Wiki2collaborate's Blog

Collaboration workspaces for business

When…

Posted by Walt Lubinec on February 21, 2014

When are you going to decide that you are more valuable? Looking into the mirror do you see someone who can contribute more, who is worth more, who is ready to be fully valued?

You don’t need to pull anyone down to pick yourself up. You do need to stop giving away your gifts where they are not valued, not appreciated. This also does not imply to stop charity because you don’t get paid. Charity done right is for self gratification, it’s how you feel about you, not for the overwhelming cheers of others.  It all comes back to story. What is the story you play over and over in your mind, even as you read this your story is matching it against other chapters in your experience and valuing it or discounting it based upon your stories. I used to believe that we made millions of choices everyday; but the truth is we make very few.  Most choices are made based upon how they fit into our own story.  “Am I a picky eater”,  “is it time for me to wear bright colors”, “do I show affection to those I value – who reinforce being my best self.”

So the question of choice remains… when?

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Next…

Posted by Walt Lubinec on February 10, 2014

I killed a man today, don’t feel bad for him he needed to die.  I felt the strength of the handle, saw the glint of light across its blade then plunged it in.
Life was slowly draining out of him long before I performed the service needed.

Who we are is the story we tell ourselves.  Everyday, every moment, a dialogue runs through our mind telling us over and over who we think we are.
Are you a father, mother, brother or daughter, are you smart, foolish, fun-loving, unattractive? We answer these questions with stories over and over.
So how do we grow, how do we change, how do we take that next step into light? We change the story.

Sounds easy right?  Just change the story except that the longer we have been alive and the stronger that story has been enforced emotionally the more difficult it can become to alter the story. Sometimes other means must be employed…Image

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Goliath or David?

Posted by Walt Lubinec on October 10, 2013

When are we behaving like Goliath but are actually David?  Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book David and Goliath starts with the classic story.  It gives us a new perspective of why David won; Goliath strong and conditioned for hand to hand combat expects David to fight on his terms.  David fights on his terms; used to defending his flock from mountain lions and bears with his sling so that he is conditioned for projectile attacks.  We all know the outcome of that battle.

As a small business owner do you feel constrained because you can’t afford massive TV campaigns and national print advertising like your large competitors?  Would that even help?  Many of us do business locally and so building a network of local referral sources is far more valuable than someone in Portland Oregon knowing about your great laundromat or financial services business?

What does is mean to influence others in such a way that they catch the spark and burn for your offering similar to the way you burn?  Is that forming a relationship, is that becoming a team?

In this space we will explore ways, both digital and real time in creating stronger teams inside and outside your organization.  The three main constituents to forming strong teams are as follows:
1.  An appropriate metric.
2.  Collaborative atmosphere
3.  Limited resources

A few quick notes on the first tenant, an appropriate metric; how do you know when the team is moving the right direction.  That said measurements can easily be focused upon short term gains sacrificing long term growth.  Secondly, measurements need to make sense for the entire system, if you focus efforts too locally it can also adversely effect the organization.  Think of the strength of a chain, the weakest link, versus the weight of a chain – adding the weight of each link.  With all this focus on the entire system, measurements still need to make sense for the individual – how do you know you did a good job at the end of the day.  One of my favorite clients once slowed down one of his machines and set a new production record in the process!

So what’s important to you, what is a good measurement that can be checked often enough that you see movement?

Posted in Informal training, Knowledge management, teams, Wikis | Leave a Comment »

Solution teams

Posted by Walt Lubinec on August 13, 2013

What do Walt Disney, John Belushi, and Cancer Surgeon Atul Gwande have in common?  They all learned and used the rules of improvisation to release creativity for team based solutions.  A collaborative and creative environment can be created on purpose.  Walt Disney needed many ideas and had to manage teams to be able to produce movies, theme parks, and all the innovative solutions like animatronics.  Disney engineers are called Imagineers because of their unique solutions.  John Belushi was funny alone but even more successful when playing off his fellow Second City team members to create unforgettable comedy.  Atul Gwande implemented the same rules in the form of checklists for team creation with surgical personnel who never worked together before, radically reducing surgical caused fatalities.

So what?

Is your business constantly evolving, if not it is falling behind.  Solving your customer’s problems is what your business does.  It can be done with higher quality, less cost, and higher profit if you unleash the power of Solution Teams within your business.  We have all witnessed it; when one idea sparked another and another until your team had something really workable, something that any individual member of the group may not have come up with but together it just happened.  Let’s work together to create the skills and conditions so that your team can work at their highest potential and make your business work better in the process.

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Genius in you!

Posted by Walt Lubinec on April 11, 2012

Everyday has the possibility of growing, learning, and becoming just a bit better than we were.  Everyday we log more experiences, sensations, and results from our efforts.  Some experiences have direct learning consequences – read a book about planting tulip bulbs you immediately may have learned a new approach or gained confidence in an existing habit.   However attending a lecture on social media may still leave you wondering where in the hell you should start!
Numerous studies have been done on the various ways the human mind can process information, neuro-linguistic programming, cognitive approach to learning styles, and even meshing hypothesis.  All of these studies have shown are that there are many different ways for an individual to absorb information so that they can apply it in their own lives and provide insights to others.
More specific studies have found that when a teacher used lectures to convey material the students were tested and as expected a normal bell curve distribution resulted.  When the same class was subjected to a different teaching style, using more experiential means again a normal bell curve was in the test results, but which students scored very high, median, and low on that curve dramatically changed.  The same change of students occurred when using purely auditory teaching styles.
What can conclude from studies like this is that depending upon who we are, and sometimes even what we are learning, the style by which we absorb the information best can be different.
So if you are committed as I am to learn and better yourself each day you must try multiple methods for learning materials which are core to your growth.  Books, auditory lectures, YouTube videos, experiments in the kitchen, active conversations with interested colleagues and many more methods can help you internalize information so that you can contribute more to the community you live.  Too often we try just one or two ways to learn something and if we are not successful we give up.  What can be said is that each individual can improve learning by attempting just a different learning style.  Each of us has many responsibilities but we also have many opportunities to display and utilize our knowledge to positively impact our own life and the lives of people we love.

If you don’t try, if you give up on something that can really change your and others lives, you are depriving us all of the impact your contribution.
What we need now more than ever is the real power of your genius!

Posted in Informal training, Knowledge management, Positive message | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Media Evolution

Posted by Walt Lubinec on July 25, 2010

Social media outlets like LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter wrestle with two divergent forces.  First it is a human impulse to gravitate towards entertainment and education which reinforces our existing beliefs.  One of the reasons that the fringes of political systems are made stronger as people sometimes even unconsciously seek media which does not challenge but simply echoes what we already think.  This pattern in media have driven some to more and more extremes to seek attention simply to gain greater audience.

Second is our inate drive to seek knowledge and truth.  While it is true that so many options have allowed our attention span to be diverted many times over; it is still true that at our core we want to understand.
It is this second drive which is evolving social media to be more collaborative and in fact providing the classrooms for informal training.  More and more as people seek to distinguish themselves on sites like LinkedIn they post knowledge to discussions which advances the entire groups repository of usefull information.  In part it is due to the informal nature which is leading more people to use these outlets as training grounds for testing new ideas and experimenting with theories.

No one has said it better in the last few thousand years than one of my mentors:
” No where is the truth more likely to be found than in a free and open conversation” – Socrates

This evolution of extending group knowledge may have been spurred greatly by Wikipedia but in the everyday needs of commerce social media outlets like YouTube and LinkedIn are changing lives and perspectives.

More to come…

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Organizing Knowledge – Find Info Faster

Posted by Walt Lubinec on May 9, 2010

Facts can be organized in many ways.  Knowledge is the application of those facts and analysis to synthesize solutions. Information however is the answer to the question asked.  So if I have a file cabinet, a database or even the entire internet how can I find information quickly.  Too often using a single dimension of search data is returned that has nothing to do with the question asked.  One new Search Engine’s entire advertising campaign is about how current searches give so much irrelevant data.

Let’s examine a simple question and answer:
“What will the weather be at Grandma’s house tomorrow?” Breaking it into it’s constituents like we have done in grammar school we see the subject “weather” with the modifiers of time and location; “tomorrow” and “Grandma’s house” respectively. Many search engines do actually support multi-dimensional searches like this but to enter them properly there is a syntax requirement, akin to programming.

So back to our topic of using informal blogging and wiki’s to spread knowledge throughout our business – a portal or dashboard which is comprised of summaries of the latest entries joined with a multidimensional search engine should help.

Expanding briefly on the topic of multiple dimensions of search capability tags associated with your blog should suffice. However the tags should be categorized grammatically and some extras for example “subject” should be a main tag while time-frame tags be it “historical” or “forecast”, additional modifiers like type, location represented in “opinion” and “Chicago”.

There well may be a search engine that works exactly in this way but in the meantime when gathering the data for your organization tag what you can with these extra dimensions as we build a structure with empowers every organization to find information faster.

Posted in Informal training, Knowledge management, Social media, Wikis | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Spending Democracy

Posted by Walt Lubinec on March 9, 2010

You already know everything written here, but we all need a reminder.

You vote everyday not once in four years.  Everyday you individually influence how our society works.  So many of our choices we make purely from habit. Without even thinking or better yet for some businesses you made the choice once because the only way to get the product or service is to automatically get charged every month.  By spending the money you work hard for you directly indicate how you want society to function.  Economists and financiers create complex equations to explain how your choices are completely predictable the common denominator has made one retailer the largest company in the world. Price, you want the lowest price, because more for less is always better or so it would seem.  Many pundits and news people enjoy making demons of the big bad company.   Time and time again movies, editorial TV programs, and prolific blogs dictate the horrible behavior of large banks, industrial giants who pollute our environment – each time the villain seems clear.  Yet how did these business achieve their formidable size – we bought what they sold, you did, I did, millions of us did. We made a choice that price was our driving factor and took the goodies home to share with our families.  As a society we have decided not to intentionally buy goods which have been stolen. It is a choice which has a common understanding not to knowingly support (or vote) for a supply chain process which violates a shared value.

We all have tremendous power, but responsibility comes with that power.  When price is the driving factor you cannot be surprised when businesses make decisions based only on cost.  That includes jobs as well, in December 2003 Charles Fishman wrote an article titled “The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know” which had an interesting closing sentence to the first paragraph. “Are we shopping our way straight to the unemployment line?” ( http://bit.ly/1Kza0 )  In many ways one can make the argument that in search trying to stretch our lowered real incomes we continually pushed for lower prices.  This inevitably led to an acceleration of pushing jobs to where people were willing to work for lower wages.  Businesses have to react this way as we continue to vote for a price based behavior. Free enterprise works very well to force the market to respond when consumers vote.  So how are you teaching your children to vote?  Should they always look for the “best deal”?  Can we as a free society dictate how it function, the answer is yes we can, but perhaps you want to learn more about if the product you buy every week and where you buy it is the best choice for you and your community.

When you started reading this you knew all this information, but here is the reminder.  Every day you choose, you vote, how you spend your dollars dictate how business must react to survive.  When you find out something disturbing about a business do you shrug and continue to vote your dollars for it? Knowledge has consequences, if a business is too big to fail, remember who can make it smaller.  You can, your neighbors, your community endorse candidates through retailers, mutual funds, and credit card companies – the question is how what you spent today reflect what you value.  How are you spending your democracy?

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Too much Information!

Posted by Walt Lubinec on January 12, 2010

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do not worry you are not alone – with the proliferation of blogs, wikis, and endless multimedia postings it is estimated that the total amount of information on the planet more than doubles every 18 months. If you didn’t feel overwhelmed before perhaps now you do.

In the field of medicine Atul Gawande, author of “The Checklist Manifesto”, states: “Clinicians now have at their disposal some six thousand drugs and four thousand medical and surgical procedures, each with different requirements, risks, and considerations. It is a lot to get right.” Its no wonder that even very competent doctors may overlook or may not be aware of a few possibilities.

So what is the point? Should we just give up say there is too much complexity and just stick to what we already know? Or is this the opportunity to leverage our shared knowledge trying to reach for the ‘group learning’ (as opposed to groupthink coined by social psychologist Irving Janis). The increased usage of checklists, peer reviews, and collaboration techniques should be a good answer. Anyone working today needs to make two commitments just to stay even in the marketplace let alone advance our competitive offering.

First we need to commit to lifelong learning. Reminding us that as knowledge workers “he who learns the most, earns the most” This can take many forms, webinars, formal classes, reading, even participating in team projects can advance our knowledge of what else is happening in and around our chosen discipline.

Finally, we must also commit to sharing our knowledge and seek out the collaboration of our colleagues and mentors. We cannot expect collaboration from others without sharing our own experience and perspectives. This is not just a restatement of the golden rule, but also a new reality of successful business. When peers are available within your company it helps, but outside viewpoints cannot be underestimated. Many companies today strangle innovation due to internally focused perspectives. One need only look at the American car manufacturers to see what stagnation it has caused. This is not meant to say that outside opinions are always right, focus groups and customer feedback is usually short term focused and may not include a longer term view of how solutions may evolve. In the end a healthy dialogue can only improve the long term goals of both customer and company.

So with all these perspectives how can we get any work done? That’s the work, that’s the secret! It is your synthesis of that information which solves problems, brings new approaches to bear, and tells the story of how we can survive and thrive through very difficult times. So pause for just a moment, take a deep breath… now jump!

BY9J86H7G4H4 – Claim Tag – Technorati

Posted in Informal training, Wikis | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Happy Holidays!!!

Posted by Walt Lubinec on December 23, 2009

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