Wiki2collaborate's Blog

Collaboration workspaces for business

Team Dynamics, SAVE your meetings

Posted by Walt Lubinec on August 22, 2014

Why hold a meeting, if you are just trying to tell everyone the same thing at the same time – stop wasting time!
Even in today’s business climate of lean and cost cutting, people learn things differently. If something is said at a meeting the probability of them retaining it for more than even a few days is less that twenty percent.  The objective of having a meeting is to expand the pool of shared knowledge which does mean that participation in the meeting is essential, otherwise the only one contributing to the pool is the speaker. Lectures work in the right context however do you really have time for people to attend a lecture in everyday business?

When practicing holding real meetings, so that you gain input from all of the members of the team you need to establish some ground rules otherwise the meeting very quickly turns into a lecture and you might as well have just put out a memo! The basic principles in holding a meeting can be encapsulated with the acronym S.A.V.E.

S – Safe, people need to feel that they can share freely without fear of reprisal. Respect for team members must also be maintained.
A – Accountable, keeping integrity with the group, when mistakes are made address them as learning opportunities. Safety does not preclude responsibility.
V – Valued, each contribution and member needs to understand their value to the organization
E – Energy, creativity is nurtured by need and energy, the more energy put in the more ideas produced expanding the pool of share knowledge!

Check your next meeting, are you lecturing or expanding ideas and solutions…


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

Team Dynamics, a relatable metric

Posted by Walt Lubinec on June 8, 2014

Have you checked the time recently? In order to manage the sparse resource of time we all check the time often. It keeps us focused and helps us measure the where we are compared to the resource allotted. Making long term and short term goals which become reality because of constant comparison between what is desired and how far along the journey we have traveled.

Everyday we use measurements in our jobs, the most successful people use them in their personal life also. In sports we need the score in order to measure success, in business it is no different. What is different is often the measurements are made over longer periods of time and are not directly relatable to an individual’s or even a team’s performance. Working on the factory floor, revenue through selling a product can seem obscure when it is something produced months ago. Even more often we drown in measurements, convinced we must control everything an avalanche of measurements dilute the purpose of those metrics. Our intention is to create indicators which empower both management and associates alike to daily evolve operations to decrease costs, investments needed and increase productivity.

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Team Dynamics, a discussion

Posted by Walt Lubinec on April 25, 2014

For the past 50 years, technological advances have dramatically increased productivity of manufacturing and business in general. No doubt there are many more tools that will impact operations; the most recent are centered on communications inside and outside of organizations. Collaboration tools have emerged and although significant research has been done, improving the process by which people interact in business is too often left to chance. If interaction is poor the common reaction is to replace individual team members rather than facilitating better team processes.

Research has focused more around individual personality types than full group dynamics. The answer to this is simple there are far more variables so making order out of the chaos of team creativity is difficult to pin down. Eli Goldratt in his book, The Goal, discusses how control of all aspects of a complex process is not needed in order to make it more productive. What one must do is “maintain the flow”; this same approach is best used when improving the group dynamic and encouraging team creativity. A few basic principles can be applied so that the “flow” of creativity can be increased.

In the next entries we will discuss what those principles are in order to bring out the best in your team!

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


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?

Posted in Positive message, Social commentary | Leave a Comment »


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!

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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 »