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08.11.20

Full-Spectrum Thinking

Full Spectrum Thinking

FULL-SPECTRUM THINKING is not common, and never has it been. And as the world becomes more complex, confused, and scrambled, it has never been more critical. Bob Johansen describes full-spectrum thinking as “the ability to seek patterns and clarity across gradients of possibility—outside, across, beyond, or maybe even without any boxes or categories—while resisting false certainty.”

In Full-Spectrum Thinking, Johansen writes that “the future will punish categorical thinking but reward full-spectrum thinking.”

The future will be a global scramble that will be very difficult to categorize. You will need a full-spectrum mindset to have any hint of what is going on. The scramble will be fraught with toxic misinformation (not necessarily intentional), disinformation (intentional), and distrust. In this future, it will be very dangerous to fit new threats or new opportunities into old categories of thought. Fortunately, new spectrums of thought will become possible in new ways over the next decade. Full-spectrum thinking will be required in order to thrive.

Full-spectrum thinking (FST) combines the “nuances of the analog world with the power and scale of digital.” I like that.

FST is critical thinking that moves beyond binary, simplistic, categorical thinking. It’s questioning assumptions, stereotypes, and categories. Mindless categorizing is harmful and requires very little thinking. It’s dismissive. They create certainties that block us from seeing possibilities. They are, in a word, constraining. Johansen is not against categories “if they are fair and do no harm. All of us need to create structures and categories of some kind that work for us and for others.” He adds, “Rigid categorial thinking is a bad habit we need to break.”

Rigid categorial thinking leads us to certainty, which Johansen and others have declared is the opposite of clarity. And in a narrow sense, I think that is true. Certainty without humility almost certainly, will lead to a lack of clarity. Certainty can blind us to reality—clarity—since we only see things from our own certain perspective. FST demands that we question and take a wider, more inclusive view of the issues before us. But there is a certainty that guides us to clarity and causation and keeps us from adding categories, confusion, and complexity where there are none. And we see that happening all around us.

Johansen spends a good deal of the book applying FST to the future of business, technology, our lifestyle, and our sense of meaning. He noes that a forecast is to be evaluated on “whether or not it provokes a better decision in the present.” Adding, “Strategy lives between insight and action” and “every good strategy is based on a compelling insight.”

Most companies think in terms of Now, Next, Future. Johansen advises us to shift our strategic orientation to Now, FUTURE, Next. Most of our attention should go to Now. But in a highly uncertain future, we need to look to the future (10 years ahead) for clarity then come back to Next to act in the now.

Johansen looks at business development. “Think beyond products. Think especially beyond commodity products where competition is based only on price.”

Organizations of the future will move beyond command-and-control to the U.S. Army’s practice of commanders intent or “direction is very clear; execution is very flexible.”

Leaders will still be a source of clarity, but the leader will not always be on top. The source of clarity should be grounding, and it should flow up and out across the network.

In an interesting chapter on Human-Machine symbiosis, he reimagines the human resources function. Perhaps we need to refer to it as Human-Computing Resources because humans are increasingly augmented by digital resources.

Human resource professionals will need the ability to better understand the capabilities of nonhuman and computer-augmented talent. Intelligent coworkers with powerful digital augmentation will be everywhere.

Collective intelligence—humans working together, augmented by machines—will be required to thrive.

And this. As video gaming as a learning medium becomes more widespread, human resource practitioners will need to be “experts in the medium of immersive learning through digital and in-person experiences.”

Categories themselves will also become “more fluid and cross-spectrum” as opposed to being binary—in or out. “Diversity will become more important even as it becomes more difficult to categorize.”

Creating or finding meaning will become a growth industry. From faith springs hope. Faith has the power to shape our future.

Faith grows out of a learning mindset. Faith allows you to navigate your way through things you don’t have all figured out. Faith helps you make your way through fear. Faith is grounded in a sense of humility and openness to learning in an uncertain future. Faith implies a full-spectrum mindset.

Rituals and habits help to create meaning. “Rituals are a condensed code of meaning, and repeating the code [like saying “I love you” every day] reinforces the meaning.”

Johansen believes that true digital natives (24 or under in 2020) are very good at full-spectrum thinking. “The true digital natives will challenge the social order.” Of course, every generation of young people challenges the social order whether they were brought up on video games and digital content or not. He points out that, “Kids are born with full-spectrum thinking, but adults, schools, and society often force it out of them with education, testing, technology, and culture.” How true. The difficulty for digital natives (like the rest of us) is not relying on soundbites and headlines to form our opinions. Most young people question the status quo and defy categories placed in front of them (or on them) by others. However, they also need to learn to express their thoughts and challenges in an emotionally intelligent way.

Full-Spectrum Thinking does make you stop and think about the categories, boxes, labels we place on people and things. We need to learn to think deeper and broader about the issues before us. It is a valuable and cautionary book.

Full-spectrum thinking will provide powerful ways to make sense out of new opportunities without assuming that new experiences mirror old categories, boxes, labels, or buckets. Full-spectrum thinking will help people avoid thoughtless labeling of others. Full-spectrum thinking will be a technology-enabled antidote to polarization and simplistic thinking.

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Ten Leadership Skills You Need 5 Leadership Literacies

Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:56 PM
| Comments (0) | Change , Creativity & Innovation , Human Resources

08.06.20

Leading Thoughts for August 6, 2020

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Alan Weiss on the fact that most fears are learned as are leadership behaviors, and we have to understand the causes:

“We cannot create improved behavior contingently, that is, simply patching up leaks and putting on band-aids. We have to prevent the fearful behavior in the future by eliminating the probable causes. The therapist’s admonition to “face our fears” is really an attempt to find the cause of them.”

Source: Fearless Leadership

II.

Brian Resnick on what is reality:

“Our brains work hard to bend reality to meet our prior experiences, our emotions, and our discomfort with uncertainty. This happens with vision. But it also happens with more complicated processes, like thinking about politics, the pandemic, or the reality of climate change.”

Source: “Reality” Is Constructed By Your Brain. Here’s What That Means, And Why It Matters

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Look for these ideas every Thursday on the Leading Blog. Find more ideas on the LeadingThoughts index.

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books



Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:49 PM
| Comments (0) | Leading Thoughts

08.03.20

Innovation is Everybody’s Business

Innovation is Everybodys Business

EVERYONE has ideas. Innovation is within each of us. We just need to unlock it. Many of us have experienced negative reactions to our ideas and so tend to hold back sharing new ones. If we are going to be an innovator, we need to have a healthy relationship with change. Change is an opportunity to innovate.

Tamara Ghandour defines innovation as “thinking differently about what’s right in front of you to create an advantage” in her book Innovation is Everybody’s Business. There are opportunities in the functions we perform every day. People at all levels of an organization see things differently and can add value to an organization through innovation. Innovation is not for a select few.

To help us ignite the innovative mindset that exists inside of all of us, Ghandour has identified nine styles (or triggers) of innovation that relates to how we approach innovation. (You can discover yours by taking the Innovation Quotient Edge (IQE) assessment on her website. The assessment identifies your top two innovation styles and your single dormant trigger.) I believe, like any of our behavioral proclivities, these triggers are not set in stone as they are not part of our DNA, but preferences that we have developed over time. Nevertheless, these styles are helpful for understanding how we approach and think about and execute on ideas, and importantly how we relate and respond to others based on differences in approaches.

“Much like the difference in your overall personality,” Ghandour writes, “you have a unique way of innovating. In fact, there are nine distinct styles of innovation. They show up in your personality, preference, work style, behaviors, and actions.” The nine triggers are:

Innovation CollaborativeCollaborative
As a Collaborative, you create intersections of randomness by constantly tapping disparate people and ideas. You are motivated by making connections.

Innovation ExperimentalExperimental
As an Experiential, you think in motion bringing ideas to life by leaping the chasm from theory to reality. You are motivated by building something.

Innovation FluidFluid
As a Fluid, you turn ambiguity into clarity. Uncharted territory becomes your path to new ideas. You are motivated by creating clarity.

Innovation FuturisticFuturistic
As a Futuristic, you always think about what’s next. Tomorrow’s possibilities energize you, not today’s challenges. You are motivated by future plans.

Innovation ImaginativeImaginative
As an Imaginative, your vivid mind constantly creates new things. You turn wild thinking into real-world ideas. You are motivated by ringing novelty.

Innovation InquisitiveInquisitive
As an Inquisitive, curiosity defines you. You recognize that innovation is in the questions, not the answers. You are motivated by uncovering things.

Innovation InstinctualInstinctual
As an Instinctual, you tap the more intuitive part of the mind. You connect the dots in new and meaningful ways. You are motivated by finding connections.

Innovation Risk TakerRisk Taker
As a Risk Taker, your adventurous spirit likes to take bold action. You willingly pursue unproven yet high potential ideas. You are motivated by bold opportunities.

Innovation TweakerTweaker
As a Tweaker, you look for ways to improve and change. You reserve judgment an allow ideas time to grow. You are motivated by problem-solving.

Identifying and understanding these innovation triggers not only helps you to see what gets your creative juices flowing and ignite your innovative flame, but it also helps you to know how you come across to others. That’s very helpful when it comes to presenting your ideas and working within teams.

For example, if one of your two predominant innovation triggers is Risk-Taker, your communication style is declarative and opportunistic. Your language reflects words like “I, me, daring, impact, change, disruptive, I challenge, why not.”

It is difficult to make the connections necessary for innovative thinking with the stimulus we receive every day. Our minds react by filtering out what doesn’t fit with what we already know or think. Ghandour offers some tips to help us overcome this confirmation bias.

1. Play your own devil’s advocate.
2. Pretend you are walking in someone else’s shoes.
3. Ask yourself what else could be true.
4. Actively take in alternate perspectives.

In addition, she offers this constructive advice: Calm the lizard brain down by letting it know the analysis is coming after you innovate. Don’t sabotage your ideas by jumping to judgment too quickly. There’s a time for that. Let your mind explore the possibilities, then do a reality check.

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Getting Ideas to Flow Culturematic

Posted by Michael McKinney at 03:01 PM
| Comments (0) | Creativity & Innovation

08.01.20

First Look: Leadership Books for August 2020

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in August 2020. Don't miss out on other great new and future releases not listed here.

9781260460018The Creator Mindset: 63 Tools to Unlock the Secrets to Innovation, Growth, and Sustainability by Nir Bashan

Creativity isn’t a “nice to have” leadership trait. It’s the key to success in every workplace and all industries. Learn to access yours, now―even if you don’t think you’re a “creative” person. From B-school through the big leagues, the business world often places value on logic and analysis. But on creativity? Not so much. And this, according to Nir Bashan, is a recipe for disaster. What gets the ball rolling when we’re feeling stuck in our careers? Why is my company not growing or reaching higher levels of profitability? What’s the difference between a workable plan and a stroke of genius? The answer is creativity―and it’s the missing ingredient for far too many of us who feel we’re not reaching our creative potential (or doubt we have it in the first place).

9780525509189Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World by Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin D. West

Bullshit isn’t what it used to be. Now, two science professors give us the tools to dismantle misinformation and think clearly in a world of fake news and bad data. Misinformation, disinformation, and fake news abound and it’s increasingly difficult to know what’s true. Our media environment has become hyperpartisan. Science is conducted by press release. Startup culture elevates bullshit to high art. We are fairly well equipped to spot the sort of old-school bullshit that is based in fancy rhetoric and weasel words, but most of us don’t feel qualified to challenge the avalanche of new-school bullshit presented in the language of math, science, or statistics. In Calling Bullshit, Professors Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West give us a set of powerful tools to cut through the most intimidating data.

9781683646051Radical Alignment: How to Have Game-Changing Conversations That Will Transform Your Business and Your Life by Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower

Why do so many organizations, teams, couples, families, and groups who should be working together end up wasting energy on unproductive conflict? Even when everyone has the same general goals, what’s often missing is a deeper alignment based on mutual trust, respect, and empathy. With Radical Alignment, top-level life and business coaches (and happily married couple) Alexandra Jamieson and Bob Gower share their potent method for helping groups to stop clashing and start working together―to jump from “we can’t” to an enthusiastic “hell yes!” The essential tool at the heart of Radical Alignment is the All-In Method: a four-step approach to communication designed to increase clarity, minimize miscommunication, honor each person’s individuality, and build a shared sense of trust and respect for long-term success.

9780385541824Grasp: The Science Transforming How We Learn by Sanjay Sarma with Luke Yoquinto

A groundbreaking look at the science of learning—how it's transforming education and how we can use it to discover our true potential, as individuals and across society by a renowned MIT professor. As the head of Open Learning at MIT, Sanjay Sarma has a daunting job description: to fling open the doors of the MIT experience for the benefit of the wider world. But if you're going to undertake such an ambitious project, it behooves you to ask: How exactly does learning work? What conditions are most conducive? Are our traditional classroom methods—lecture, homework, test, repeat—actually effective? And if not, which techniques are? Along the way, Sarma debunks long-held views (such as the noxious idea of "learning styles"), while equipping readers with a set of practical tools for absorbing and retaining information across a lifetime. He presents a vision for learning that's more inclusive and democratic—revealing a world bursting with powerful learners, just waiting for the chance they deserve.

9781633696020Humanocracy: Creating Organizations as Amazing as the People Inside Them by Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini

In Humanocracy, Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini make a passionate, data-driven argument for excising bureaucracy and replacing it with something better. Drawing on more than a decade of research and packed with practical examples, Humanocracy lays out a detailed blueprint for creating organizations that are as inspired and ingenious as the human beings inside them. Whatever your role or title, Humanocracy will show you how to launch an unstoppable movement to equip and empower everyone in your organization to be their best and to do their best. The ultimate prize: an organization that's fit for the future and fit for human beings.

97812502681742030: How Today's Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything by Mauro F. Guillen

The world is changing drastically before our eyes―will you be prepared for what comes next? A groundbreaking analysis from one of the world's foremost experts on global trends, including analysis on how COVID-19 will amplify and accelerate each of these changes. Once upon a time, the world was neatly divided into prosperous and backward economies. Babies were plentiful, workers outnumbered retirees, and people aspiring towards the middle class yearned to own homes and cars. Companies didn't need to see any further than Europe and the United States to do well. Printed money was legal tender for all debts, public and private. We grew up learning how to "play the game," and we expected the rules to remain the same as we took our first job, started a family, saw our children grow up, and went into retirement with our finances secure. That world―and those rules―are over.

For bulk orders call 1-626-441-2024

discounted books

Build your leadership library with these specials on over 32 titles. All titles are at least 40% off the list price and are available only in limited quantities.

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“Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work.”
— Jennifer Egan

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Whats New in Leadership Books Best Books of 2019

Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:05 AM
| Comments (0) | Books



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