of practice), learning strategy, change leadership, and organizational philosophy about the use of each.

Social media can be leveraged internally in organizations in the form of collaboration systems, learning management systems, blog and tweet tools and social networking tools (whether they are exclusively behind the firewall or leverage public spaces such as FB, LI, and twitter).  Use of these tools in conjunction with a change initiative can also have reciprocal value in that it can increase utilization / adoption of the social tools and processes as well.

Change initiatives within organizations absolutely should consider the social fabric that currently exists, the technology currently available and used within an organization, and the informal leadership that have significant influence via the social network. These should be considered as part of the overall change plan and included explicitly in the form of communication plan tactics and tactics to help identified stakeholders and stakeholder groups to transition along the change curve.

Change management / leadership consultants (whether internal or external) should become familiar with social / organizational network analysis (SNA / ONA), types of web 2.0/3.0 and social technologies available and used within client organizations, and understand how the world of social networking is a critical element of organizational culture and change behavior.  Conversely, the use of social tools and processes in conjunction with a change initiative should be considered in conjunction with an overall organizational social media strategy.

The social world we now must understand and leverage does add a layer of complexity to our work. Understanding organizations as complex adaptive systems (via complexity science) can be an extremely helpful lens as we (consultants) analyze current state and develop change plans accordingly. In the end, it’s all about creating environments where positive change can emerge and social networks often (maybe even always, now) play a central role.