Archive for September, 2017

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

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

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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