A Conference Call in Real Life

When you’re working with people from multiple locations, sometimes the easiest way to communicate with them is through video conference calling. This is something we’ve utilized with teams stretching across the US, the UK, Romania, and more. It’s made a huge difference in how we do business and has provided us with opportunities to serve more people than we would have been able to otherwise.

With all of these benefits, though, video conferencing is not without its hiccups. Instead of writing about our experience, we decided to share with you a video that wholly captures some of the common pains of conference calling.


One More Thing

Don’t forget to check out Leadercast! You can learn more by visiting the Leadercast website.

Is Corporate Training Working?

I became aware recently of a trend that appears to be the growing norm in corporate training. Most training these days seems to involve gifted, intelligent leaders putting their best thoughts into some sort of presentation and communicating how to do something to the audience. After a skilled trainer masters the basics of the content (s)he delivers, they are likely also to innovate and come up with new and sticky ways to communicate their target principles. The message gets better and better.

Is Corporate Training Working

Or does it?

If the purpose of training is to bring another individual to a level of competence in any area, how can a trainer be sure that their content is actually being transferred? For training to bounce back and forth between instruction and innovation misses a key point in the process-imitation.

How can anyone be sure that the content is truly being transferred into a skill without a process of observed behaviors and feedback. A more productive model involves boots on the ground exercises using live ammunition in real life. This allows the one seeking to grow in competence by hearing the instruction, watching it applied, trying it out, and receiving valuable feedback and coaching. The best innovation occurs in this model, because the student and the leader can both engage in the dynamic of exploring better ways or methods in the context of a real situation. This can guard a culture from becoming eloquent in ineffective practices that sound great but do not truly build a competent leader.

On Culture: Change vs. Innovation

How do you know when something is changing versus innovating?

I am in the innovation business. My personality testing heavily labels me an innovator. So do my friends, family and others.

I am also in the change business. Again, my testing shows that I like change and so does my history.

So how do you know when something is innovating or if something is changing?

The reality is when innovation occurs, change happens in accordance to the scope of that innovation. Similarly, when change occurs, things adapt to the change in the form of innovation.

The secret is in the intent of the leader of the particular change or innovation. And since most people don’t like change I think it is important for you to go through a process of determining which is which. Here is a template that might help…

1. What is the leader or person trying to do? For instance, President Obama wants to reform health care in the United States. Is this innovation or change? He says he wants every applicable American to have health insurance. They currently do not. By asking what the leader is trying to do you can see if it is simply an innovation of an older system or wholesale change. In this example I believe he is seeking change over innovation.

2. What are the positives and negatives of either the change or innovation? I find that, as adults, if we will simply list the positive implications and or negative outcome (almost as a worst case scenario) it will reign in the emotions and exaggerations that typically come from media frenzy or co-worker gossip.

3. What will happen if we don’t innovate or we don’t change? While most people are afraid of change, I believe they would really be afraid of what would happen if no innovation happened. What happens to companies when they don’t innovate to meet the needs of customers or industries? The answer: they go out of business and people lose their jobs. Is innovation or change bad then?

Innovation can be extremely rewarding and it can be messy.

Change can be very fun and it most likely will be frustrating.

The secret to managing your emotions and understanding change is to diagnose the intent of the leader of change, review the pros and cons, and ask the hard questions of what would happen if we didn’t innovate.

You might just find yourself engaged like never before because you understand what people are trying to accomplish and you can choose to follow or protest. In turn, that may cause you to enjoy change and innovation more than you ever thought possible.