Kristinesargsyan's Blog

May 26, 2010

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

Filed under: Favorites from TED,Uncategorized — by kristinesargsyan @ 4:34 pm
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May 21, 2010

Tom Wujec: Build a tower, build a team (from www.TED.com)

Filed under: Uncategorized — by kristinesargsyan @ 9:31 am

http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_build_a_tower.html

Find 45-60 minutes when your team can fully engage in the challenge. I’ve run challenges with groups containing as four people to as many as 800 people. Ensure that you have tables for each team.

Step One: Schedule a Meeting

In advance of the meeting, create a marshmallow challenge kit for each team, with each kit containing twenty sticks of spaghetti, one yard of masking tape, one yard of string and one marshmallow. These ingredients should be placed into a paper lunch bag, which simplifies distribution and hides the contents, maximizing the element of surprise.

 1.  ✦Spaghetti: Ensure that you use uncooked spaghetti. Avoid spaghettini as it is too thin and breaks easily. Fettucini is too thick.

2.  ✦String: Include string that can be easily broken by hand. If the string is thick, include scissors in your kit.

3.  ✦Marshmallow: Use a name brand or private label brand of marshmallows that measure the ‘standard’ size, about an inch an a half across. Avoid mini or jumbo marshmallows. Also avoid stale marshmallows. You’ll want squishy marshmallows that give the impression of lightness.

4.  ✦Masking Tape: Get standard masking tape. Generally, you’ll want to put the tape on the side of the table, the back of a chair or a nearby wall. Rolling it in the bag tangles the tape.

5.  ✦Paper Lunch Bags: Standard size lunch bags work well as do letter size manilla envelops.

 Also ensure that you have the following tools to run the challenge:

 1.  ✦Measuring Tape: Have a contractor’s retractable measuring available after the challenge is finished so you can measure the height of the structures.

2.  ✦Countdown Application or Stopwatch: The actual marshmallow challenge takes eighteen minutes. Eighteen minutes seems to be the magic time. Twenty minutes is too long and fifteen is too short. You can use a stopwatch, but better yet is to use a video projector and display the countdown time. For Shareware Windows applications, consider http://www.timeleft.info/ and http://www.orzeszek.org/blog/2009/08/21/simple-countdown-timer-for-windows/. For a Mac, consider, http://www.baldgeeks.com/3-2-1.htm. 

3.  ✦Video Projector and Sound System (optional): For more impact, use a video projector to deliver the Marshmallow Challenge Presentation (or your own) and a sound system for music during the challenge. Time out a play list of exactly 18 minutes of music. You’ll want the challenge to end at the conclusion of the last song.

4.  ✦Download a copy of the presentation: You can find the pdf instructions here: TED2010_Tom_Wujec_Marshmallow_Challenge_Web_Version.pdf

Step Two: Assemble a Kit for Each Team

Be clear about the goals and rules of the Marshmallow Challenge. Use the Acrobat Presentation to introduce the challenge as well as to visually reinforce the instructions:

 1.  ✦Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure: The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling or chandelier.

2.  ✦The Entire Marshmallow Must be on Top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team. 

3.  ✦Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: The team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks, as much or as little of the string or tape. The team cannot use the paper bag as part of their structure.

4.  ✦Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape: Teams are free to break the spaghetti, cut up the tape and string to create new structures.

5.  ✦The Challenge Lasts 18 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified.

6.  ✦Ensure Everyone Understands the Rules: Don’t worry about repeating the rules too many times. Repeat them at least three times. Ask if anyone has any questions before starting.

Step Three: Deliver Clear Instructions

 Introduction: Generally, a tight presentation introducing the challenge will motivate the team. Let them know this challenge has been conducted by tens of thousands of people in every continent, from the CFOs of the Fortune 50 to Students at all levels. The lessons learned are universal.

 Goals & Rules: Be very clear about the goals and rules of the challenge. Generally, you’ll want to repeat them three times and reinforce them visually.

 Cheating: In almost every challenge, there is at least one team that will want to cheat or bend the rules in their favour. The clearer you are about the rules the better the results.

 Prizes: Offer a prize to the winning team. A standing ovation from the rest of the group is great. Books, software, perks – even cash are also great incentives. But be wary of big prizes as you’ll read in the Lessons of the Challenge.

 Music: Select the appropriate music for the challenge. I prefer driving Rock or Pop, but dramatic classical works well too.

 Start the countdown clock and the music with the start of the challenge.

 1.  ✦Walk around the Room: It’s amazing to see the development of the structures as well as notice the patterns of innovation most teams follow.

2.  ✦Remind the Teams of the Time: Countdown the time. Usually, I call 12 minutes, 9 minutes (half-way through), 7 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, 30 seconds and a ten-second count down. 

3.  ✦Call Out How the Teams are Doing: Let the entire group know how teams are progressing. Call out each time a team builds a standing structure. Build a friendly rivalry. Encourage people to look around. Don’t be afraid to raise the energy and the stakes.

4.  ✦Remind the Teams that Holders will be Disqualified: Several teams will have the powerful desire to hold on to their structure at the end. Usually because the marshmallow, which they just placed onto their structure moments before, causing the structure to buckle. The winning structure needs to be stable.

Step Four: Start the Challenge

After the clock runs out, ask everyone in the room to sit down so everyone can see the structures. Likely, just over half the teams will have standing structures.

 1.  ✦Measure the Structures: From the shortest standing structure to the tallest, measure and call out the heights. If you’re documenting the challenge, have someone record the heights.

2.  ✦Identify the Winning Team: Ensure they get a standing ovation and a prize (if you’ve offered one).

3.  ✦Wrap up with the Lessons of the Marshmallow Challenge: Deliver the attached presentation or just describe some of the key lessons of the marshmallow challenge:

4.  ✦Kids do Better than Business Students: On virtually every measure of innovation, kindergarteners create taller and more interesting structures.

5.  ✦Prototyping Matters: The reason kids do better than business school students is kids spend more time playing and prototyping. They naturally start with the marshmallow and stick in the sticks. The Business School students spend a vast amount of time planning, then executing on the plan, with almost no time to fix the design once they put the marshmallow on top.

6.  ✦The Marshmallow is a Metaphor for the Hidden Assumptions of a Project: The assumption in the Marshmallow Challenge is that marshmallows are light and fluffy and easily supported by the spaghetti sticks. When you actually try to build the structure, the marshmallows don’t seem so light. The lesson in the marshmallow challenge is that we need to identify the assumptions in our project – the real customer needs, the cost of the product, the duration of the service – and test them early and often. That’s the mechanism that leads to effective innovation.

 TIPS

Introduction: Generally, a tight presentation introducing the challenge will motivate the team. Let them know this challenge has been conducted by tens of thousands of people in every continent, from the CFOs of the Fortune 50 to Students at all levels. The lessons learned are universal.

 Goals & Rules: Be very clear about the goals and rules of the challenge. Generally, you’ll want to repeat them three times and reinforce them visually.

 Cheating: In almost every challenge, there is at least one team that will want to cheat or bend the rules in their favour. The clearer you are about the rules the better the results.

 Prizes: Offer a prize to the winning team. A standing ovation from the rest of the group is great. Books, software, perks – even cash are also great incentives. But be wary of big prizes as you’ll read in the Lessons of the Challenge.

 Music: Select the appropriate music for the challenge. I prefer driving Rock or Pop, but dramatic classical works well too.

May 19, 2010

Resources on keys of OD, shared by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, www.authenticityconsulting.com, blogs: www.managementhelp.org/blogs

Filed under: Uncategorized,Useful Links — by kristinesargsyan @ 11:32 am

Some of you might be interested in topics about

 – field of OD

 – core consulting skills for organization

-wide change

 – overviews of change models

 – some methods for planned, systematic change

 – major movements in OD

 See the OD topic at http://www.managementhelp.org/org_chng/org_chng.htm

 See the blog at http://managementhelp.org/blogs/consulting-skills

May 12, 2010

UBUNTU: I am Because You Are

Filed under: Change Stories — by kristinesargsyan @ 5:22 pm

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2010/04/30/sense-and-nonsense-ubuntu/

May 11, 2010

Shared by Joseph George josephg2005@gmail.com

Filed under: Uncategorized — by kristinesargsyan @ 10:00 am

Thhttp://tiny.cc/mnnhne link takes us to several real themes, characters and episodes that we become either awakened to or numbed by, defining for us consequent choices that affect wellness of mankind…( Joseph George)

http://tiny.cc/mnnhn

Useful OD blogs: Shared by many of us :)

Filed under: Useful Links — by kristinesargsyan @ 9:37 am

Useful OD blogs:

1. http://bx.businessweek.com/organizational-development/blogs/ — really more of a misc hodgepodge of topics

2. http://aspenod.com/blog/ – quite new

3. http://blogs.hbr.org/ — again, a misc hodgepodge

4. http://www.successful-blog.com/1/organizational-development-20-style/ – aims to be a true OD blog

5. http://od-blog.com/ – does seem to focus org-wide

6. http://www.change-management-blog.com/ – an OD blog 🙂

7. http://www.orgtheory.net — I’m told it’s good; I could never get it to load

8. http://managementhelp.org/blogs/consulting-skills – focus on consulting and OD skills

9. http://feeds.feedburner.com/PsychologyBlog

10.http://deonbinneman.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/communication-is-the-key-to-suc cessfully-implementing-any-large-scale-organizational-change/

11. http://deonbinneman.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/communication-is-the-key-to-suc cessfully-implementing-any-large-scale-organizational-change/

12. http://deonbinneman.wordpress.com/2010/01/11/which-decision-making-model-are -you-using/  

13. http://deonbinneman.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/what-has-the-sabc-and-a-fish-bo wl-got-in-common

14. http://www.odnetwork.org/resources/discussions/norms.php
15. http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2009/05/ed-schein-helping-how-to-offer-give-and.html

16. http://learningvoyager.blogspot.com/2006/10/seashore-and-weisbord-two-legends-of.html

May 10, 2010

Listening ………………. Shared by Gina Hinrichs, Ph.D

Filed under: Change Stories,Uncategorized — by kristinesargsyan @ 5:26 pm

 Silence is a most important tool.

Listen,

Just Listen Being Listened To What happens when you talk to someone who pays attention and doesn’t shift the conversation?

o You feel like what you say won’t be judged or redirected

o There are pauses – maybe even long pauses o You are encouraged to go beyond surface thoughts to a deeper level of thinking you may not know you had

o You experienced being really listened to – perhaps for the first time

With respect to how you deal with the world, you are different after being listened to than before. It is important to talk and be expressive. Some thoughts may not even be formulated so you have the freedom to explore truth telling. Truth telling is telling what is true from your perspective at the moment. Truth telling is a transformational process.

Listening

Just listening is listening in a special way. It is a kind of listening that is missing in most places in our lives. Listening is a profound gift that offers a relationship and acceptance of the other. It allows you to be a supporting person in the conversation. Our culture trains us to “not say” what we are truly thinking. This leaves us suppressed and constrained by whatever we can’t say. Listening to people in a profound way and then responding appropriately during and after the conversation can begin to change this cultural norm. To respond appropriately is to listen and act in a way that leads people to trust that they can say anything to you and that you will not judge or assess either them or what they say. This can be communicated by simply nodding, perhaps saying “yes” or “got it” but in no way telling your own story or truth until the other has had a complete opportunity to fully express him/herself. Listening, just listening, is a gift that allows someone to truly express themselves and it is what makes inquiry work.

“Oh the comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts or measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are–chaff and grain together–certain that a faithful hand will take them and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.” –Dinah Mulock

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Filed under: Favorites from TED,Uncategorized — by kristinesargsyan @ 10:38 am

http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action.html

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