Archive for the ‘Anecdotes’ Category

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Surveys, rewards and shame

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 27, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Bob Sutton has a terrific post describing how Cedars-Sinai Medical Center got all their doctors to wash their hands. His main source for the post is a New York Times Magazine article called Selling Soap by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt. The hospital started out with 65% compliance. [Now this percentage is thrown into question by some […]

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If you can’t measure it….

Posted by  Mark Schenk —September 18, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Leadership Posts

I recently heard a presentation that mentioned the truism ‘if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it’. It reminded me of how uncomfortable I have always been with this statement and the way it gets touted like a mantra in some organisations. If we view the functions of management as ‘plan, organise, lead, control, direct’, then […]

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Pictorial stories that convey values

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 5, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

A mining company just finished a traditional values exercise. You know the one, it ends up with a bulleted list of single words like integrity, diversity, professionalism. The designers quickly realised that their list wouldn’t mean much in the field so they started a project to collect stories from all their mine sites which illustrated […]

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Meeting with the creator of Most Significant Change

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 25, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

I met with Rick Davies this week. He’s in Melbourne visiting his family and doing some work for Oxfam. We talked about the Zahmoo project and he made some very helpful suggestions. Rick asked me to make a link from the Zahmoo home page to the MSC guidebook that he and Jess Dart put together, which is […]

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Becoming self-sufficient

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 3, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

I spent the afternoon with one our clients, a large multi-national, talking about the Most Significant Change pilot we’ve recently worked on together (perhaps one of the first MSCs in a corporate environment). The client has worked on a range of projects with us over the years, including business narrative to address morale issues, knowledge sharing and we […]

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The one about the conference call vandals

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —August 3, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

John Smith tells an amusing anecdote about our conference call last week and makes some comments about conference calls and communities of practice.

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Management can kill a community of practice

Posted by  Mark Schenk —July 30, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes, Collaboration

I was reminded earlier this week of an event in 2000 when I was working for SMS consulting that demonstrated the dramatic and adverse impact that inappropriate management can have on a community of practice. A small group of consultants interested in knowledge management had started meeting regularly and over several years the group had expanded […]

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Telling stories for a living

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 28, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Everyone can benefit from finding and telling better stories. Don’t be confused in thinking, however, that telling stories means regaling an audience with your latest adventure tale. In business it doesn’t need to be so grand. Telling stories is simply conveying your ideas, values, intentions by retelling something that happened that illustrates your points. Let […]

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Relationships create resilience

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 26, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

I remember a great story told by Margaret Wheatley about how the US Federal Aviation Authority successfully landed all the planes in US airspace on September 11. I was searching around for it today and found it. Here is it: On September 11th, as we all know, every plane was grounded. It took four hours […]

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Using story to comunicate who we are

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —July 16, 2006
Filed in Anecdotes

Before a leader attempts to convince, share knowledge and even spark action, they should introduce themselves using a story.1 It creates context and builds trust. George Orwell understood this idea well. The first 4 paragraphs of Why I Write consist of a set of biographical anecdotes which helps the reader understand Orwell’s nature. He begins […]

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