Rise Leaders Radio
#16. High Fidelity Conversations: Nine elements to launch culture change

#16. High Fidelity Conversations: Nine elements to launch culture change

August 18, 2020

These types of conversations are High Fidelity because they provide strength and resonance for the people who engage in them.  They’re designed to support the Core Ideology of the organization and especially support the people experiencing the change. LeeAnn describes nine elements important for launching these conversations.

 

“Waiting until you have created the perfect, most elegant solution keeps you out of today’s game. Launch it!” 

High Fidelity Conversations Support Culture Change

Organizations are constantly changing due to both internal and external events.

Mergers and acquisitions, disruptive technology, and various economic pressures, like those brought on by the Covid pandemic are prime examples. This year, in addition to facing a pandemic, the US had to deal with hard truths on racial injustice, and the need to address the topic in the workplace was no longer avoidable.

On a previous Podcast episode, How to Talk About Race at Work, Drew Clancy and Lori Bishop shared how they tackled the topic head-on at PCI.  They explained why they didn’t wait for the perfect long-term solution to address concerns about race and how they tied the conversations to their values and focus on increasing trust throughout the organization.

Whether your goal is to step fully into conversations about race, or to committing to the successful adaptation of a critical change to your culture, it’s important to provide strength, alignment, and resonance, – or fidelity – for the people who engage in them.

Do you know how to provide the proper framework for these delicate conversations?

This entire episode has been created to guide leaders on how to begin culture change in their organization by following these nine actionable concepts for designing high fidelity conversations.

A Few Elements from the Guide Described in the Episode

05:52 - "Create a vision that everyone can see themselves in. And what that means is, create a compelling future that matters for people. People need to see how the change is going to benefit them and the organization long term." 

07:26 - "And with conversations, that means listening and learning and being open to other points of view."

10:36 - "Waiting will keep you out of the game today. And you want to balance this immediate action with the longer-term creation of policies and structures that provide resistance-free solutions."

11:43 - "Naming the effort gives people language for how to refer to the change".

For more resources highlighted in this audio episode please follow the links below:

Episode 15: How to Talk About Race at Work
https://rise-leaders.com/how-to-talk-about-race-at-work/

Launching Culture Change through Hi-Fidelity Conversations guide:

https://rise-leaders.com/hi-fi-conversations-icons/

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design and workshop facilitation please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

 

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

#15. How to Talk About Race at Work

#15. How to Talk About Race at Work

August 11, 2020

Publishing Concepts (PCI) didn’t wait for the perfect long-term solution to address concerns about race.  Drew Clancy, President, and Lori Bishop, CPO, saw people hurting and they responded. They thoughtfully organized Meaningful Conversations as a way to talk about race.  This is their first step for improving long term trust and for healing throughout the entire workplace.

 

“What we’re creating here is, first and foremost, just living our values. Just being who we say we are and digging deeper as it relates to the structural racism that we have all been forced to live in here in the United States...” 

Lori Bishop, CPO, Publishing Concepts – PCI
 

“I think this calls for leadership and leaning into it… I think it’s a tremendous opportunity to ultimately strengthen the culture of the organization and have better conversations, better relationships, a stronger organization.”  

Drew Clancy, President, Publishing Concepts – PCI

 

Where do you even start?

Conversations in this domain can be delicate and deserve to be handled with care. It takes courage, commitment, and humility to open oneself to hear the experiences of those who have been marginalized. It can be uncomfortable. 

Start By Listening to Experiences

[06:28] Drew: …what I said to them that afternoon was, I’m really just here to listen and I'm interested in your perspective. Many of these guys [African American male leaders at PCI], we’ve worked together for many years but we’d never had a conversation about race or these types of issues, and it was, I will say, for me, very eye-opening and just the level of frustration, the level of discouragement, the hopelessness in certain cases around what was going on.

Each of the men told some version of a story of growing up and a parent or maybe a grandparent saying, “When you leave this house, you need to be very careful what you say, how you act, especially around law enforcement.” After that conversation, it really struck me that the advice they were getting was you essentially have to be invisible. Again, good advice but what a message to hear.

I'm just fed up, and we've reached a moment in time when action is required here. As businesses, as a for-profit business, perhaps businesses – We can be part of the solution.

Vulnerability + Courage

[10:21] Lori: I was afraid. I have learned that I’m going to have to take off some masks... There's a level of safety and caution that I wasn't sure I can let go of and really embrace from a trust perspective. I had to tell myself, as a black person, all the things that I've heard from growing up and how my safety depended on me never trusting in white people. I had to admit that to myself before I could help Drew on this journey.

Structure Your Conversations About Race

[19:04] Lori: … the original conversations had breakout sessions … and people are very unvarnished and open … people are embracing it. They’re asking questions. They’re doing their homework. They’re sharing stories. They’re coming into levels of self-awareness that they never thought that they would have as people, and they’re doing it at work. To be able to experience this with people has been incredibly fulfilling.

… and people are answering with real-life experiences. We’ve made that a rule because we don’t want to start debating, as Drew says, politics and a bunch of whataboutisms and frankly just ways to stay stuck on either side of this issue. …We decided that trust was the only way to get there…

Links:

Transcript:

https://bit.ly/39256Xb

Drew Clancy:

https://bit.ly/3p4CkL8

Lori Bishop:

https://bit.ly/3p4KMtN

Eric Mosley:

https://bit.ly/3o1ODqu

PCI:

https://bit.ly/2XXKLvV

White Fragility:

https://amzn.to/2LTxh1I

Robin DiAngelo:

https://bit.ly/39VJ5IL

Servant Leadership:

https://bit.ly/2M6h1u8

Bob Kegan:

https://bit.ly/3p3gU14

Immunity to Change:

https://amzn.to/2LGviOv

An Everyone Culture: 

https://amzn.to/3qDnqMh

Visit Rise Leaders:

https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#12. Bob Anderson: Boot Up Your Inner Game

#12. Bob Anderson: Boot Up Your Inner Game

April 7, 2020

Bob Anderson has dedicated his career to exploring the intersections between leadership and personal mastery, and between competence and consciousness. Over the past 35 years, he has helped leaders gain deep, personal insight into their creative competencies that promote effective leadership, and their reactive tendencies that limit it. He is the creator of The Leadership Circle Profile, a 360 leadership assessment tool that provides integrated feedback in multiple domains across the Creative and Reactive categories.

 

"A Creative style of leadership is driven by passion, purpose and vision and is about bringing into being what I care about and becoming who I most desire to be as a leader.  Reactive leadership is about responding to problems, fears and threats.

You can't create the kind of agile, adaptive innovative and engaged workplaces that we are trying to construct in order to thrive in a VUCA world. You literally can't create those cultures and systems and structures from a Reactive leadership mindset."

- Bob Anderson

The Times Call for Exemplary Leadership

Bob and I spoke on February 21, 2020.  The date is significant because the first case of community-spread novel coronavirus had not yet been detected in the U.S. Today the U.S., as well as much of the globe, is in some sort of lockdown to prevent its spread. The lack of mention of Covid-19 seems tone-deaf today, as managing the spread and responding to the health and economic crises are all-consuming for many.

Bob has spent the past few decades understanding what characteristics indicate a leaders’ ability to deal effectively with the increasingly complex situations they’re presented with.  Our current, unfortunate predicament illustrates, even more, the need for agile, innovative and visionary leadership.

Creative Leadership

[17:26]: The highly effective, and Creative leaders had a very different set of strengths. They had all the other strengths in equal measure: technical strengths, domain knowledge, etc., but they excelled at people, ... people, teams, developing people, listening, approachable. Six out of the top 10 most commented-on strengths for the highly effective Creative leader group had to do with people and teams and their ability to develop people and lead them well.

The next set of strengths was purpose, vision and authenticity, and that rounded out the top 10 list of the most effective leaders. Yes, they have their technical skills and their intellect and brilliance. You have to have that to play. That’s table stakes. It doesn’t define leadership, and it doesn’t scale if you’re trying to run your leadership through your own creative brilliance. It scales when you can develop that in others.

The top 10 Creative competencies, according to write-in comments on the Leadership Circle Profile 360:

[20:48]: Number one: Strong People Skills. 79% of leaders had three or more comments from their raters on good with people – 79%. Reactive leaders rated only 28% good with people. That just sums it up. If you look at the list, Strong People Skills, Visionary, Team Builder, Personable/Approachable, Leads by Example. That’s authenticity and integrity, right? Passion & Drive, that’s purpose. Good Listener, Develops People, Empowers People, Positive Attitude. That’s the top 10 list.

Links:

Transcript:

https://bit.ly/39ORe1F

Creative and Reactive dimensions of the model:

https://bit.ly/3qEgNJG

Leadership Circle Profile:

https://bit.ly/2LWyA03

Full Circle Group:

https://bit.ly/3qKvHho

Bob Kegan:

https://bit.ly/3p3gU14

Socialized and Self-Authoring mindsets:

https://bit.ly/3c1N0q8

Stephen Covey:

https://bit.ly/3sMd5zC

Mastering Leadership:

https://leadershipcircle.com/en/our-books/

Download Practices to Boot Up Your Inner Game:

https://bit.ly/3qGPBds

Subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

 

#06. An Essential Link:  Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness

#06. An Essential Link: Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness

September 17, 2019

What does wellbeing mean to you?  Are you thriving?  How would you know?

Renee Moorefield is a dear friend, a spectacular creator and a wise woman. She and business- and life- partner, David, have developed a groundbreaking assessment for wellbeing. Be Well Lead Well Pulse® is based on over thirty years of experience in the areas of wellness, change management and leadership transformation. In this conversation, we follow the thread that began in exercise physiology, winds through Renee’s own experience as a leader and has evolved into a very integrated way to assess wellbeing.

 

At the center of the Universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.  

- Black Elk 

 

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as human. 

-  Vaclav Havel

Following A Thread

Early in the interview, Renee tells us about a thread that has run through her life – ” a deep belief in our capacity to be well and to thrive”.  Her thread runs like this:

  • The journey begins with pursuing a degree in Exercise Physiology.

We all have threads, how would you trace yours?  In my view, a thread is closely tied to our life’s purpose.

Wellness or Wellbeing?

Wellness – as it is typically used in the U.S., refers to lifestyle behaviors such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and even breath.  But early on, as Renee shares in the interview, forward thinkers such as Halbert Dunn, M.D., Ph.D. were describing wellness in ways that included the ‘spirit of man’.  I found an absolutely fascinating article written by Dr. Dunn; in it he says this about Knowing Thyself:

“Psychology tells us through laboratory demonstrations that our perceptions of the outer world are indissolubly linked with the concepts and emotions fixed in our minds and body tissues. Without a knowledge of one’s inner self, understanding of the outer world cannot have breadth and depth. A mind tortured with prejudice, hate, and fear projects itself in distorted human relationships.”

In reading about Dunn and the impact he had on the holistic wellness movement I’m reminded of all the shoulders we stand on.

It’s easy to draw a line from High-Level Wellness, as he describes, to the effectiveness and impact of a person who is leading others.

My favorite definition of wellbeing, a la Renee, is “our internal resourcefulness to meet the demands of our external world”.  She adds another aspect to include how we are in relationship with others – that we exist in relationship.   These are both in line with how Dr. Dunn considered wellness in the 1950’s!

Here’s what the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® measures.  You can see how the aspects of wellbeing we discussed, plus more, are reflected:

  • Thriving – your evaluation of your own wellbeing now, plus the optimism you hold for your future.
  • Fuel – how you energize yourself physically, mentally and emotionally; this includes diet, movement, rest + breath.
  • Flow – aka being in ‘the zone’; engagement, presence, mindfulness and the feeling of bringing value to your work.
  • Wonder – continuously evolving your worldviews and perspectives with appreciation and awe; learning and growing.
  • Wisdom – tapping into and integrating your purpose, vision, and innate genius and bringing equanimity and lightness to life.
  • Thriving Amplified – creating the conditions where others thrive; energizing and maximizing their impact and growth.

You can tell by reading the descriptors of the dimensions of the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® that this is a thorough and generous assessment

Wellbeing and the Role of a Leader:  Thriving Amplified

I can’t help but make ties to Servant Leadership in this category of wellbeing. Can you imagine the world if we all supported each other in such a fundamental, life-enhancing way?

Like the ability to empathize requires us to be aware of our own emotions, supporting others’ wellbeing requires that we are connected to our own.  We begin with ourself.

I wrote a few blog posts several years ago that sprouted from my experience cycling.  One post links engagement, a cycling team’s paceline and the concept of distributed leadership as outlined in this article by Nick Petrie of CCL (Center for Creative Leadership).  In short, employee engagement requires the effort of leaders and members of the team.

Renee speaks passionately and often about creative vs. reactive leadership:

“The Be Well Lead Well Pulse dimensions promote a generative, open, present and connected stance to leadership, rather than leading from reactivity and fear.”

The creative orientation is a characteristic of leaders who achieve sustainable results. You can learn more about this in earlier show notes from my interview with Jacqui and Renee, owners of Anytime Fitness Bishop Arts.

The Value of the Be Well Lead Well Pulse® Assessment

I’m a believer in a good assessment and this certainly is one.  Seeing my collective answers to their well-crafted questions reflected back to me gave me a perspective I could not have arrived at on my own.  The combination of elements are unique to anything I have ever encountered and I was able to make connections that I would not have otherwise made.

Based on the report, I was able to see that although I was feeling a bit shaky and unsure in my current situation, I did have an optimistic view of my future.  Life can be challenging and some days I feel swallowed by uncertainty and even fear.  But when asked, I honestly feel optimistic that I am evolving and that something good is cooking within me.  I lean on this feedback when my energy and mood are low.

I’ll close with a quote by Warren Buffett that sums up the link between wellbeing and leadership:

The process of becoming a leader is much the same as the process of becoming an integrated human being

 

Rennee Moorefield, PhD:

https://www.bewellleadwell.com/about-us/

 

#05. How To: Build a Culture and a Thriving Business

#05. How To: Build a Culture and a Thriving Business

September 5, 2019
Jacqui Bliss and Renee Reed, owners of Anytime Fitness Bishop Arts District share how they’ve built a great culture through relationship-based leadership and continuous learning.  We also talk about how they stay relevant in a changing industry and their experience in growing the business even as their own relationship was tested.
 
Culture eats strategy for lunch
 - Peter Drucker

 

Anytime Fitness Bishop Arts is in the 97th percentile of clubs (of 2,475 clubs) in the Anytime Fitness franchise system and quite easily achieved status as a Platinum Club. Several metrics combine for this designation: member retention, financial results, team member retention, and their PLEASE scores, which are based on the club’s alignment with corporate values.

I have a colleague who likes to say, leaders get the organizations they deserve. Owners Jacqui Bliss and Renee Reed have a lot to be proud of and they are getting exactly what they worked hard for and thus deserve.

A Creative vs Reactive Orientation

Jacqui and Renee articulated over and over what they cared about and what they want to bring into being during our conversation. This way of thinking is called a Creative Orientation. Quite simply, keeping your sights on goals, vision, values, and purpose results in more passion and less drama; more sustainable results and fewer rollercoaster rides. Leaders who lead this way build motivated, inspired and high-achieving organizations.

An Inclusive Environment

Inclusion and diversity are powerful words these days. The AF BAD club is a microcosm of Oak Cliff, with all the shapes, sizes, ages, races, gay, straight, trans, and decorated people you can imagine. If you’re not comfortable with all that, this probably isn’t the place for you. 

Inclusion is good for business and good for humankind.

Staying Relevant

Most industries have experienced significant shifts in the past decade or so – just look at the retail, taxi, and news industries as proof. The fitness industry is no exception. 

Renee and Jacqui stay relevant by:

  • Investing in leadership and organizational development.
  • Committing wholeheartedly to their decisions
  • Updating equipment and renovating the space.
  • Always researching and learning
  • Using Social Media in positive ways to tell good stories.

If you want to make it in today’s world it requires constant evolution.

Navigating Partnerships 

Renee and Jacqui beautifully illustrate a new composition. With the same dedication and commitment with which they seem to run the rest of their life, they have made their way to a very positive and respectful business collaboration. They are also parents to an exceptional son and they’re doing a fantastic job in their shared parenting – vacationing and spending holidays together as a family.

Based on the success Jacqui and Renee have experienced in their situation, here are a few questions to consider if you find yourself in one that is similar:

  • Re-assess your vision for the business. Do you still feel strongly about it and want it to succeed?
  • When the emotional dust particles settle, is your business partner someone who you respect and who you feel has a similar work ethic? Was the business partnership working, even if the life partnership wasn’t? 
  • Are you willing to ‘do your work’ and learn about your contributions to the breakdown and declare to improve in those areas?
  • Can you move past the hurt and work without resentment?

I’m not an expert in this matter, but it seems if you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions you have a good starting point for the next iteration of your evolving business.

 
Links:
Anytime Fitness:
 
Creative Orientation:
 

Rise Leaders newsletters: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:

https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

#03. Chad West: Activating an Historical and Diverse Community and Staying Accessible

#03. Chad West: Activating an Historical and Diverse Community and Staying Accessible

August 1, 2019

Dallas City Council Member Chad West shares his vision, the importance of accessibility, community engagement and creating a sense of place.

 

Citizenship is a chance to make a difference in the place where you belong. 

Charles Handy

 

First a look behind the curtain. I had the chance to see Chad West in action when our technology broke down and his tech-support partner had to switch out his laptop. A half-hour ticked away, and I was getting antsy about having enough time for a meaningful interview.

This breakdown afforded me the gift of eavesdropping on Chad as he continued to work calmly with his assistant in the background, answering a few questions and ultimately delaying his next meeting so that we had enough time for the interview.

Chad had previously shared with me that he is a stickler about keeping commitments. Integrity is high on his list of virtues. I witnessed him walking his talk while also staying kind and generous with employees. This recollection reassures me that we elected the right person for Oak Cliff and for Dallas.

First Impressions and Accessibility

  • Accessibility to constituents and clients is important to Chad and is expected for a City Council Member (CM). I experienced that firsthand when he personally answered my call and accepted the podcast interview invitation without a previous introduction.
  • To balance his extreme availability, he’s sure to bake downtime into the end of his day for reading or other solitary activities.

 Balancing the Whole and Parts

  • I wondered about competing commitments between District 1 (D-1, our district) and the City’s vision and goals. 
    • Unique challenges of D1: we’re one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dallas with the original street grid, old infrastructure and tons of new development.
  • Importance of public engagement:
    • Neighborhood feedback is very important when trying to encourage developers to include pedestrian & neighborhood-friendly elements in their projects.
    • Engagement also poses challenges. People will question Chad, and rightly so.  While this creates more work, lack of engagement causes a neighborhood to lose its character.
    • Chad is working to build trust in lower-engagement neighborhoods by attending non-city events and getting to know the neighbors so that they, too, are able to influence their future.
  • Building relationships and trust with other Council Members is important for moving both the city and individual districts forward.

Holding the Vision + Integrating Thought Leadership

  • Oak Cliff is a gem with 100-year-old street-car informed grids and adjacent neighborhoods. Bishop Arts is a great example.

    • In the plans: Oak Farms, a mixed-use development with workforce housing, market-rate housing, retail, and plazas.
    • Two major streets will be repurposed. The new streetcar between downtown Dallas and North Oak Cliff, pedestrians and bicycles will be routed to one street, with cars on the other. This will improve safety and accessibility.
  • D Magazine’s New Urbanism edition included an article by Oak Cliff resident and Urbanism expert, Patrick Kennedy: Bishop Arts Can Be a Model for Southern Dallas Development
    • There’s a focus on preserving single-family neighborhoods; once you take them down you can never get them back.
    • More trail expansions are in the works, linking people with parks.
    • A strong sense of place is being ignited.

Reflections + Resources + Practical Applications

Building Trust & Relationships

  • The Trusted Advisor’s Trust Equation is a helpful way to consider trust and the components of trust. 

Holding a Long-Term Vision

  • Notice the vision for D-1 has been unfolding for 10 – 20 year.  We’re challenged to become ‘decaders’.
  • How do you and your organization stay committed and aligned to a long-term vision? What rhythms and structures have you created to support this vision?

 

Links:

https://bit.ly/2YgebFX

https://bit.ly/2Y2ucPt

https://rise-leaders.com/trust-equation

https://bit.ly/2M83y53

Rise Leaders newsletter: https://bit.ly/2LTNxzV

#01. Jennifer Touchet’s Visionary Leadership and Creating A Win-Win-Win

#01. Jennifer Touchet’s Visionary Leadership and Creating A Win-Win-Win

June 26, 2019

Season 1 of Rise Leaders Radio is focused on a unique type of entrepreneurial leadership that happens in Oak Cliff (Dallas, TX) at the community, business and civic levels. Jennifer Touchet kicks off the storytelling by sharing how Twelve Hills Nature Center was envisioned, fought for and created by the community. It’s a story of win-win-win with a variety of stakeholders, shared vision, positive politics and power.

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

– Margaret Mead

 

I begin Season 1 by interviewing Jennifer Touchet.  She played a pivotal role in saving a parcel of land that was slated for re-development at the end of the street where I now live. I was not expecting to learn such deep and transferable lessons from her. I knew by reading the donor names and invocation inscribed in a rock at the entrance of Twelve Hills Nature Center that a significant effort had been undertaken and that someone(s) had been in charge. Jennifer shares wisdom that is useful for anyone, anywhere, leading change.

EASTER EGG ALERT!  Stay tuned to the end of this episode to hear my visit to Seedschool, a small school that convenes weekly at Twelve Hills in a converted bus named Matilda. The owner, Jennifer Stuart, is another Oak Cliff Hero.  You’ll be delighted by sounds of children learning!

Takeaways from our conversation:

  • Use a communication style that invites other perspectives. 
  • Acknowledge that there are multiple stakeholders.  Understand where the power and influence are and who has it through Power Mapping when you’re leading change. 
  • Start with a shared vision and let it evolve. 
  • Use inclusive strategies to widen the circle and increase engagement.
  • Adopt a ‘win≠ winner take all’ core belief. 
  • Consider that there are no permanent enemies and no permanent allies.
  • Commit for the long term. 

Links:

Power-mapping:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_mapping

Follow Twelve Hills Nature Center:

https://twelvehills.org/

Follow Seedschool:

http://www.seedpreschool.org/

Connect to Jennifer:

https://bit.ly/2M92Q7E

 

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources: https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit: https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

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