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The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’

 

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Build this powerful, influential skill to help make sense of change, communicate clearly and engage people in the most challenging situations
  

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MELBOURNE - September 11

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    Entries in presentation (10)

    Friday
    May172019

    Managing information overload in a world of too much %$#&* information

    The Institute for the Future said cognitive load coping was a 'got to have it' skill for 2020. I've been keynoting at conferences on Day 1 giving delegates these much needed 'cognitive load coping' skills.

    Are we ever 'taught' or 'shown' what to do in a situation of information overload? Many people zone out, reach for the comfort of their mobile device, feign understanding (head nodding) or daydream.

    Info overload at conferences happens:

    🐌 g-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y (end of Day 1 you feel zombie-ish)

    or

    🚀 rapidly (presentation is so fast, laden with charts and stats you lose the threads ... gone).

    Part of the 'it's all too much' zone is when we foolishly choose to REWORK information. We store it (take photos of slides at conferences, save PDFs, type notes, screenshot stuff) fully intending to 'look at it later'.

    But it's one of the most ineffective and inefficient ways to handle information overload. Rather, get up out of the 'it's all too much zone'. It's worth building the confidence and capability to handle all that information, live ... in the moment so you are indeed 'all over it'.

    Friday
    May172019

    We are more than pale, male stale

    Quote diversity.

    For your blog, presentation, proposal or slide deck … when you want to quote someone, quote with diversity. There’s a bias here and we need to act on it to counter it.

    Not all your quotations need to come from Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein or Henry Ford. It’s worth finding greater diversity. You don’t need to choose from the first 4 quotes that come up when you Google ‘innovation quotations’ or ‘leadership quotes’. It’s lazy … and biased.

    Source unique quotes from podcasts, interviews, books, blogs, articles, videos. When you do Google ‘leadership quotes’, go further than the first 4 or 24. Go deeper and wider to get diversity.

    If a woman, a person of colour, a person with a disability, a person of a different cultural background, an LGBTQIA person is reading your proposal or reading your blog where you quote the same old quotes that are 'pale male stale’ ... good luck with that.

    And ... if they are your target market, audience or decision maker, oops .. good luck with that.

    Go for greater relevance and connection to more people; not that are quick or convenient to 'copy and paste'. It’s actually not that hard ... once you notice it, and then work to remove the bias. 

    Monday
    Apr292019

    Drowning in it

    Drowning in it. Have you felt the ‘drowning in it’ feeling? It happens daily in meetings, or on Day 1 of a new job, drowning in all that information!

    The Institute for the Future named ‘Cognitive Load Coping' as something we’ll need to be good/better/best at for the 2020s. We can't wait for a magic pill - we need to do better with information, now.

    A key is understanding that cognitive overload can happen:

    🌕 s-l-o-w-l-y without you barely noticing it (until you're in a daze, like at a conference), or

    🌕 swiftly (when someone presents lots of complex info, data, results and - aaargh, we've lost the thread).

    We can build skills to manage our own cognitive load (more on that over the coming weeks). But as leaders, we must focus and ruthlessly prioritise when presenting information to others - for their load.

    TIP: Package information up in chunks that are easy for digestion. This means losing long lists of bullet points; too tough to make sense of.

     

    Here's my infamous slide presented at a conference on Day 1. (The Day 2 speakers stayed up late deleting all their bullet points! 😆 And the presentations were better!) Ditch the list of dots, it's zzzzz. What helps your cognitive load? 

    Monday
    Dec012014

    How NOT to start your presentation on change 

    Senior leader... standing at the front of a room, about to announce some key information on a change and transformation piece of work. 

    The room is hushed. Everyone is waiting to hear why the change is happening and how it will affect them. You know the old 'WIIFM' 'What's in it for me'. You've got to hook them in first, before you even begin to blab on about how it will roll out and when it will happen. 

    So the leader begins... and the first words out of their mouth were: 

    'I have seven slides to present'.

    Yep, that was it. The number of slides. The number of times they were going to 'click' the clicker to advance the PowerPoint deck of pre-prepared numbness. Seven times. 

    THAT was the most important thing?

    That's what you wanted to lead with?

    That was going to frame the change, the message, the impact?

    The nervousness, uncertainty or anxiety was leaking out of this leader and their subconscious or unconscious was speaking: 'just get through these seven slides'. 

    The team thinking - 'oh great, seven slides.'

    After some wise counsel on how this leader could design, communicate and facilitate change through the rest of this national rollout, the start of the subsequent presentations changed.

    This leader started with a story, or a statistic, or a statement. It was inspiring, engaging and it captured attention.

    They didn't start with the number of slides. Not any more. 

    Know your message.

    Know your team and their 'what's in it for me'.

    Lead with that. Reinforce that.

    Share that and be passionate about that.

    Not how many slides you have. (zzzz)

     

     

    Monday
    Nov032014

    Do it with the lights on and the blinds open

    Yep, put it on show and make it visible.

    Stand out, loud and clear so people can see and hear you!

    Doing what and where ... you wonder?

    Last week I was working with a team on their leadership day. They put so much effort into making the conference room dark enough for the PowerPoint presentation and slides. I figured this was gonna be one heck of a deck. 

    But, well, it wasn't. It was a bunch of dot points on the company template. zzzzzzz, yawn and dull boring, #fail.

    This was a leadership team and a big event focused on communicating change, inspiring the team, getting everyone on the same page.

    A darkened room and a deck of uninspiring, forgettable bullet points. Yep, that's really going to have staying power... no.

    Leaders need to get real when it comes to communicating change. Turn the lights on. Let them see you. Keep the blinds open. Let natural light in. Be authentic - there's so much 'authentic leadership' talk going on, yet when leaders have the perfect opportunity to influence, persuade and deliver messages as a real human being, they sanitise themselves and hide in the dark, clicking and 'blah-blahing' through lists of linear nothingness.

    Stop spending so much time on your bullet points and slide deck and spend some more time crafting, rehearsing, speaking, engaging, sharing and humanising your leadership communication.

    Lights on. Blinds open. Now.