Visual thinking solves your business problems

July 28, 2008
by Jeroen de Miranda

The Back of the Napkin is a great book on Visual Thinking. It is written by Dan Roam.

Watching this video of his presentation at Google, you will learn how to use this method to solve many different business problems.

I highly recomment reading his book if you want to get a real understanding of Visual Thinking!

Authors@Google: Dan Roam

YouTube video

Some highlights of this show:

  • Who can use this: anybody!. Dan classifies people into three catagories:
    – ‘black pens’ (start to draw right away),
    – ‘yellow pens’ (drawing comments on drawings of others),
    – and ‘red pens’ (do not want to draw; but often turn out to have the best ideas. You have to challenge the ‘red pens’ to start drawing).
  • Core idea: reduce complexity of a problem by slicing it into 6 slices: the 6 ways we are seeing:
    – what,
    – where,
    – how much,
    – when,
    – how,
    – why
  • Use the corresponding drawing:
    – what: portrait representing a person or object
    – where: map
    – how much: chart
    – when: timeline
    – how: flowchart
    – why: multi-variable plot
  • Talking while drawing leads to better understanding of a problem
  • Dan gives examples of his work with Microsoft
  • Dan uses a drawing to give an explanation of the strategy behind the Yahoo takeover over by Microsoft

More resources on Visual Thinking:

I have used visual techniques in several workshops that I have facilitated; I now intend to extend my workshop tools by using these ‘Back of the Napkin’ techniques!


The Innovator’s Solution

July 21, 2008
by Jeroen de Miranda

This is perhaps the best book on innovation!


Examples of disruptive IT innovation are (IMO):

I can much better understand these disruptive innovations after having read this book!

From Newspapers Beware: Blogs are A Disruptive Technology – some key factors are:

  • ‘print publishing has overshot the needs of the market’
  • ‘Sure, the new versions aren’t as high quality (fact-checking, writing, spelling, design), but they get the job done’
  • ‘And eventually, the old model will have lost so many customers that it will no longer be able to support itself.’

At the website of the authors Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor you can find some ready to use ideas and templates to shape new disruptive innovation ideas:

1. A Template for Shaping Disruptive Ideas :

  • Target nonconsumption
  • Leverage the low performance hurdle
  • Make it “foolproof.”
  • Lock in and take over

2. A Game Plan for Would-Be Disruptors : How to Turn the Innovator’s Dilemma into the Innovator’s Solution

More information on innovation at:

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The Skilled Facilitator

July 20, 2008
by Jeroen de Miranda

I am reading ‘The Skilled Facilitator’: this is a great in-depth book on facilitating groups!

Amazon reviews at: http://tinyurl.com/5a83db. Author: Roger Schwarz.

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This book will really help me to become a better facilitator of groups. It contains a complete Systems-thinking based approach to facilitation.

Core statement: ‘The facilitator’s main task is to help the group increase effectiveness by improving its process and structure’.

It complements some of the ideas of Manager-Tools in a great way! There are some similar ideas; e.g. on WWWTALA sessions; dealing with emotions; setting the Agenda of meeting etc.
Of particular interest is the model for Interventions in groups.

It is highly recommended reading! You can find more at the site of Roger Schwarz; a summary statement from this website:

‘ (…) The Skilled Facilitator Approach: Outcomes and Key Features

Whether you are working with another person, a group or team, or an organization, The Skilled Facilitator approach will help you create the following outcomes:

  • Decisions that get better results
  • Decisions that people actively support
  • Decisions that save time
  • Better relationships – at work and in your personal life
  • More personal satisfaction and less stress
  • Learning that allows you and others to adapt and change where most others can’t

To achieve these outcomes, the Skilled Facilitator approach has a number of key features:

  • Exploring and Changing How We Think
  • The Group Effectiveness Model
  • A Clearly Defined Role
  • Applicable To a Wide Range of Roles
  • Explicit Core Values
  • Ground Rules for Effective Groups
  • The Diagnosis-Intervention Cycle
  • Non-Judgmental Thinking
  • A Process for Agreeing on How to Work Together
  • A Systemic Approach ‘

Has anybody read this book? Or other books on group facilitation? Please feel free to comment / contribute to this post!

The Skilled Facilitator Field Book has lots of practical examples and applications of TSF:

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Amazon review .

Bottom line: ‘The Skilled Facilitator’ is a great book on group facilitation!


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More on Facilitation at this blog!

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Web 2.0 and Management


The Meeting Introduction

July 12, 2008

managertoolsheader.jpg

Mark Horstman on: ‘The Meeting Introduction’:

‘If you’re leading a meeting where a team is being formed, or a project group is meeting for the first time, I recommend you use this tool to start off well. In fact, it is so effective, it is my all-time favorite manager tool.

I’ve been leading meetings as a manager, leader and now consultant and facilitator for 20+ years. I’ve seen hundreds of ways to do this, and used many of them myself.This tool is by far the simplest to understand and the easiest to remember for everyone. (…)’

———————————————–

Recently I have used this ‘Manager Tool’ for the first time. This was in a professional setting, with some 18 participants. Some of them were new to the group.

I received some very positive feedback on this ‘Meeting Introduction’; so I can really recommend it. Some tips:

  • really prepare this well (I even translated the instruction sheet into Dutch; glanced on it during the instruction phase to make sure that I did not forget important aspects
  • do not rush!
  • make sure that the welcome cheer at the beginning of every introduction is done by everyone; and also the cheering at the end

This is a members only podcast (so you have to register; costs $15/month):

http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/12/december-2005-member-only-podcast/

Have fun!

What is your best idea of introducing people in a large meeting?


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What is Web 2.0?

July 12, 2008

Tim O’Reilly:

…. the internet as Web 2.0 is displacing Microsoft Windows as the dominant software development platform,

…. the competitive edge comes from aggregating the collective intelligence of everyone who uses the platform….. ‘

‘Web 2.0 is a transformative force that’s propelling companies across all industries
towards a new way of doing business characterized by harnessing collective intelligence, ….

from: http://radar.oreilly.com/web2/

Wikipedia’s definition of Web 2.0

Read the rest of this entry »


Your favorite books on Social Media (Web 2.0) are?

July 12, 2008

Your favorite books on Social Media (Web 2.0) are?

What are your favorite books on Social Media (Web 2.0)? My favorites are:
– Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide – by Amy Shuen – ‘Business thinking and strategies behind successful Web 2.0 implementations.’
– The Tipping Point by Malcolm Bradwell – ‘… that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviours cross a threshold, tip and spead like wildfire…’
More of my ideas on Web 2.0 at: https://jeroendemiranda.wordpress.com

Q/A on LinkedIn

———————————-

Answers:

Katherine Coombs

Senior Innovation Manager at Lloyds TSB

see all my answers

Best Answers in: Change Management (1)

This was selected as Best Answer

I am reading Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff. It’s interesting, but to be honest I dare say that it would be impossible to write a futureproof book about Web 2.0 in the Web 2.0 world! Content and views change so often, and behaviours change, and new websites are launched that I suspect that the best sources of information aren’t going to be books but are going to be digital blogs.

Links:
Ralph Bernstein

Web Manager at Productivity Press

see all my answers

Best Answers in: Business Development (1)… see more, Supply Chain Management (1) see less

Naked Conversations, by Shel Israel and Robert Scoble. It’s a book about corporate blogging.

Messages from Ralph Bernstein (1):

Kelly Rusk

Digital marketing and social media enthusiast

see all my answers

Best Answers in: Internet Marketing (2)… see more, Direct Marketing (1) see less

I’m also reading Groundswell and loving it. Though I will disagree that they are focusing on theories and strategies to adapt to changing technology so it will be relevant for years to come (though the examples may get out dated)
What’s interesting is right before I read the Cluetrain Manifesto, which just hit the 10 year mark. The funny thing is there are so many similarities between the two.

Daniel B. Honigman

Social Media Coordinator/Strategy, Chicago Tribune

see all my answers

I liked “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams. It talks about the sheer social and economic force of collaborative media.

Baseer Mohammed

Owner, Future Consulting Inc

see all my answers

Interesting question. I am traditionalist (is it a real word) Dale Carnegi’s good old book still holds true “How to win friends and keeping them”
Baseer.

Most interesting book on Social Media (Web 2.0) seems to be: Groundswell, by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.


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Web 2.0 and Management