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    Entries in information (2)

    Wednesday
    Apr222015

    3 Questions to help them 'get it'

    Speaking with a leader last week and there was that frustration you get when people in the team and across the business just don’t ‘get it’.

    The leader said 'people aren't understanding what the change project is really about, even though there have been plenty of presentations, packs, information sessions and hours spent talking about the information.'
     
    Yes there’s plenty of information available, but which pieces are important; how do you help people make sense of it… and quickly?
     
    My distilled visual is from a presentation by Tom Shanley on Interactive and Immersive Data Visualisation and there's some insight there about beautiful, insightful and functional information. 
     
    When there’s a torrent of information flooding in from all directions, people are secretly asking three questions in their mind:

    1. What are you trying to tell me?
    2. What’s the story?
    3. What am I meant to be looking at?

    The rise of infographics and data visualisations certainly help convey deep information and data quickly, clearly and with creative appeal.
     
    These and other visuals work because our eyes see patterns – it’s Gestalt Theory. Images help people see the trees and the forest ... and helps it become a two-way conversation.

    And what's so beautiful about information? I love thumbing through David McCandless' book 'Information is Beautiful' (also called The Visual Miscellaneum in some countries). It's one for the coffee table, reception or waiting area or the meeting room, to give you a boost of visual inspiration. 
     
    So what do you need to help people ‘get’ right now? Answer this:

    1. What are you trying to tell them?
    2. What’s the story?
    3. What are they meant to be looking at?

    Answer those questions and you'll help people 'get it' and make sense of it all – otherwise it’s all too much and they'll give their attention to someone else answering those three questions.


    Monday
    May132013

    Cross the silo

    "Breaking down silos" : I reckon this action or need comes up in almost every organisational workshop I facilitate.

    Teams and leaders want to break down the information barriers that exist across organisations and get some 'cross-functional love' happening! You know, communication, engagement, co-operation, collaboration. 

    I like to simply start with communication. Let's communicate. 

    Go find out what they're up to, who they are, how they do it. 

    Do that before you start pushing your side of the world and what you want. 

    Dr Stephen Covey said 'seek first to understand'; that's habit number five of his seven habits. He says once you understand, you can be understood.

    I think you can be soooo much more persuasive and influential when you understand the other silo. You'll then know how to position or frame what you need to work or collaborate on.

    It's foolish to leap out and try to cross the chasm over to another silo with your arguments and defences and workplace waffle jammed in a folder under your armpit. 

    Go over there first. Cross the silo. Find out what's happening - with no agenda of your own but to find out. 

    Then come back.

    Cross the silo again. Take some more of your silo folks over this time. 

    There is no leaping required. 

    You can walk. 

    Look! It's amazing! There is a walkway that connects silos. You just need to to walk over and start communicating. That's how you cross the silo.