Enabling Tomorrow’s Leaders with Ravi Venkataraman – Episode 25

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf25

Ravi Venkataraman is the founder of Alive Consulting where he mentors and consults global companies on setting up their shared services operations and on developing design thinking and leadership. For more than three decades he held global leadership roles with banking and with shared services organizations.

As the former Senior Vice President and head of Global Business Services at Hewlett Packard, he led a multifunction shared services organization of 18,000 employees located in 58 countries and was responsible for the back office operations of the entire company which handled millions of transactions everyday.

In this conversation, Ravi reflects on leadership lessons, making tough decisions, overcoming fear, and on the four spiritual principles that guide him in life and in business.

Essential Learning Points:

  • “I am working on shaping the future by enabling tomorrow’s leaders.”
  • What gets me going everyday is the realization that where there is curiosity, the adult in the child and the child in the adult are awake, and that is how innovation happens. To activate curiosity, we need to work on how to ask the right questions.
  • Three things shaped my approach as a leader. The first was prayer. Prayer not only helped me become grateful but also ensured that I have everyone in my prayer. For me prayer is a communication with the deepest part of myself.
  • The bridge you have to cross to convert your dreams into reality is fear, and prayer helps me do that.
  • I said to the chemistry professor, ‘The test tube got broken.’ The teacher hitting my hand said, ‘Please say I broke a test tube.’ My dad explained, ‘The teacher was trying to teach you accountability. You have to be accountable for your actions and learn to live with the consequences.’
  • Football and music taught me about teamwork, about relationships, and about connecting the dots in an unusual way.
  • How did Ravi’s dad teach him to pray? To first overcome fear and second to surrender to God. Prayer helped me handle setbacks and be grateful for whatever I have.
  • How a setback and losing an opportunity opened a whole new future for Ravi.
  • How did Ravi learn to empathize with customers?
  • What were the two reasons Ravi was recruited and hired to help HP build its shared services organizations?
  • Why did Ravi love the sales role and being with customers?
  • “Every time I’ve had a win it was a real high. When I had a loss, it wasn’t as bad a low.
  • The Four Spiritual Principles that guide Ravi through life and work:
    1. Whomever you enchanter is the right one. This means they are there to help you in your journey in life.
    2. Whatever happened is the only thing that could have happened. It happened so you can learn from the experience. Life is teaching me a lesson.
    3. Each moment in which something begins is the right moment. Every moment is the beginning of a new life.
    4. What is over is over. Once the experience ends you were supposed to have learned from it, moved on, and evolve.
  • How does Ravi apply the 7-rung model in his design thinking workshops and in his mentoring work?
  • How did Ravi shift his organization from outputs focus to an outcomes-driven work and thereby close a $400MM gap in three months?
  • How did Ravi lead a large-scale transformation involving people, technology, business processes, and customer experience?
  • Why when you do not agree on everything at the senior leadership level you must get alignment.
  • I learn best by asking questions and by listening.
  • Why does Ravi approach organizational changes by announcing a date with destiny? How do you compress 12 months of complex reengineering work into nine weeks?
  • The pressure of defining success in a narrow way resulted in us preferring to be right over being kind. The Dalai Lama said, “It is better to be kind than to be right.” In business, you can be kind and make the tough decisions too.
  • From maximizing shareholders value to shaping a new mindset addressing all stakeholders.
  • What we can learn from the honey hunter about productivity found in the laws of nature, and how nature’s sustainability is more efficient.
  • Transforming education in rural India with the help of technology and 600 volunteers from 110 cities around the world.
  • “God has given me an opportunity to be of service and help to people. It is improving my spiritual stock inside me because I am gaining the learning. I am not anyone a huge favor. They have given me this opportunity to serve them. That is my learning.”
Where there is curiosity, the adult in the child and the child in the adult are awaken. That is how innovation… Click To Tweet Prayer not only helped me become more grateful but also ensured that I have everyone in my prayer. Click To Tweet The bridge you must cross to convert your dreams into reality is fear. Prayer helps me do that. Click To Tweet Football and music taught me about teamwork, about relationships, and about connecting the dots in an unusual way. Click To Tweet Every time I’ve had a win it was a real high. When I had a loss, it wasn’t as bad a low. Click To Tweet Most of the times we are empowered. We are just risk averse and therefore refuse to take action. Click To Tweet I learn best by asking questions and by listening. Click To Tweet Shift from human-centric design to life-centric design. Click To Tweet
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Purposing Conflict – Episode 24

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf24

A key role of leadership is helping people overcome challenges and achieve results. In this article/podcast, you will discover a new process to help you reframe conflicts. This approach will enable you to lead your teams beyond just meeting challenges resiliently. You will empower them to unleash personal and professional growth.
One morning at breakfast, Sara described a conflict between two people we love. Feeling their struggle and pain, she sought to find an insight that would help them reach an effective solution. She asked, “What do you think about this conflict? How would you approach the challenge that it represents?”
Pouring the green tea, I replied, “First we must recognize that most people have a natural tendency to apply a binary frame of mind. That is, when we see a problem, we react by attempting to solve it there and then. We tend to equate conflict with something bad that needs to be removed. This mistaken belief prevents our taking advantage of the opportunity inherent in most conflicts. The fact is conflicts can lead to breakthrough developments. Thus, my first suggestion is to avoid falling into the trap of reactive ‘solutioning’ by creating space for a different approach.”

Why is trying to pivot immediately from a problem to the solution often a suboptimal approach?

There are situations for which this simple binary equation doesn’t work because the solution cannot come from the problem itself. As Einstein taught us, we cannot solve a problem at the same level at which it was created.

A brief demonstration reveals the limitation of the “binary solutioning” approach. Position the palm of your hand close to your head, right in front of your eyes. You will find that the palm occupies almost your entire field of vision, leaving little room to see anything else. When you pull your hand away from your face, however, you can see your palm as well as the entire space around you. The same is true with a problem: you experience a new perspective when you step back to see a bigger picture.
We find solutions, therefore, by a) gaining a new and broader perspective, b) addressing the root causes, and c) introducing a new level of thinking that transforms the map of meaning that created the problem in the first place.

Here is the alternative thinking framework and process I proposed we use to lead a conversation that offers a path from conflict toward resolution. I placed three napkins on the table, naming them observe, elevate, and approach.

Here is how I suggested that we work with these three concepts:

Step 1: Observe

After listening to Sara describe her understanding of the conflict under discussion, my observation is that there are six points of difference that comprise the bigger conflict. I attempt to unpack these differences, name them with greater specificity, and separate the amorphous feeling of conflict into a concrete set of data points. This first step allows me to bring a new level of clarity to the situation. It is easier to resolve a series of specific concerns and find exact remedies than it is to try to address a cloud of conflicts. In this, I step back to observe and gain a bigger perspective. I seek to validate the issues on the table rather than pivot immediately from problem to solution.

Step 2: Elevate

In step 2 of this discovery process, I look for an insight, an understanding, and an appreciation that elevates and enables a new point of view. Here is what I offered:
“Life is full of tensions and conflicts. Consider this fact: life is a theater in which intentions clash with reality. Tension arises when hopes and desires encounter opposing or incompatible hopes and desires. For example, the spiritual meets the physical, or the personal and the universal rub against each other and rarely agree. Such naturally arising tensions are present even before we bring value systems, beliefs, politics and economic conditions into the equation. These contradictions create fertile soil for conflict, especially when we consider that these realms are dynamic and evolving spheres that influence and interact with each other.”

By immersing myself in these observations, I am prodded to find the fulcrum where a new level of appreciation can be accessed, which I do by shifting from the “what” inquiry to the “why” inquiry. “Why” is a purpose inquiry. Instead of reacting to eliminate conflict immediately, I seek to understand its purpose. The game-changing insight comes with the realization that conflict has a purpose. I propose not only that the occurrence of conflict is purposeful, but that conflict has a dual purpose.

At the individual human level, conflict offers a growth opportunity. Through conflict we develop capabilities and capacities that we otherwise would not cultivate. Conflict is a central character in the developmental drama of everyone’s journey.

At the planetary and universal level, conflict is a technology that sparks innovation and breakthroughs in the evolutionary process by serving as a catalyst and trigger.

A common human response to conflict is to remove the problem, as that is believed to eliminate the source of pain and struggle. Once we recognize the purposeful opportunity conflict offers, we realize that a better approach is to use pain and struggle as fuel for learning, development, and growth.

These layers of understanding point to a key realization: how we handle conflict determines whether we grow and develop, or we freeze and arrest that development.

Our response to challenges and resistance determines whether we participate constructively in the evolutionary process they offer. This process of deliberation is part of my second napkin of “elevate,” which arises from the initial set of observations.

With these insights, I now am ready to propose an approach and offer process assistance.

Step 3: Approach

In this step, I suggest that there are two complementary approaches we can take with respect to conflict. The first approach is one of compassionate support: we offer encouragement, guidance, thinking frameworks and techniques without trying to take away the conflicts people encounter on their development journey.

In this approach, we advise, support, and offer the wisdom of experience. We do not, however, take from others a conflict they must face. Even if we could do that, why would we deprive them of the gift of the growth opportunity inherent in their struggle?

The second approach is one that acknowledges that progress, maturation and growth bring about change in the problems we need to handle. If this year we face the same kind of problems we struggled with last year and the year before, the implication is that we have made no developmental change and progress. Embracing new challenges, on the other hand, is a sign of progress, maturation and possibly new elevation.

How do we know that we are progressing on our journey? When we discover that this year we are dealing with a new set of challenges that open the door to new opportunities for us to embrace.

By refusing the knee jerk reaction of the binary equation from problem to solution, and by stepping back to observe, elevate, and formulate an approach, we are able to escape the Binary Solutioning and the Einstein paradox within it.

Fortified by the above insights and mindsets, Sara and I continued our conversation, reflecting on how this information might help address the situation faced by our loved ones.

We all must deal with conflict. Here is a radical thought: to be alive is to be in conflict. Reversing this construct would ask: If you are experiencing no conflict whatsoever, are you alive?

What about the conflicts you face in your life? What observations and insights can you develop? What approach will you take to reveal and engage the development purpose of the conflict? How will you use an existing challenge as an opportunity for growth? You cannot solve a problem at the same level at which it was created. Why? Click To Tweet Escape the Binary Solutioning and the Einstein paradox within it. Click To Tweet To find solutions gain a broader perspective, address the root causes, and introduce a new level of thinking Click To Tweet How do you shift from the “what” inquiry to the “why” inquiry? Click To Tweet Through conflict we develop capacities that we otherwise would not cultivate. Click To Tweet Conflict is a central character in the developmental drama of everyone’s journey. Click To Tweet Recognize the purposeful opportunity conflict offers for learning, development, and growth. Click To Tweet If you are experiencing no conflict whatsoever, are you alive? Click To Tweet

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Purpose Alignment with Geoff Bellman – Part 1 – Episode 23

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf23

After spending 14 years in corporate America, Geoff Bellman launched his consulting firm – 40 years ago.  His consulting has focused on renewing large, mature organizations the likes of Verizon, Shell, and Boeing.

Geoff is also an author and has written such books as, The Consultant’s Calling: Bringing Who You Are to What You Do, which is how I was first introduced to him.  His most recent book, Extraordinary Groups: How Extraordinary Teams Achieve Amazing Results, explores teams, families, and groups that perform beyond everyone’s expectations.  In this book, Geoff seeks to find out what enables such breakthrough performance to happen.  Listen in to learn more about Geoff and his insightful views on this fascinating topic.

Essential Learning Points:

  • How do ordinary people achieve amazing results?
  • “Through the exploration of shared purpose that we followed intentionally, we became fond of each other.”
  • “I saw myself as an observer of what other people were doing.”
  • “The great thing was that other people asked this of me. I was so fortunate that people sought me out to do this work.”
  • “I was approaching 40 and I thought if I am going to try this consulting stuff I ought to try it now.”
  • “What I was looking for is in the subtitle of my book, The Consultant’s Calling: bringing who you are to what you do. I was looking for the opportunity of being more of myself.”
  • “People struggle with, and look forward to discovering who they are more deeply.”
  • “I enjoy the work most when the future is unknown, and we are creating a new future- we are not following a path, we are cutting a path. That’s the most exciting work, when together with a client group we are helping a new future emerge.”
  • “There is excitement when people feel that they’ve signed up for an important purpose, a noble purpose, a purpose that the world needs.”
  • “True friendship creates a space that allows for everyone to grow.”
  • “In this work, I am called to bring my best self to it. I remind myself what could I do if I acted more in concert with our larger reasons for being.”
  • “When we create organizations that expect perfection, we move people to pretending.”
  • Your presence and perspective are as important as your skills.
  • “What is not just the identity that I have but what’s the identity that I want to have? What is my unique contribution to this world?”
  • “Integrity for me has to do with integration of purpose with method. How do we go about doing what it is we want to do? The alignment of action with higher purpose.”
  • “Finding and agreeing on purpose is more difficult, potentially, than many people think.”
  • “One of the great things about groups that work extremely well together is not just their unity around purpose, but beyond that, their pursuit of the deeper aspects of it through time.”
  • “If we allow people to present themselves as they really are we’ll do better.”
  • You become stronger and more whole when you bring who you are to the work you do.
  • Dare to step into open, ambiguous, and uncertain terrain where a new future can be fashioned.
  • Let yourself discover the creativity and energy that gets released when you work together with others to cut a new path forward.
  • Do the work of integrity. What purposeful alignment are you ready to create? When you do the work of integrity and purpose, you change the world in small and big ways
I began to get intrigued about the possibility of consulting before I knew it was a potential profession. Click To Tweet It wasn’t with a huge amount of confidence or commitment that I went on my own. Click To Tweet It’s not so much about accomplishment as it used to be, it’s more about progress forward. Click To Tweet Our larger reasons for being - are those served well by the ways that we behave? Click To Tweet Part of being more whole, more congruent, is to acknowledge that you’re not perfect. Click To Tweet
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Building Your Leadership Toolbox with Miguel Gonzalez – Episode 22

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf22

Miguel Gonzalez is the Director of Global Logistics Procurement and Operations at Dupont and the future Chief Procurement Officer for one of three new companies that will be created after Dupont and Dow Chemicals finalize their merger.

He’s a global procurement and supply chain leader with broad experience and his unique skill is translating complex business needs into strategies that accelerates results in both short and long terms. Miguel has led global teams, has a good grasp of changing market conditions and vast experience when it comes to building and leading resilient and adaptive teams. I’m happy to introduce him to you and to share the experiences that led him to where he is today.

Essential Learning Points:

  • Always stay open to see the next opportunity and the next learning.
  • How Miguel uses books to internalize accelerated learning. Miguel reads non-fiction books and whitepapers, making notes and annotations in order to refer back to them and apply what he’s learned in the real world.
  • How do you convert your experience into tools in your toolbox? You start with an empty toolbox. Then, every experience you have you develop a tool, and you put this tool in your toolbox. The more experiences you have, the more versatile is your toolbox. Interacting with great leaders enables you to put great tools in your toolbox.
  • How do you thrive in a large enterprise? In large companies it is about understanding the strategies, getting to know the stakeholders and what is important; aligning, communicating, and building the right networks internally and externally. These are the basics.
  • The most important behavior enabling Miguel’s success is trusting first. Open and transparent communication at the outset as a starter location is you build a great collaboration.
  • “Great leaders challenge our thinking by defying the status-quo.”
  • “Leaders facilitate the dialogue that frees people from becoming stuck in yesterday.”
  • Build strategic relationships. Cultivate trust, mutual respect, and open communication.
  • Keep an open mind, continue learning and try to anticipate what the next big thing will be and then seize that opportunity.
  • There is a point in life where you’ll have to change to get to the next level.
  • You have to plan but you have to be ready because life will change your plans and you need to plan again.
  • Every relationship is a learning conversation.
  • Be present in the moment to offer your best. Every moment has the potential to open new doors.
  • Seek out new experiences. By engaging in new experiences you engender new learning.
You need to build strategic relationships. Click To Tweet I’m big on benchmarking, best practices, learning from whomever. Click To Tweet The more experiences you have in life, your toolbox is going to be better and greater. Click To Tweet The more and better tools you have, the more successful you will be. Click To Tweet When I join a new team or even a relationship, I start trusting by default. Click To Tweet
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Why Create New Futures – Episode 21

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf21

Create New Futures does not adhere to a linear, chronological story. Thus, you can extract immediate value simply by turning to any page and reading for a few minutes. This approach was intentional, and I share my thinking here briefly because it reflects the evolution of my discovery journey. Old movies like Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments begin a storyline, follow with an intermission, and then continue the chronology of the plot timeline. Somewhere in the mid-1980s and early 1990s, however, script writers began to employ the innovation of retracing up and down the timeline.

The evolution of this medium caught my attention because it reflects the development of the human capacity to become more universal and less locally based, less time-bound and more adaptive and timeline-flexible.

It also demonstrates audiences’ growing sophistication. The public at large seems to be amenable to abandon the Newtonian cause and effect linearity and ready to embrace a more complex network appreciation. The “Digital Natives” who were born in the post-Internet age are not bound by alphabetical order. Their brains have been wired into the Internet topography, where every word and idea has become a clickable portal that furthers the search for a deeper exploration. We all are now experiencing this discovery by getting used to reading in the middle and going with the flow of our interests. For this reason, I have built this book around portals, rather than chapters.

We no longer are bound by the linear cause and effect universe. Instead, we have the freedom to entertain mind-bending ideas. The legacy view that the past defines the future has been overlaid by a “flying upside down” view that contemplates a reverse flow in which the future reframes the past. What an exciting philosophical and spiritual concept!

In my workshops, my clients experience this new-found ability when we engage in the Sacred Stories Circle. In this process, I ask people to share formative experiences that contain teachable insights. I use them to demonstrate how we can attach new meaning and significance to an earlier experience from the vantage point of our current content and appreciation. This is a simple example of how we can enable the present and future to update our past.

The point of this example of how I help clients expand their thinking is to free you to explore this book any way you choose. Just as the moments and experiences described in this book trace back and forth in time, so, too, I invite you to let your interests guide your discovery journey.

The vignettes that follow are all part of my discovery journey instigated by the propelling inquiry of this book: what creates the future? I have integrated my personal and professional experiences to provide immediacy of access, to offer a practical translation of ideas, and to demonstrate how I have applied these techniques in my work. I hope this approach will inspire you to become more purposefully present in your life than you are now.

More than ever, humanity now needs people who are open and prepared to imagine, create and sustain new futures. This is a time of great transformative change. It demands our best imagination, courage and creativity.

My task in this book is to inspire you to be tomorrow’s agent, and to create conversations that birth a new future.

The “Digital Natives” who were born in the post-Internet age are not bound by alphabetical order. Click To Tweet We no longer are bound by the linear cause and effect universe. Click To Tweet More than ever, humanity now needs people who are open and prepared to imagine, create and sustain new futures. Click To Tweet
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Entrepreneurial Superpower with Court Lorenzini – Episode 20

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf20

Court Lorenzini, is the founder and CEO of multiple successful technology startups including DocuSign and MetaBrite. Court serves on the Boards of several early-stage companies, and is an active investor and advisor in the Seattle area.

I initially met Court on the board of Utrip, a destination discovery and planning platform startup where we both serve as advisors and board members. I have found Court to be one of the smartest people about business.

In this conversation, I explore with Court his formative experiences when at the age of 12 he participated regularly with his father in discussions with the first Band of Angels, the Silicon Valley’s oldest seed funding organization. Court reflects on capturing his observations and insights in his ideas’ notebook, and on discoveries he made that shaped his journey, such as his focus on the Superpower concept, the five years cycle, his determination to build a portfolio of companies, and what he has learned from each of his startups.

Essential Learning Points:

  • “My father invented the process for growing single silicon crystal at commercial scale. He was one of the eight people credited with founding Silicon Valley.”
  • What was the best crash course ever for a young entrepreneur, and how did Court utilize this rare opportunity to learn from the leaders of early technology companies about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
  • What was Court’s first job and how he maximized the learning opportunity: “Just being curious and willing to step out of the comfort zone to try new things…not only I was having fun, I was being rewarded.”
  • Entrepreneurship isn’t about being a CEO. You can be entrepreneurial as a janitor if you come up with a better way to sweep a floor. You can be entrepreneurial in every role by being curious, asking probing questions and by seeking a new better way to solve a problem.
  • You don’t go into anything with the specific hope of getting rich. You go out to solve a problem and if you are smart, you solve a problem that worth something for somebody and they will pay you for it.
  • “I started keeping notebooks of ideas and observations and not only did I write down what I heard from my father and from other people, I would also further it, and write how I would do it, what would I do differently, and always respectfully questioning how other people do what they do and thinking, what would I do in this situation myself.”
  • “By reviewing every year all my notebooks it enabled me to connect ideas and concepts, and allowed me to over time connect concepts and evolve my thinking. The more I did that the more I discovered new ways of approaching problems.”
  • “Towards the end of my college years I came up with the idea of the superpower. Your superpower is the thing you do better than everybody else you know. Everyone has a superpower. It something more fundamental than a skill that makes you a unique producer in the world.”
  • “If you discover and can articulate your personal superpower, you can then imagine roles in the world where that superpower can be applied every day. And if you can do that you are destined to enjoy a wonderful life.”
  • “Earlier on my superpower was an insatiable appetite to learn how things work. Over time this became the guiding light of my career, to my current superpower: selling vision. I create a world in my mind and I can then be so persuasive in how I describe it that it enables me to bring people together to make it a reality.”
  • “Getting outside the confines of the US and managing teams of people from nine different countries taught me how arrogant an ignorant we in the US can be, and gave me a sense of humility.”
  • “John Morgridge Cisco’s CEO was a great exemplar, and the best CEO I’ve met. He was an incredible blend of tough and fair, with an ability to see through the clatter and know what is the right thing to do in the moment. He is somebody I aspire to be like. Cisco’s success in those years was due to terrific leadership and terrific sales execution.”
  • “I try to aggressively kill every idea I come up with by finding all the reason why this idea will fail. If I can solve all these challenges it is probably a good idea to peruse.”
  • How did DocuSign come into being? DocuSign was the idea that won’t die.
  • What are the three stages in a life of a company and what is stage four?
  • “My journey has been a stage one founder journey – from napkins to product market fit.”
  • Your most valuable asset as an entrepreneur is your time. If you are going to be an entrepreneur the wisest way to do is to build a portfolio of efforts. In my world, I have created a portfolio of companies.
What was the best crash course ever for a young entrepreneur, and how did Court utilize this rare opportunity? Click To Tweet People come to work to do the minimum. Do the maximum, ask what else you can do to contribute. Click To Tweet Entrepreneurship isn't a study in how to build companies, it is the study of how to solve problems in a creative way. Click To Tweet Your superpower is the thing you do better than everybody else you know. Everyone has a superpower. Click To Tweet Managing teams from nine different countries taught me how arrogant and ignorant we in the US can be, and gave me a… Click To Tweet I try to aggressively kill ideas I come up with by finding why they will fail. If I can solve these challenges it is… Click To Tweet Confidence doesn't come from something external to you, it comes from the inside. Click To Tweet My journey has been a stage one founder journey - from napkins to product market fit. Click To Tweet As a leader, I am a servant of the organization. My role is to support the goals of the of the organization through… Click To Tweet
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Exploring Throughput Management and the Structure of Flow with Cathy Sunshine – Episode 19

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf19

My guest for this conversation is Cathy Sunshine, founder and president of the Sunshine Group, a consulting and coaching firm specializing in family business, leadership transformation and organization design.

Guided by deep insight into organizational dynamics and throughput management, Cathy helps leaders, and organizations break through blockages, become agile and engaged, and produce turnaround growth. She helped hundreds of teams accelerate growth and improve performance.

In this conversation we explore why service structure works, how it guides an organization to solve complexity by producing an alignment that creates flow.

Essential Learning Points:

  • What is throughput management and how does it relate to organizational design?
  • Why is it important, when working with a company, a family and any complex system, to go in open, and free of assumptions that drive the intervention in a predetermined the direction?
  • How do you increase your effectiveness as a coach and become even more provocative and evocative by being free of bias and agenda?
  • What is the inner work that enables you to be bias-free and clear? What kind of an instrument must you be to enable the client’s optimal growth?
  • “If I am effective in coaching, the leader would feel more empowered, clearer, a higher sense of self, and as a result be able to contribute back to her organization in a much more effective way.”
  • Legacy thinking of management is no longer effective. We need a new design for business but one that is able to grow with the leader. Old management theories train us to solve smaller and smaller problems. Throughput management is about removing constraints to enable flow.
  • How do you teach an entire organization to solve complexity by producing an alignment that creates flow?
  • Service structure works because it changes entirely the problem solving method and channels the behavior inside a company to the customer. It aligns all the internal departments of a company to the external customer in an integrated way. In a service structure you are tethered to the outside not the inside.
  • “The reason I do this work is to see the collective sigh of relief that comes with new awareness. The moment of insight is when I know it will never be the same, I see the change on the faces of people.”
  • We need to challenge ourselves to look in terms of movement, to ask why we are doing what we are doing, who are we, and who are we here to serve, and instead of solving problems, focus on solving constraints to movement.
I have always been insatiable curious, I wanted to figure out how systems operate. Click To Tweet Observing ourselves as observers, to see how we enter the picture, to be free of opinions to not enter the room… Click To Tweet The more open and calm we are, free of a personal agenda, the more effective we become with the client Click To Tweet As a coach I need to be a clear mirror. A mirror is a structure that facilitates reflection, ideally accurately. Click To Tweet What service structure does is that it teaches an organization to solve complexity by producing an alignment that… Click To Tweet The service structure aligns all departments to the customer in an integrated way, with relevance, alignment, and… Click To Tweet Old management theories train us to solve smaller and smaller problems. Throughput management is about removing… Click To Tweet
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A Conversation with Paul Adams – Episode 18

CNF018-A Conversation with Paul Adams

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf18

Episode Summary

In this episode we revisit an interview I had with Paul Adams, Host of Sound Financial Bites. We cover questions from my book, Create New Futures. Here are some of the key points we discussed during my interview:

Key Learnings:

  • “Your future and present can update your past.” Reclaim your power—the power to choose, to be self-directed, and the power to defy the mindset that says that what happened to you yesterday defines who you are today. Instead of thinking your yesterday defines your today, embrace the reframing idea: your today can redefine yesterday.
  • Do you let crisis define your future or do you choose to create a future that redefines your experience?
  • What can we learned from Aviv’s decision at age seven to create a story of meaning that pointed to all the benefits available for him after his parents separated?
    What can we learn from the formative experience of Pope, John Paul The Second in an underground theater during WWII, and how this experience shaped the role of his life?
  • “Instead of thinking: today is the product of yesterday, think of today as the beginning of tomorrow.” This mental model proposes that what appears to be a setback can become the setup for new beginnings that lead to your next breakthrough.
    How do parents foster the can-do mindset with their children? By creating a dual memory: a memory of the incidence of success and a longitudinal memory of overcoming of challenge that enabled the success.
    Why and how did Aviv reframe a devastating loss in the air force?
  • What is the deeper meaning of integrity? And how Aviv uses a story to reinvigorate the essence of integrity?
  • “A complaint is the misdirected energy of an unaddressed or unmet need.”
  • “For many of us the natural reaction to complaint is that we become defensive because we internalize and personalize the complaint. Instead, we can seek to understand and help the other person become part of the solution by converting the complaint into a concrete request that will help us address the unmet need.”
  • What is the process Aviv applied to help executives convert complaints to facilitate the emergence of new future possibilities?
Your today can redefine your yesterday. Click To Tweet I try hard…to walk my talk and to practice what I preach. Click To Tweet When you refuse or fail to walk your talk you can lose credibility; you can lose your everything. Click To Tweet People often give you a general statement of something that they don’t like which only reveals partially the issue,… Click To Tweet Reclaim your power. Defy the deterministic mindset that says that what happened to you yesterday defines who you are… Click To Tweet Do you let crisis define your future or do you choose to create a future that redefines your experience? Click To Tweet What appears as a setback can become the setup for new beginnings that lead to your next breakthrough. Click To Tweet
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Design Your Portfolio Life with Sam Szteinbaum – Episode 17

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf17

My guest, Sam Szteinbaum, has enjoyed an illustrious career. He was the Chief Learning Officer for Hewlett Packard and before that, Vice President and General Manager for America’s consumer products, the HP and Compaq desktop and Notebook PC products.

Since leaving HP, Sam has continued to develop and grow his pre-school business, The Wonder Years in the Bay area, which has four locations and a fifth site that is in the works. He is on the Board of various technology companies, including Corsair and Asetek where he serves as the Chairman.

In this conversation, you will learn how Sam approaches business decisions, and how to design your portfolio post-corporate life.

Essential Learning Points:

  • How to design your portfolio life for your post-corporate future
  • Why “speaking up” is a leadership principle
  • How Sam makes business and investment decisions
  • Build and develop your team members so they can be prepared to take on a new role
  • Developing your listening skills can help you connect with individuals more deeply
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks, and get as broad of an experience as you can get
  • Learn how to work effectively with others
  • Speak up: present a point of view, do not hold back your best ideas or play it safe
  • Thoughtfully create alternative and additional sources of revenue
  • Build financial sufficiency and resilience early on in your career/life
Create speed to decision and speed to execution. Click To Tweet Growing and developing people was something I was very focused on. Click To Tweet Learning to understand your team members deeply is a game-changer. Click To Tweet Things happen when they do and you either choose to respond to the opportunity or not. Click To Tweet If you do not speak up, you compromise your integrity Click To Tweet
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What Do the Best Sales People Do with Faiza Hughell – Episode 16

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Originally posted at http://www.avivconsulting.com/cnf16

Faiza Hughell is the Vice President of Sales at Ring Central. With more than 20 years of inside sales experience her passion and talent lies in building, training, scaling, and motivating successful sales teams. Faiza started in the software as a service world from a very young age and has sold SAS solutions ever since that time. Faiza was part of the WebEx winning team and at Ring Central leads the small to medium business program globally.

In this conversation I ask Faiza about the traits of successful sales people, women in leadership roles in Silicon Valley, and much, much more.

Essential Learning Points:

  • “There is a lot of problem-solving inside the sales process. It takes a tenacious person, who is open to learn, and self-aware, someone who is focused, determined, and driven.”
  • Be grounded in the presence of what you have instead of the absence of what you don’t have. Find abundance in what’s already present.
  • People mostly have the answer within them. The job of the leader is to help them find these answers.
  • Promote the best in your people. The greatest joy of leadership is seeing other people discover their talent and succeed.
  • The most successful sales people have a natural business acumen, fire in their belly, passion to succeed and do great things, and they have a passion to help others, and impact others positively, they are open to new learning, they are conversational and build relationships quickly, most importantly, they are focused on themselves and not on the comparison to others.
  • The best sales people handle rejection through confidence and resilience, and most importantly, by seeking to understand why the rejection took place, and why the customer chose to engage another provider.
  • Women that excel in leadership roles in the Silicon Valley are organized, hardworking, tenacious, and causative. More importantly they empower themselves to compete regardless of who else is on the playing field. They are strong communicators. They see opportunities and tackle them, and they are eager to see others’ succeed and help them realize their potential.
  • Focus on your learnability, the ability to learn in any situation. Objection and rejection are learning opportunities. Be confident, resilient, and tenacious.
There is a lot of problem solving inside the sales process: be tenacious, open to learn, self-aware, focused, and… Click To Tweet For a long time I was driven by what I did not have that I wanted. I then learned about the C-field and being… Click To Tweet Be grounded in the presence of what you have instead of the absence of what you don’t have. Find abundance in what’s… Click To Tweet People mostly have the answer within them. The job of the leader is to help them find these answers. Click To Tweet Successful sales people are focused on themselves and no on comparison to others. Click To Tweet The best sales people handle rejection with confidence and resilience, by seeking to understand why the customer… Click To Tweet Women excelling in leadership roles in Silicon Valley empower themselves to compete regardless of who else is on the… Click To Tweet
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