Back to BE-ing @Work

BE-ing in ThoughtI keep coming back to be-ing. Our upbringing was seeped in the value system of Self Reliance for many generations.   I was raised with the resonating lines penned by my ancestor, Emerson. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” “Our chief want in life, is someone who shall make us do what we can. This is the service of a friend. With him we are easily great.”

With this foundation, there is little wonder what led me to this juncture. It is a point in which I seek to understand the ways in which I/we can best accomplish be-ing at work. To be our best selves while bringing out the best in others in whatever we do requires a deep understanding of self. Technological advances have changed the conditions and tools in which we engage with others and our work. In order to build and maintain mutually beneficial and effective relationships today, presence of be-ing must evolve in concert with the advances of technology.  The advances both augment and challenge our ability to be true to that self. Starting with presence, we have greater potential for the ability to thrive and succeed.

The last several years, I have engrossed myself in a doctoral journey in Human and Organizational Systems that has both provided answers and triggered many more questions. I emerge having explored wearable technologies as potential intervention for hindrances to presence, an element of the ability to BE one’s best. The journey is far from over, despite acceptance as a scholar. I return to practice with a renewed curiosity and desire to explore both the barriers to presence and actions/tools used to enhance presence.

The dissertation is done, soon to be shared after the proofreaders have at it.  Now, with room to breath and energy to exhale, I look to what’s next.  I am collecting more stories to make the book version of my dissertation more accessible to a wider audience.  If you have stories to share please contact me directly at heidi (at) forbesoste.com.  More specifically, I am looking at what people identify as challenges to BE-ing their best selves and bringing out the best in others and how the overcome those challenges through actions and tools.

bridge-buildingA brief note to people who have worked with me over the last ten plus years in various iterations of 2BalanceU.  From building the tools to share wisdom, to teaching and speaking about the application of social tools in organizations, to building bridges between tech and people, to researching the behavioral science of presence and technology it all remarkably returns to 2BalanceU and 2BU. The path through social strategy and connecting people and ideas for their greatest potential remains one that I shall travel, albeit creating my own route.  Expect no change in name, but rather the approach to achieving the path to BE-ing one’s best and bringing out the best in others.

More to come very soon.

Bridge image credit to Kevin Kenny

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Future Leadership – Sketchnotes

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This morning’s presentation was an interesting blend of transformational leadership, action versus reaction, connection and context. Maria Gustafsson of Actea Consulting spoke with passion from a perspective that I share on the application of leadership to all areas of our lives and organisations. I am looking forward to continuing our conversation on the applied use of social and transformational leadership theories into organisations. Theories are all fine and good, but without implimentation in practice they are just talk.

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Understanding Motivation and Consciousness

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The counsellor explained my Meyers-Briggs (MBTI) and Strong Interest (SII) Inventory scores. “INTJ, well suited for leadership,” she said.  I would do well in marketing or advertising, something senior, she continued.  What came next was like listening to a fortune-teller, especially as I consider where I am now, 20 years later.  I would definitely get a PhD, someday.  I am not sure whether the telling directed my path or my personality itself.  But here I am at “someday” in my journey to PhD.

Tools, tools, tools, they all seem the same.  Each provide a little more insight into where we are best/worst suited to work, what kinds of roles we would/wouldn’t be good at, what we should/should not do and so on.  The tools have not changed much in the last two decades.  Since then, social technologies have changed the roles and requirements of leadership to one more dependent on relationships. I set out on this stage of my journey to understand the tools currently used to measure leadership potential and their ability to accommodate this evolution.  For the purposes of this post, I will focus on the Strength Deployment Inventory (SDI).

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Learning Styles and Social Strategy

I made a promise to myself recently to be more true to that which I teach: the importance of learning, fun and visual communication. These are all elements of evolving as a social strategist. Searching for the best route to clarity: communicating complex concepts in easy to understand forms. Often when dealing with the global element of my work, verbal language and culture differences bring out the importance of seeking alternate approaches to achieving clarity. Read More

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Measure Engagement: Micro-Engagement with Macro-Impact

ROI of Engagement and the value of relationships is no new conversation. What is new is how we develop and maintain the relationships, especially as leaders. In developing leadership seminars for the new social paradigm, we came across the same challenge of measurement but looked at new solutions. “Quick and dirty” ROI measured from campaigns and their impact is not relevant or feasible when talking about social leadership. Unlike a short term campaign or solution it is a long term adjustment to culture and approach to communications.

 

Finding the tools that can help us measure more effectively are a start. Of course, looking at numbers of connections give us one view. Yet, they present several problems in themselves and only show us a small part of the greater picture. The greatest being that leaders are predominantly absent from these tools (Forrester Research), and resistant to entry for fear of exposure or distraction. Another being the need for measurement of network engagement that occurs outside these sites (intranets, industry specific networks, public following, etc.). Then of course there is long term and the secondary effects, the MacroImpact.

 

Klout.com does a great job aggregating the numbers of followers on Twitter, links on LinkedIn and friends on Facebook and their influence to see what kind of a role individuals play and their online influence. It may not be the MacroImpact we require to create the argument for investing in teaching social leadership, but it is a good place to start. Then we need to look at layering of other factors, after all, changing behavior and culture is no “quick and dirty” fix.

 

BUSINESS IMPACTS: To start with there are several areas from which we can measure shifts that are have MacroImpact from the Leader’s MicroEngagement (must be measured over time). Of course this assumes establishing a baseline and keeping in mind other externalities that can cause spikes:

 

* INCREASE/DECREASE in new applications for jobs under leader’s management or control
* ATTRITION of existing employees desire to stay/leave working with the leader
* TEAM COHESION project completions advance of schedule, faster to market cycles
* INNOVATION cycles decrease with open acceptance of new ideas within clear parameters
* IMPROVED HEALTH decreased stress from greater job satisfaction, less sick days
* PARTNER/CLIENT LOYALTY return clients and partners desire to continue relationship
* COLLABORATION new opportunities in-industry based on respect for knowledge and trust
* LEARNING community shortens time to response from internal subject matter experts,
saves need hire external consultants when knowledge available internally
* MEETING lengths and volume decrease due to better collaboration and clarity in
communication
* AGILE RESPONSE to opportunities and threats in PR through direct engagement savings in
“Fire fighting” and valuation dips

 

This is just a first “whack” at a list as we look into measuring tools to pull together for leaders to understand their own MacroImpact and for organizations to evaluate their social leader’s performance. I would love to hear your thoughts on what other factors could be included, and what tools can be used to measure this effectively. It is not simply performance review we are considering, but rather effective engagement.

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5 for 2011: Walk the Talk to the Finish

I admit, I have always been a little impatient with technology.  Somehow I was born with the “when” gene not the “if”.  It has served me well in deciding where to live, what path to choose and the methodology to get there.  As one friend so aptly told me, “you are one of those people that has to swim across the river with the rope to determine where the bridge will be placed.”  I admit, there were times, when the current was too strong and I swam back to safety in order to survive. I realize I have had the luxury of a safe shore to return to.  For the most part, my tenacity (others might call me “stubborn”) eventually got me to the other side.  What it takes most of the time is neither the tenacity/stubborness nor the strength, but rather the belief in the path and the result.  Often this takes a leap of faith, but that is part of the process of acceptance of the result. I have always been determined to conquer my “what if’s.”

So enough of metaphorically speaking, as there is much to be said there, but may risk being “fluffy.”  After a nice off-line break in which I had the opportunity to catch up on much overdue reading and sleep, I found myself excited for many things in 2011.  This is what I wish to share with you.  You can call them predictions, you can call them wishes, you can call them dreams.  I will do whatever I can in my power to help them come to fruition. Read More

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Perspective without Connection

Heidi-camelride

Not so easy at it looks

Feeling the weary road warrior (and I know I am far from the worst), I try to seek perspective from that which I experience. In the last couple of months it has been everything from Silicon Valley and the network of industry specialists in social commerce to Kosovo and discussions on social enterprises and change agents to family gatherings in New England, to workshops for leaders in US cable, to local (Malmö, Sweden) discussions on entrepreneurship and social leadership to Abu Dhabi to discover opportunities for knowledge sharing and advising on how social strategy can be used.  My head is spinning, my heart is full and my body is worn out from flying cheap seats and changing time zones.  But the real result is that I feel more inspired to continue my work and the importance on teaching social strategy. Read More

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