Archive for April, 2010

The KEY: Flying Over Volcanic Iceland

I am writing this Key flying at 36,000 feet, just north of Iceland. After trying for five days to escape Europe with numerous flight cancellations, I am finally heading home to Seattle. What an adventurous journey!

The Air Force brief is, “It’s the one you don’t see that will shoot you down.” The Black Swan message is, “Beware of the trap of preparing for the last swan (crisis) you saw. The next one will be different. Unexpected.” That’s why it’s called a Black Swan.

Read here what I have I learned on this trip.

Listen to the KEY here:

©  Aviv Shahar

The Discipline Secret – Best Practices

Here are the elements of discipline we explored in our teleconference the Discipline Secret:
  1. Discipline of knowledge – The building blocks and protocols that allow you to use and apply a certain field of knowledge. What fields of knowledge do you use? What new fields do you want to acquire?
  2. Professional discipline – The discipline of your profession. How do you get results in your field of expertise? In what ways do you want to refine and improve your professional discipline?
  3. Discipline of learning – The virtuous spiral of learning. What learning will you take from this class through the four steps of learning to teach to someone and make it your own?
  4. Discipline of performance – Getting into your peak performance zone. What helps you create results? What do you need to do to get into your optimal performance zone?
  5. Discipline of purpose – clarity of context. What are you about? What is the purpose you are working on at this time? How does it guide your actions?
  6. Discipline of the next step – The discipline of initiative. Moving forward beyond setbacks. Taking the next step to break the pattern, to find a solution, to initiate change, to open a new door. What is your next step?
  7. Discipline to build and create – Focus, consistency and relentless tenacity. What are you building?
  8. Discipline to not destroy – Being able to contain your success and renew your purpose to create a legacy.


©  Aviv Shahar

Best Practices: From Brainstorming To Mind-clustering

Mind-clustering is better than brainstorming. The brain likes to compare and contrast. The mind transcends and includes brain output and more.

Here are some best practices to help turn your brainstorming into mind-clustering. Whether what you seek is a future vision or strategic or innovation breakthrough apply and adapt these tips to optimize your session.

You are trying to:

  1. Download ideas.
  2. Generate insight.
  3. See the future.
  4. See yourselves in the future.
  5. Create the future. (To create the future we must first see it…)

Tips to help your process:

  1. Allow for iterative comments. You are not in the validating phase. Envisioning and creating the future is like sculpting. That’s why it’s iterative.
  2. Defer judgment / withhold criticism (of your own and of others’ ideas). This is not a proof of concept conversation.
  3. Avoid explanation of “why it will” or “why it won’t” work. Do not be defensive.
  4. Create a safe environment for half baked ideas.
  5. Welcome unusual/ wild ideas. Push boundaries.
  6. Enable different thinking styles by enabling different speeds:
    – Some prefer a few moments of quiet reflection.
    – Others think while speaking out loud.
    – Some create mind-maps
    – Others like metaphors
    – Some approach with reason
    – Others are intuitive and instinctive…
    – And some will draw pictures and more…
  7. Allow repetitions that build, develop and further ideas, combinations and connections.
  8. Include holistic and granular. Encourage thinking for the whole and include the specific, the granular function, role and viewpoint.
  9. Depersonalize. What you say is not kept against you or is attached to you. You are a conduit to ideas and thoughts. You have no need to defend or to own ideas that come through you.
  10. Allow for divergent ideas / views. Do not converge too early or seek harmony and agreement.

Here are helpful protocols for your brainstorming or better still mind-clustering:

  1. Encourage personal reflection time before the session.
  2. First brainstorm or mind-cluster the question. If you come to a few good questions prioritize and get focused on one question at a time. A clear question is the key to an impactful session.
  3. Capture other questions that show up in your session.
  4. Some sessions need an open ended question: “What is our future vision?” Others will get better impact with completing the statement: “Our end-state vision for 2015 is…”
  5. Allow for pauses of silent reflection to engage other parts of the brain and mind…  and encourage with: “And what else…”
  6. Participants contribute one element, idea per round. (And without lobbying explanation).
  7. Avoid using “I” to help depersonalize and disassociate ideas from the people expressing them
  8. One conversation at a time. One speaker at a time.
  9. Use brevity.
  10. Listen Actively. Be curious and open. Allow yourself to be surprised. Allow your mind to surprise you with new insights and ideas. Enjoy.

© Aviv Shahar

The KEY: Thrive in the New Normal – The First Five Commandments

Struggle is the tension between where you are now and where you desire to be. If you experience this tension, it means you are alive. Many of the managers I coach and interact with are experiencing struggle at this time. To make the most out of your challenges and opportunities you need to engage 10 thriving practices. This KEY will help you thrive in the New Normal. Discover the KEY and the first five practices here.

Listen to the Podcast of the KEY here.

© Aviv Shahar

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