Sunday, September 27, 2009

San Francisco Mining

Mining for data, that is...

I'm headed up to The City this week for a three day workshop with Stephen Few of Perceptual Edge. There are eight of us going from KT, so it should be fun.

We'll be at Fort Mason, under the shadow of the Golden Gate, across from Alcatraz. Sourdough, chowder, and Anchor Steam are on my 'to-do' list.

Pictures to follow!

Friday, September 18, 2009

huesworks mission and vision

I carry index cards with me everywhere I go.

Most of the cards are blank, but not all.

Among the 'used' cards I carry are my to-do list, works-in-progress, and my mission/vision/values cards. A few days ago, my colleague Mike and I were discussing a project I'm working on. He asked, "Does it align with your mission?"

I answered, "Let's find out" and pulled out my cards.
As soon as I read my mission, 'provoke positive learning moments through constructive conversations', we both nodded.
That was easy, I thought.

Just like spotting the flag on a golf course, or a lighthouse on a coast, having your mission and vision in a place where you can see them insures that you won't go off course.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learning the Kirkpatrick Levels

The gang gets together

For the past two days, we've had the pleasure of learning from Jim Kirkpatrick, co-author of "Implementing the Four Levels". In this photo, our team (Mike Gilbert, Brent Bloom, Martin Woodrow, Jim Keller, Kevin Weafer, Jim Kirkpatrick, Keith Bartholomew, and myself) closed out the event.

The workshop helped us identify ways that we can better evaluate the success of programs that we're going to implement during the next fiscal year. We were challenged in many ways, and gained a lot from the experience.

I would highly recommend that you discuss your key learning programs with Jim. You're likely to identify more ways to measure the success or failure of your program.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What I Did This Downturn...

Remember those "What I did last summer" essays?

I'm reminded of them for two reasons:
1) It's 'back to school' season
2) Our business appears to be picking up again

Our previous CEO, Ken Schroeder, used to say that what you did during a downturn would determine how you did during the following upturn. He considered any downturn to be a time for retooling and refreshing skills.

The biggest impact this downturn had on me was a lack of business travel. Since 1993, I've spent anywhere from 30-95% of each year overseas - mostly in Asia. In the past 18 months, however, I have not made a business trip.

As a result, I've been able to engage in a number of projects that have given me amazing developmental opportunities:
  • I started my Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training at the University of Phoenix. I'll finish it in three months. I've met smart people that I wouldn't have otherwise met, discovered the foundations of adult learning, and witnessed the power of online learning.
  • I led two very challenging and rewarding projects at work - a mentoring program and a 'reboot' of our development process
  • I met Nancy Duarte, author of slide:ology, and spent the past 9 months working with her and her incredible team to provide instructional design consultation on the slide:ology workshop. This has been one of the most rewarding projects of my life.
  • I spent two great days with the VizThink community; meeting Dan Roam, Jessica Hagy, and Dave Gray, among others. It was a very stimulating event.
  • I was certified as:
    a DiSC profiling facilitator by Ken Blanchard Companies
    a facilitator of The Leadership Challenge Workshop
    a facilitator of Edward deBono's Six Thinking Hats
    a facilitator of Power Speaking's High Tech Speaking
    a facilitator of Vervago's Precision Q+A Workshop
    a facilitator of CMOE's Applied Strategic Thinking Workshop
    a facilitator of InsideOut Coaching
  • I was able to spend two days with Cal Wick of FortHill, learning The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning
  • Randy Emelo of Triple Creek and I created the Mentoring Conversations Model and have written a series of six newsletters to introduce the model
  • I completed a training workbook, based entirely on manga-like images. The new workbook has been a big hit, particularly with our students for whom English is a second language.
  • I continued to put my new-found drawing skills into practice for storyboarding
In the next few weeks, I'll be attending workshops run by James Kirkpatrick and Stephen Few, so the learning hasn't stopped.
I would not have been able to enjoy most of these opportunities in a boom market, so I consider myself very lucky.

What about you? What did you do this downturn?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Facilitator's Toolbox Update

I was discussing facilitation tools with Tracy Barba of Duarte Design a few weeks ago.

As we talked about some of the difficulties of meeting facilitation, I shared a couple of my favorite tools.

I then realized that I haven't updated the huesworks toolbox in awhile, so here you go!
The updates include:
  • Five Finger Facilitation
  • The Facilitation Diamond
  • Storyboarding


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mentoring Conversations Model

I've been fortunate to work with Randy Emelo, CEO/President of Triple Creek Associates, for the past few months on a writing project.

We're writing a series about Mentoring Conversations. This new model suggests the conversations that are necessary to guide anyone from orientation to decision making on an issue. Randy and I wanted to provide a tool that could be both diagnostic and prescriptive.

The first issue of our six part series introduces the model. Each of the following articles will explore the conversation zones in detail.

Randy is a smart, smart guy with a lot of expertise in mentoring. I highly recommend that you read his back catalog of newsletters!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I draw to see...

I like to draw.

But it isn't because I'm good at it...

I like to draw bcause it forces me to look more closely at the world around me. I don't spend enough time drawing, but - then again - I don't spend enough time doing anything.

At dinner the other night, I pulled out my index cards (don't leave home without them!) and drew this 2-minute sketch of Anige. I wish I was more confident in my strokes, but it captured the way she looked at that moment and I'll take that.

You can't draw and not look... at least I can't.
If nothing else, that's the gift that drawing gives me: focus.

Drawing forces me to be in the moment. To stop. Look. Reflect. And make a connection from my eyes to my brain to my hands (hopefully with a quick stop at the heart, but who can say?). Isn't that a pretty good description of learning?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

5 Applications for Video Coaching

Last week, Ken Wells and I co-facilitated a "High-Tech Speaking" Workshop at KT.

The course is excellent. We had a great time working with the attendees.

But this post is about video coaching. The High Tech Speaking workshop uses one-on-one video coaching to help attendees see their strengths and weaknesses. It makes them aware of the gap between what they feel (I feel so nervous!) and what the audience sees (But I don't look nervous!).

Video is a very powerful tool. So powerful, in fact, that I wonder why it isn't used in all training? Here's a list of five places where I would apply video training or coaching.

  1. Presentation Skills: This one is obvious. In fact, I'll say that you should never do presentation training without video coaching.
  2. Team Activities: We almost always tape team activities (like the spiderweb). Activities create, in 20 minutes, interpersonal dynamics that would take a year to see in 'normal' operating mode. When we capture these on video, teams can see how they ignored one employee, or divided into cliques, etc. One of my favorite uses of video.
  3. Coaching: In many of my coaching sessions, coachees want to practice a dialog that they will have with a manager or peer. When they do their 'rehearsal', I sometimes video tape them (just using the video function on my pocket digital camera). We can then replay the video and look at body language, tone, and facial expressions. Very useful.
  4. Coaching Role Plays: In courses that teach managers who coach, role plays should be videotaped. It's very difficult for anyone to sense how they come across, and they don't always trust feedback. Video is objective.
  5. Customer Interface Role Plays: Used in the same way as Coaching Role Plays. One person plays the hot customer, while the other tries to defuse the situation. Replaying on video allows both to make constructive feedback.

The possibilities are limitless, but I'd start with these five.

How have you used video for training and coaching?