Getting Ideas Off the Ground

In yesterday’s blog post, I wrote about how one must work at becoming successful, presenting Doug Belshaw’s reflections. Rosabeth Moss Kanter made a post along the same lines that presents five powers that successfully get ideas of the ground, which are:

  1. Showing up: the importance of being there in person.
  2. Speaking up: the framing the debate and articulating the consensus.
  3. Teaming up: the importance of partners, teams and communities.
  4. Looking up: the importance of seeing the picture, articulating setting strong values and setting sights high.
  5. Not giving up: the importance of persevering and being optimistic.

I can personally speak to the importance of these five powers. The first power, in particular, is an important one to remind ourselves of. In this era of digital communication and Web conferencing, there is nothing like being face to face with someone to foster strong relationship building.

The blogger concludes by reminding us that:

Achieving goals is always a matter of hard work, and success is never guaranteed.

And of course, as W.C. Fields put it:

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Every effort brought forward, every attempt is a learning opportunity and valuable experience.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

How to Avoid Presentation Overload

I’m a huge fan of clean, streamlined presentations with just a few key points. Not yet an expert myself, I have made huge efforts in reducing the amount of content in my presentations, as well as on my support slides.

So how exactly does one go about fighting the urge to overload their audience with everything they know about a subject? Olivia Mitchell offers a few tips to start you off:

  1. A presentation is the worst possible way to deliver lots of information
  2. Just because you say it doesn’t mean they will get it
  3. The more points you make, the less points they’ll get
  4. Stop seeing your presentation as a one-off event
  5. So what is a presentation good for?

Above and beyond face-to-face presentations, Mitchell’s tips are applicable to Webinars. I can also see them being extremely useful for planning and delivering face-to-face and online synchronous training sessions.

In addition, Mitchell offers “The Quick and Easy Guide to Creating an Effective Presentation“, an excellent step-by-step guide for planning your next presentation and your first step in being a more effective presenter.

References:

Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Distinguishing a Community of Practice from a Team or a Network

Lilia Efimova’s diagram clearly illustrates how a Community of practice distinguishes itself from a work team in that it goes beyond the structured boundaries of the team to seek out others with a common class of problems. That said, it is still semi-structured in that it is not driven by a common pursuit of solutions.

Efimova's team, community and network communication diagram

Team communication is heavily shaped by the shared goals and agreed communication formats/processes. It’s very much about getting things done together and strong ties that needed for it.

Communication in communities is a bit further from actual work, but still has lots of connection with it (e.g. Q&A mode, where one uses an opportunity of being together with other experts to ask for solutions for a problem). It’s usually a mix of stronger and weaker ties that help to open up and share local practices. There is enough commonality and trust to hold people together and enough diversity to support learning.

Network communication is more opportunity-based and informal. There is not much in terms of shared goals and recurrent conversations, the ties are weak or latent. However, there is enough connectivity and opportunities to communicate that result in cross-fertilisation and emergent ideas and practices.

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